Tetris' third cousin, twice removed

User Rating: 9 | Chokkan Hitofude DS
What happens when you take Tetris, Ikaruga, and a PDA, place it in big 'ol pot and use a stir stick called Nintendo? Polarium, one of the best DS games to date, and one of the best puzzlers ever. Polarium is a very unique game, that looks like it actually belongs on a palm pilot or pocketPC. Puzzle mode is the game's main focus. The concept is simple: Using only one line, flip over tiles on a rectangular play area to make each horizontal row the same color. However, this is one of the harder puzzle games out there, and around the 15th of 100 stocked puzzles, you could have a little trouble. This isn't that big of a deal, because puzzles are unlocked 10 at a time, and solutions to some puzzles are similar to others in the set. Using a guide on this game is not recommended, because all that would do is spoil it for the player. Puzzle Mode also has an edit sub-mode. You can create new puzzles to store on the game card, and swap them with your friends using the wireless function. But even better is the password function, which allows users to share puzzles without requiring being in wireless range. Each password is thirty digits, for example, this password: 1561349514 6374867833 2331938542 will yield a puzzle that looks like a stick figure (ain't he cute!). This greatly enhances the value and replay of the game. Challenge Mode is a more exciting and suspenseful version of Puzzle mode. Pre-determined yet random blocks of tiles are dropped onto the playing field and the player must disperse them as quickly as possible. Obviously, the fewer strokes, the better the score. This is a great way to distract yourself from Puzzle mode in case you're in a spot of trouble. There is also a versus mode in the game, in which the player is given a wider field than in earlier modes, but for a reason. Each player tries to eliminate all the tiles on their field. When a successful stroke is completed, the tiles transfer to the other player's field in random columns. The first player to overcrowd their space loses. This mode is absolute, pure fun, and nothing more can be said about it. Lastly, there is the lounge area, where you can change settings, view the tutorial, see the credits, or most importantly, use the wireless functions. There are three wireless actions available, two of which mentioned earlier, the sending and recieving of custom puzzles. The third option is to send a Polarium demo to another DS. The demo includes the tutorial, 10 puzzles, and the versus mode of the game. Yes, Polarium has single-card download play, and it is fantastic. The graphics are minimal, and can't really be awarded much. They're not good or bad, just there.The same goes for the sound, the music is rather monotonous, but you can just listen to a nice CD and turn the DS's sound off anyway. Overall, Polarium is definetley worth a purchase if you like puzzle games, or are just looking for a good new DS game. Shame that this didn't get more attention. But don't take my word for it, find someone who has the game and download the demo. 10 bucks says you can't beat them in versus mode.