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Polymer Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on May 3, 2012


Polymer
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Deceptively simple premise; easy to play, but challenging to master.
  • Competency rewarded with greater complexity and new modes of play.
  • Slick minimalistic visuals.

CONS

  • 'Bomb' mode feels counter-intuitive; screen clearing via small matches rubs against Polymer's style.

VERDICT

Polymer is that genius little puzzler you gladly wait a year for to find - elegant in its design and rock-hard in its puzzling execution, Polymer only has a handful of quirks holding it back and even then you'll be coming back for more.


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There's one form of puzzle that has always managed to stump me. Not because it's particularly difficult, but because I always find myself needing to re-learn all of the basics to make any progress. I am, of course, referring to the sliding-puzzle.

With this in mind, despite its reliance on sliding-puzzle mechanics, I find myself stabbing retry again and again in Whitaker Blackall's colorful puzzler, Polymer.

The premise is as simple as it gets: slide various open-ended shapes around until you can close the gaps, thus forming a 'polymer' that can be removed with a simple tap. Larger polymers naturally gain more points and repeat play is rewarded with additional pieces and gameplay modes unlocking.

Moving the various shapes up and across the screen is at first a mind-straining task, but soon you'll see large chains forming in your mind and forming on the screen just as fast. Various color schemes help to reduce eye-strain, or stain the game in a palette suited to your tastes, but in either case the game is gorgeous in its elegant design.

Three modes are on offer, with the first being unlocked automatically. 'Two Minutes' provides you with, well, two minutes on the clock to form as many Polymers as possible; large chains and 'combos' will net you the high scores you're after. 'One Polymer' tasks you with creating a singular polymer blob, giving you all the time in the world to do so. Lastly, 'Bomb' places miniature timers on various pieces and you'll need to clear them off the board to keep matching.

Pieces, color palettes and the additional modes can be unlocked via IAP, but there's no pressure to do so as most pieces unlock fast enough as it is.

Polymer is everything you could want in a puzzler short of some sort of direct competitive feature. A fine pick-up for those after more than your average three-match or physics flinger.

Screenshots

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