: Nintendo DS
: Mitchell Corporation
: EU: 03/11/05, JP: 12/02/04, NA: 04/18/05 AU: 3/24/05
: 2-D puzzle game
One of the most recently released games for the Nintendo DS (April 18, 2005), Polarium is a puzzle game developed by Nintendo with two main modes: Challenge and Puzzle. Also, there is a multiplayer version of Challenge mode, playable both by DS Download Play and by each player having a copy of the game.
This is the mode of the game most similar to Tetris. Groups of black and white tiles constantly fall onto the playing field, and you must clear as many rows as possible before the amount of tiles on the two screens reaches above a red line on the top screen. To clear the screen, you must make all the tiles in a given horizontal row one color (black or white), causing them to disappear in a shower of stars. Each time one hundred lines have been cleared, the game increases in difficulty. Also, once one thousand lines have been cleared, the game will end.
Puzzle is a gameplay experience far different from Challenge . In this mode, you must turn all the tiles in each puzzle one color, with only a single stroke. While some of the puzzles are very easy, as you advance farther into the game, there are some that require intense thought and multiple tries before they can be conquered. In total, there are one hundred puzzles in the game. They are unlocked in groups of ten, meaning you must beat all of the puzzles in a given group of ten before you can attempt the next ten.
Also, you have the ability to make your own custom puzzles, which you can share with friends by transferring to them in the Lounge or by making codes for them and giving these codes to your friends. Important in all the modes is the outer frame. This border of gray boxes allows you to go around a puzzle or tiles on Challenge mode without changing the color of any tiles. You must use the border well to be able to succeed at Puzzle mode.
This competitive mode can be played either through Download Play or by each player having a copy of the game. Here, as you clear rows of tiles, they are sent over to your opponent's screen. The first player to eliminate all of the tiles from their screen wins. Also, your opponent's field is displayed on the top screen of each DS. When you eliminate a line that contained random tiles, you get power-ups. There are five of these, and they do things like placing obstacles on your opponent's screen, increasing the speed of the tiles sent to your opponent, slowing down the tiles coming from your opponent, preventing your opponent from using the outer frame, and reversing the colors of your opponent's tiles.
In the lounge, you can learn how to play Polarium via the tutorial, send the demo of Polarium to friends, and trade, at most, one hundred custom puzzles. Also, the settings menu is accessible from the Lounge.
Polarium instruction manual and game