Friday, February 12, 2010

Video game number forty: Polar Panic

Game review number forty in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Polar Panic".

Have you ever wanted to be a bear? I know I have.

I don't have any data on this, but I'm almost certain that video games that allow you to be a bear are going to be the next big thing. I haven't been a bear in a video game since "Open Season" a few years ago, and that one didn't really count because you spent large portions of the game NOT being a bear. Same deal with Banjo-Kazooie...where you spend half of the game as a bird.

Polar Panic allows you to be a bear...all the time.

You are a bear named "Polar" (ha) and your mission is to rescue your trapped family members from cages protected by evil bear trappers. It's an interesting concept so far. Unfortunately, instead of mauling the hunters to death with your giant claws, or using your brute force to crush them....apparently, the developers thought it would be more fun to have you push ice blocks around.

Yes, that's right..."Polar Panic" is a puzzle game. For kids.

Polar is a smiling, cartoonish polar bear who resembles the star of the Coca-Cola ads. His family has been captured and he must traverse various levels, fighting hunters...until the final showdown on an oil rig. The hunters chasing you have guns, you have blocks of ice, which you can push around a grid. It's a little like Bomberman (if Bomberman was a lot less entertaining than it is). Once you've managed to push ice blocks into all the hunters on a stage, you get to go to the next stage and do it again.

There are 5 chapters with 10 stages each in the Story mode. Then there's a puzzle mode which is even harder. I made it through the first chapter and part of the second, before realizing that this was not the sort of bear I was hoping to be.

Overall: 4/10. It's fun for a few minutes...and that's about it.
Play the trial and you'll get the idea.

Here is the achievement I got, for not dying on the first chapter. There are plenty of other easy achievements to grab, but I don't want them. :-)


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