Polarium review

With stylus in hand, NGC investigates DS' alternative to bubble-wrap...

Somebody recently said this puzzle game is 'like popping bubble-wrap,' which, despite being a quality attributed to practically every simple-but-addictive title, in this case isn't too shabby a description.

The aim is to flip black and white tiles to make horizontal lines of the same colour, thereby making them vanish and freeing some screen space for yet more black and white tiles. This is done by drawing a snaking line across them using the stylus.

To get the best score you have to draw a single huge line that will flip the tiles in exactly the right way to make an entire screenful disappear, accompanied by a nice popping sound. Like bubble-wrap.

There's a free space around the edge of the playing area, which must be exploited to link distant tiles, as the line can't cross over itself.

As more tiles queue to be dropped from the upper screen, you'll be tracing some intricate shape that looks too huge to understand, until with a tap of the stylus, everything vanishes and you earn a little more thinking time.

A separate puzzle mode offers static screens with unlimited time to contemplate fiendishly tricky logic problems, using the same rules as the main game. In fact, this bit's so hard, the game actually asks if you want to do the tutorial every time you start up.

Tough, but great value and worth the effort.

Polarium is lined up for an 11 March release for DS

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