Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Polynomial update

It's been a while since I originally posted about Polynomial. When I posted that review, version 00c was the latest. Now it's up to version 00h. So naturally some stuff has changed.

Polynomial screenshots and a download link are here.

The game has improved vastly in the sound department, mostly due to the addition of background music. Also, when you kill an enemy and it drops a powerup, there's now a sound for that. It was fairly easy to tell before as the enemy explodes with a different pattern when it drops a powerup, but a sound cue always helps.

It feels more difficult as well. Enemies now have this red-colored projectile (at least I think it's a projectile, maybe it's a suicide enemy) that moves very fast and deals a lot of damage, but can be killed. Even while flying through the fractal it's possible to die if you can't dodge a barrage of them.

As your health gets lower, when you take damage there are video effects similar to those that happen when you die. It's nice to have a visual indicator of low health (in addition to the health bar), but my comment about an audible alarm still stands.

If the difficulty difference isn't apparent, I'll explain it this way. I used to be able to last an hour without dying. Typically at this point the game would be running at about 5 frames per second because it had spawned so many enemies. Those enemies would be locked in a never ending chain reaction of death. In the most recent version, I have yet to make it to this "late game".

With regards to what I said before about waiting for multiplayer, the developer is working on that. Honestly I'd drop the US$20 on it now If I had the money to spare. The Mio figure I preordered has been postponed to January :( Anyway, since full version updates are free and the developer's page basically says "hey, get it now, the price could go up *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*", and multiplayer is in the works.

The only thing I'd suggest is that if the free version gets the multiplayer as well, that it should be compatible with the full version and work over a LAN (i.e. have a mode that isn't dependent on having an internet connection for multiplayer). I've got MAGFest's LAN room on the mind here. If I've got the full version, but I put the free version on the network for people to grab, I'll want to be able to play with them. There's no guarantee that multiplayer will be ready before MAGFest 8 (which is less than a month away!), but, you know, just sayin'...

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