AROUND THE POLE
It's time for another WoS Challenge!

This reporter is heartily sick of Zoo Keeper, chums. On extended reflection, the pacing issues with Zoo Keeper mode and Tokoton mode are a little more serious than they first appeared, and netting the last few points to complete the former and unlock Super Hard mode is proving so gruelling and joyless that by the time your correspondent has done it in order to test his Time Attack abilities against the rest of the world, he's going to be so sick of the stupid game that he'll probably end up not bothering.

So, with Super Mario 64 completed and all the minigames unlocked, ditto Wario Ware Touched, and Feel The Magic XX/XY (aka Project Rub) being crippled by a monstrous, awful boss level near the end that's just too horrible to persist with, it's been the fabulous monochrome puzzler Polarium (nee Chokkan Hitofude, or what would have been the much nicer English name One-Line Puzzle) that's been occupying most of this reporter's DS time. In common with many recent Nintendo releases it's disappointingly flawed in several careless, needless ways, but fortunately this time none of them get in the way of the game.

No. 1

JET SET MINER

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This one, clearly, is a tribute to Mr. J. S. Willy from the famed Manic Miner sequel.

WOS CHALLENGE POINTS: 1

The best thing about Polarium is the existence (if not the actual implementation) of Edit mode, which enables you to create your own puzzles, download them from someone else's DS, or make them by entering codes. This feature showcases 10 of your correspondent's own creations, most of them never seen before. Woo!

No. 2

BESTWORLD

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The evil-but-dumb robots from Berserk take a trip to the Wild West movie theme park to try their luck with Yul Brynner.

WOS CHALLENGE POINTS: 1

Obviously, by far the easiest way to take part in the WoS Polarium Challenge is to own a DS and a copy of the game, and type in the codes shown beside the pictures. However, the nature of the game is so simple that you don't need either of those things to have a go.

No. 3

CLAMP-MAN

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In his later years, Pac-Man desperately tried to recapture his youth by going a bit nu-metal and getting some lip piercings.

WOS CHALLENGE POINTS: 2

First, though, we'd probably better quickly explain the object of the game for those who aren't already familiar with it. The object is to solve each puzzle by making each horizontal line a single colour, either white or black. The entire puzzle DOESN'T have to be all one colour - it's an acceptable solution, for example, to have the top two lines of a puzzle all black, the next three all white, the next one black, and the last two white.
 

No. 4

DROP THE BOMB

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A Space Invader caught frozen at the exact moment it fires off a deadly missile headed for some poor sap's Laser Base.

WOS CHALLENGE POINTS: 2

You change the colours of the blocks by drawing a single continuous line across the puzzle. From a starting point of your choosing, you can move up, down, left or right, but not diagonally, and you can't cross over the line once you've started it. Any black or white square your line crosses flips colour, but you can move on the grey border blocks safely.
 

No. 5

WALL CRAWLER

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A composite of several characters from the games of hyper-legendary Japanese developers Treasure. Also Lode Runner.

WOS CHALLENGE POINTS: 2

If you fancy having a try but can't be bothered forking out 120 for a DS and a copy of the game, you can do it using nothing more complex than a paint program.  Firstly, right-click on the puzzle diagrams on this page, select "Copy", then paste them into your paint prog.
 

No. 6

CHEQUERED FLAG

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Remembering the Gran Turismo of its day, Psion's opponentless, correctly-spelt Formula One racer for the Spectrum.

WOS CHALLENGE POINTS: 3

The easiest way to attempt the puzzles is then to simply use a thin red "paintbrush" and draw across the picture. You'll have to keep track of which squares are which mentally, but it's not too hard, once you've got the hang of it, to see when a line's all one colour.
 

No. 7

STRETCH SPACESTRONG

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Later invading alien armies from space cunningly equipped their lower ranks with fork-lift attachments to simply hoist the player's defence bunkers clean off.

WOS CHALLENGE POINTS: 3

Once you've drawn what you think is a winning line, you can always go along it using your paint prog's "Fill" function to check, by filling in each square in the appropriate colour. (Set "fill tolerance" to the lowest possible setting to avoid problems with the white squares.)
 

No. 8

CAN I KICK IT?

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Inspired by your reporter's experiences with the recent port of the mighty Sensible Soccer to various mobile-phone platforms, prompting the response "No, you can't".

WOS CHALLENGE POINTS: 4

Alternatively, a slower but clearer method is to download these two blocks, and paste those into the paint prog too. Copy/paste the appropriate one over each square as you go, and the handy red Xs will show you where the line has already been and where you can't cross.
 

No. 9

SUPER ROTATION

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Satire, believe it or not. This is themed on the newer versions of Tetris, where the daft "super-rotation" rules would actually allow the T-shaped piece at top right to be moved into the gap at bottom right.

WOS CHALLENGE POINTS: 4

You'd hope that someone somewhere would have written a little Flash app by now that would enable the easy playing of custom-made puzzles like this, but your correspondent's been unable to locate one until now. If you know otherwise, don't hesitate to share the knowledge with WoS and we can all have endless fun and amusement.
 

No. 10

THE FINAL HURDLE

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No, one of Track And Field Guy's legs isn't longer than the other one. It's, um, perspective. Yes, that's it, perspective.

WOS CHALLENGE POINTS: 5

Well, maybe not "endless". But quite a lot of fun and amusement, anyway.
 

 

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