Polarium DS

Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
Buy On
  1. Game Informer
    83
    A truly exceptional puzzle title. [June 2005, p.137]
  2. What the game lacks in presentation and sound, it makes up for with a fun, original concept that wouldn't quite work as well on anything but the DS.
  3. An idea with the potential to get boring but that, in practice, is satisfyingly addictive. The puzzle mode offers fiendishly tricky logic problems which are in fact, pretty tricky. Tough but great value and worth the effort. [NGC Pocket]
  4. Its simple presentation may deter players who like a bit more pizzazz and graphical flare, but an entertaining game with lastability awaits those who decide to pick it up. [JPN Import]
  5. Addictive, fun, and certainly unique, Polarium suits the DS down to the ground (this is game that could only work on the DS…and PDAs) and perhaps this is the direction Nintendo should take their new machine rather than trying to compete with the PSP and bring confused and muddled conversions to the format.
  6. 80
    Granted, the concept of staring at a screen full of black and white squares for minutes on end looking for the correct line to draw may not sound like the most exciting game out there, but for those who appreciate a good mental challenge, it's a treat.
  7. 80
    Polarium does what it's supposed to do - frustrate the hell out of you until you stab the touch-screen with your stylus. But once you get that solution to the puzzle you're working on, it's a big relief... that is, until the next puzzle rolls around.
  8. Like all good puzzlers, Polarium is exceptionally easy to learn, and it makes it very hard for you to turn your DS off and get your work done.
  9. Nintendo hit one out of the ballpark here. All DS owners should also own Polarium. My question: why was it not included with the system?
  10. 80
    The Challenge mode may only hold your interest for a little while, but the one hundred migraine-inducing puzzles will definitely make you come back to the game.
  11. I think I may like Lumines a little more overall, but I really do think the multiplayer is easily the game's strongest selling point.
  12. 78
    But it's not a game for the sloppy player, since it really requires a precise handling on stylus drawing.
  13. Overly simplistic graphics and sound should have been worked on to make the final package feel more like an actual game, but alas it still felt like a glorified tech demo in the end.
  14. Nintendo Power
    76
    After solving Polarium's first 30 puzzles, I now plan to have my cranium resized - I swear that my brain's gotten bigger. On to the final 70! [June 2005, p.95]
  15. 75
    Consider Polarium a killer robot sent back into the present to conquer your brain. Might as well enjoy the subjugation...for as long as it lasts, anyway.
  16. A very interesting demonstration of the DS's capabilities, but it is not exactly a worthy successor to the classic puzzle games of the past.
  17. A title that I had no idea would be so addicting. The graphics and sound are definitely basic, but it is gameplay that makes this title what it is.
  18. The multiplayer could have been a bit more robust and single card play would have been easy to implement given the simplicity of the graphics... If you love puzzle games then I highly recommend giving Polarium a try.
  19. If you like solitaire, "Tetris" and puzzle games, this is for you.
  20. Edge Magazine
    70
    The end result is a rather cold and uninvolving game. Too subtle to be a Tetris replacement, too plain to be an engaging puzzler, Chokkan Hitofude adds up to something a little greyer than its crisp black-and-white stylings might suggest. [JPN Import; Jan 2005, p.95]
  21. With some of the most basic visuals seen since the days of the ZX81 and mind-numbingly uninspired audio it's not going to woo gamers looking for the quick thrill that other eye-candy laden DS titles will.
  22. It is very addictive and a lot of fun. But the puzzle mode has a replay factor of absolute zero. Anyone who would go back to it for fun would be a mad man.
  23. Presentation is stark and uninviting but few games are this mentally taxing.
  24. Indeed, Polarium isn’t so much about your stylus skills, rather your ability to create continuous paths on the screen to change as many blocks to the correct colour in one move as possible.
  25. Play Magazine
    70
    It may look plain, but Polarium is a game that really etched itself into my brain. [June 2005, p.86]
  26. If staring at a brainteaser for lengthy periods of time is your idea of excitement, or if the idea of creating puzzles and sharing them with like-minded friends is intriguing to you, then you'll find enough enjoyable mind-benders to make this worth a purchase.
  27. One for the puzzle fans but unless you absolutely want to just draw lines all day, "Zoo Keeper" offers a much better gaming experience and has a lot more features.
  28. Maybe my only real complaint is that during Challenge mode there's a half-second delay from the completion of a line of tiles to the time is disappears.
  29. 65
    A good game but it’s going to be forced to dwell in the shadows of much superior titles, especially Meteos, as it’s genre has been trumped. However, a lot of the redeeming value is diminished by the fact that the Challenge mode is weak and it is a puzzle game that will only appeal for a finite amount of time.
  30. 60
    The pickup-and-play nature of the Checkmate mode lends itself perfectly to the portable medium, but it's no more than a simple puzzle experience that can be found on millions of Desktop PCs. [JPN Import]
  31. It's a great game if you like the genre, but it won't probably won't win any new fans to the puzzle style of play. Their loss.
  32. Pelaaja (Finland)
    60
    In a perfect world, Polarium would have been a built-in game in the Nintendo DS, just like "PictoChat." Even so, there is no better alternative for a solid DS puzzle game, at least until Meteos arrives. [May 2005, p 89]
  33. 60
    Simple, yet fun, Polarium is an engaging puzzle game. It proves that the touch screen can be used for more than gimmicks.
  34. If you’re a fan of brain teasers, then the game’s 100 puzzles are definitely worth the price of admission (even though it is a little steep). If, on the other hand, you tend to enjoy the more traditional puzzle games that involve making falling objects disappear, you might want to skip Polarium.

Awards & Rankings

#28 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Frogguts1
    Dec 30, 2006
    8
    It's a good puzzle game by itself but it's the custom puzzles and wireless play that kept me playing Polarium.
  2. Obrien
    Mar 4, 2006
    9
    the challenge mode gets a bit tiring, but the puzzles are awesome. i've finished 30 so far, 70 to go! i also love the two player mode the challenge mode gets a bit tiring, but the puzzles are awesome. i've finished 30 so far, 70 to go! i also love the two player mode more than anything else that you can play with your friends who dont have the game. Awesome! Full Review »
  3. DisappointedD.
    Sep 8, 2005
    3
    Although I'm a puzzle game lover, this one is not worth the money.