The game was put into production after the sudden popularity of the original mini-game, which led the developers to expand on their original idea.
The soundtrack was composed by Chris Chudley from Audioantics, he would go on to compose all the music for Geometry Wars up until Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved, where he was replaced by Chris Mann.
The objective of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, is to survive as long as possible and score as many points as possible by destroying an ever-increasing swarm of enemies.
The game takes place on a so-called "Grid", and the player controls a claw-shaped ship that can move in any direction using the left thumbstick, and can fire in any direction independently using the right thumbstick.
There are two game modes featured in this game:
The player starts the game with 3 lives and 3 Bombs, and the player will gain a new life every 75,000 points scored, and 1 bomb every 100,000 points scored.
After scoring 10,000 points, the player will receive one of two types of weapon upgrades, increasing firepower dramatically, whichever of the two upgrades that are active will switch at regular intervals.
Enemies spawn at complete random, ranging from 1 to 5 seconds. However, after some time, enemies will start to frequently spawn in droves from the 4 corners of the map. Enemies will also spawn in a circle around the player at certain intervals.
Retro is in essence the original minigame from Project Gotham Racing 2, virtually identical to the original. There is no noticeable difference whatsoever between this game mode and the original mini-game.
The gameplay is similar to Evolved in that the player starts with 3 lives, 3 bombs and there are enemies spawning at random all around the map, constantly increasing in numbers. The player receives upgrades to firepower at 10,000 point intervals.There are subtle differences to future games however, for example the ship fires only one bullet at a time, unlike later games where 2 bullets are fired simultaneously.