|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Polarium[a] is a puzzle game developed by Mitchell Corporation for the Nintendo DS. It was a launch title in Japan, Europe and China. In the game, players use a stylus to draw lines on the DS's touch screen, flipping black and white tiles to clear puzzles.
Select tiles by drawing lines over them with the stylus. Selected tiles will flip from black to white or vice versa. In the standard Tetris-like challenge mode, players must make room for falling tiles by clearing rows as they pile up on the bottom screen. Rows are cleared by flipping the tiles to make rows that are all black or all white. Surrounding the main puzzle area are gray "neutral" tiles that have no effect on the puzzle but can be used to flip disconnected groups of tiles in a single pass. The scoring in Challenge and Versus mode are based on how the lines are cleared; for example, more points are given when more lines are cleared (lines), when numerous lines are cleared with just one stroke continuously (chains), when there are 2 separate lines cleared with uncleared lines between them (split), or when several lines are cleared in one stroke, but different lines have different polarities (borders).
- Challenge Blocks of tiles continually fall from above. Players must rapidly clear tiles by drawing lines to create horizontal rows of the same color. The game is over when the blocks of tiles reach the top of the top-screen. There are 10 levels, players advance one level for every 100 lines cleared. Each level begins with the level number drawn with the tiles, and ends with a row of pink tiles. When these pink tiles reach the bottom of the screen, the entire screen is cleared and a 10,000 point bonus is awarded. The lines that fall from the top in each level have characteristics distinct to that level. For instance, the first half of the first level consists of 3 line groups that can be cleared with one stroke.
- Practice Practice is similar to challenge mode, in that blocks continuously fill from the top. However, gameplay is limited to one level. Any level reached by the player in normal challenge mode can be played. There is no time limit, or penalty for not clearing the lines.
- High Scores Win or lose, if a player scores enough points, they are given a chance to draw a picture for their entry in the high score list. The player can view the icons, score, number of lines cleared for the top three scores from the challenge mode screen. Scores are also given grades, i.e. 1,758,865 points with 847 lines cleared is a A-.
- Puzzle: Players must figure out how to clear complex puzzles in one continuous stroke. Players are challenged to clear 100 included puzzles or create their own custom puzzles. Numerical passwords to these puzzles can be generated and swapped with friends. Once all the puzzles are cleared a smiley face appears on both screens, flipping from black to white with text announcing that all 100 puzzles, and the credits are unlocked.
- Versus: Compete against friends to clear puzzles. As lines are cleared, they'll appear on the foe's screen. Flip the opponent's tiles, earn power-ups, block their border tiles, and more.
- Lounge: The place to access tutorials, manage game preferences, and wirelessly sync with other players to exchange custom puzzles. Players can also view the credits once they have been unlocked.
Nintendo DS Download Play allows Nintendo DS owners who do not have a copy of Polarium to wirelessly download this demo version of the game to their system from a friend or kiosk.
- Tutorial: This is a quick introduction to Polarium. It is the same as in the full version.
- Puzzles: This mode includes ten sample puzzles. The first five of these puzzles, which spell out "PO[b] LA[c] RI[d] UM[e] DS" on the screen, are unique to the demo version.
- Versus: This mode is identical to the versus mode in the full game except that players must play against someone who owns a copy of Polarium (this feature doesn't exist in the Japanese version).
A Game Boy Advance version of Polarium, called Polarium Advance, was released in Japan, Europe and America. The game features almost four times as many puzzles as Polarium, as well as the removal of Challenge mode, and the addition of new tiles, among other gameplay tweaks.
Polarium received "average" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of one eight, one seven, and two eights for a total of 31 out of 40.
- GameSpot staff (July 27, 2005). "Polarium chillin' GBAs". GameSpot. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- "Polarium for DS Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- Edge staff (January 2005). "Chokkan Hitofude". Edge (145): 95.
- Reed, Kristan (March 22, 2005). "Polarium". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- "Famitsu Scores DS Launch Titles". Nerd Mentality. November 24, 2004. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- Helgeson, Matt (June 2005). "Polarium". Game Informer (146): 137. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- Gerstmann, Jeff (April 15, 2005). "Polarium Review". GameSpot. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- Theobald, Phil (April 18, 2005). "GameSpy: Polarium". GameSpy. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- David, Mike (April 29, 2005). "Polarium - NDS - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on December 29, 2008. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- Harris, Craig (April 15, 2005). "Polarium". IGN. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- "Polarium". Nintendo Power. 192: 95. June 2005.
- D'Aprile, Jason (May 9, 2005). "Polarium Review". X-Play. Archived from the original on December 2, 2005. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- Campbell, Craig (May 8, 2005). "'Polarium'". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on May 14, 2005. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- Hill, Jason (April 28, 2005). "Spectacular graphics". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved December 6, 2016.