Quick Thoughts On: Polarity

There’s a sad irony to how Polarity succeeds at being both bloated with ideas and creatively bankrupt.

Every few levels it throws out a new mechanic – binary colored platforms, rotating switches, color changing portals, to name a few – but it barely gives time to show how they function before it decides to move onto something new. The constant stream of introductions to tools that are barely utilized keeps Polarity from ever managing to create puzzles that provide any sort of challenge.

From the main campaign, to the coop levels, and even the bonus stages (which could have just as well been included with the other levels as they feel identical) every puzzle is agonizingly mundane and basic. Polarity mingles in tutorials from start to finish, as if testing my patience for repeating the same handful of puzzle types for hours on end, chuckling to itself at how cleverly it has hidden its simplicity by placing it within tediously large levels that have a habit of breaking halfway through and forcing you to restart.

The cooperative mode itself feels like almost a misnomer, allowing two players to go through levels together but rarely if ever requiring they work together, or even giving both players something to do. Often one of us would simply took over completing a puzzle while the other trailed behind waiting for their turn to help, with a few instances of actual cooperation being the sole highlight of the game.

There just doesn’t seem to be any point to Polarity. It exists for the sake of existing but in a post-Portal world and an increasingly crowded genre, it feels trite and uninspired. I could potentially see a lot of things from it being spun out into better games, but it’s hard to imagine that ever happening when what’s already here is so disinterested in moving forward.

"Quick Thoughts" is a subset of my normal reviews for smaller games which might not fit into a full review but I still have something to say about.
Polarity was developed by Bluebutton Games and is available on PC via Steam.

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