It’s no great secret that I’m a big fan of indie developer Whitaker Trebella’s Polymer. Part Rubik’s Cube, part Lego, the game tickles both right brain and left brain alike. Besides which, Trebella is a great example of pluck and determination: he wanted to learn how to design a game…so he did! So while many are poring over the new releases in today’s App Store deluge, it’s the “update” section of my iPad that has me excited.
Released today, Polymer 2.0 is a lot more than your average “slight bug fixes” affair. First and foremost, it adds the universal support so many of us iPad-owning players were craving as we shifted molecules on a sadly stretched screen. According to Trebella, the process involved “a good amount of tedious tweaking,” but like he says, it’s “so satisfying dragging the huge pieces around!” For those who perhaps let the game fall by the wayside, now is a great time to think about revisiting, as the new resolution truly does add new life.
Speaking of longevity, Trebella’s update infuses the game with a new multiplayer mode, which can be played with anywhere between two and four players. The gist? You’ll compete in a timed hybrid of the game’s “Two Minute” mode and its more thoughtful “One Polymer” mode. Whoever makes a polymer of the highest point value (based on the same starting position) wins. Though, as Trebella warns, it’s important to keep your eye on the clock: “it’s quite easy to get a great Polymer going then run out of time before you can complete it.”
In addition to these more major updates, Trebella has added a slew of little tweaks that take into account player feedback, and offer some more cosmetic goodies. Inspired by college sports, Polymer 2.0 offers players a “Big Ten” pack for $1.99, which contain colour schemes tied to teams like the Michigan Wolverines and the Indiana Hoosiers. Functionally speaking, the game now has both five and ten minute modes for those looking to strike a balance between “One Polymer” and its daunting endlessness, and “Two Minute” mode’s high pressure action. And across all modes, players will now be able to “long press” on a formed polymer, see its point value as assembled, and decide whether or not they want to pop it, or keep on building!
These are the kind of updates that continue to sell me on the brilliance of mobile. Trebella has essentially provided players with an entire game’s worth of new content for free, and made good on the type of experience he wanted to craft in the first place. Polymer came highly recommended before, but now? You’d be crazy not to get it.