Now for the tasty bits of co-op you're clamoring for. Co-op works exactly like you would expect. Two players (local only) sit down, one with a keyboard, one with a gamepad or both with gamepads. Splitscreen lets you each explore parts of the level independently. Puzzles are solved by sending one player to activate/deactivate something while the other passes through. Swap positions, get one of you to the button, unlock the exit. Congratulations, you've just cooperated! 15 co-op campaign levels were created just for multi play, and they're just as satisfying as the solo content. Shorter, but good for those times when you've got a buddy over and need something to show off.
If working together doesn't do the trick, Polarity comes with a special versus mode that pits you and your friend against each other. One arena, two sides. Each player has a mean green laser to jump across along with a colored cube to obtain. Grab it, then try tossing it under the barrier to the goal in your opponent's field. It's a bit like goalie vs. goalie soccer, but it's a riot. Flesh this part of the game out and it could easily be made into Polarity party mode. Gather the friends together, let's toss the ole cube around.
Even though it offers two multiplayer modes, Polarity still feels like a single player game with a co-op campaign, something a few other first person puzzle games managed to avoid. Maybe it's the number of levels compared between the two or maybe it's just the unfortunate restriction of local splitscreen, but two player just doesn't match up with solo mode. It doesn't ring of something thrown in at the last minute, of course, as the puzzles and levels are just as interesting as the regular campaign.
Polarity supports both gamepads and keyboards for solo play, but if you have a controller plugged in, the game mysteriously switches away from the keyboard whenever you visit the level select screen. It's an odd glitch that's easily avoided if you just, you know, don't go to the level select screen.
Polarity is predictable, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It doesn't seem derivative despite its obvious influences, either. The result is a short, simple and satisfying co-op and single player game that just kind of works. It's like when you've got an itch and reach down to scratch it. Sure, you could've hired someone to scratch it for you, that would be awesome. But moving your own hand down there and giving your skin a skritch or two got the job done.
Note: Polarity is also available for OUYA, Android and iOS. Those versions don't contain the co-op campaign, however.
The Co-Op Experience: Two players work through a series of polarity-changing co-op puzzle levels.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.