With all the shiny new DS games coming out, it would be a shame to overlook this "hidden gem" of the DS puzzle library. Polarium was the second DS puzzler I got after METEOS, and I liked it a WHOLE lot better (though not quite as much as my next game ZOOKEEPER) !
If you like TETRIS, well, Polarium is basically a kind of Tetris played with a stylus. First the bad news: if you demand flashy graphics and a rocking soundtrack, don't look here! Polarium is a brilliant little puzzle game but with no bells and whistles at all- no "picture" graphics, even abstract ones as in zookeeper. All you will see are Black and White squares. LOTS of B&W Squares. In "puzzle" mode the squares are often in recognizable patterns, but there's no denying that Polarium is bare-bones graphics, one step up from PONG. Music is relaxing, but only one simple theme. Sound effects are good.
The idea is VERY very simple. At the start you see a grid made up of squares-mostly in one color, either black or white (it changes from game to game), with alternate colored squares making up the numeral "1". Okay. Using the stylus you must-quickly, now! trace a long line around the "1" and then double tap to complete your line and change all the squares to one color. That done, they all vanish which is important because-like TETRIS-more square patterns (random this time) keep falling from the top every several seconds. If you fail to make all the bottom tiles dissapear, the third set of squares cannot appear and the game ends.
That's it! Just keep drawing those lines and clearing the squares and you can keep playing, but of course it gets faster and faster. Once the game ends, you can sign your name or draw anything you want in a box-there's room for 3 high scores. There is also a puzzle mode where the object is to clear all the odd colored tiles in ONE stroke. You can even make your own puzzles (some back issues of Nintendo Power have fan puzzles in them).
I know this must sound very boring, but so does TETRIS in description. You have to play this to appreciate it. Any complaints? Well, it would've been nice to have more than two colors. Playing with red/blue or green/yellow squares would add variety. Also, sometimes you lose because the darn stylus slips, especially when it gets fast. Yet, like Tetris, I am still playing this simple game over a year after it's release. It is very addicting and highly reccomended to puzzle players with a DS. Because it is an early DS game it may be hard to find now but this is well worth tracking down. P.S. Also, even though it is not "cute", female gamers seem to love this too. It would make a good gift for a puzzling fiancee!