If you've been holding off on picking up Polymer [$1.99] despite our praise for it, you might want to reevaluate. It just hit 2.0, and with that change of version numbers comes some pretty big changes. Namely universal support and mutiplayer. Cue a chorus of "finally" from all you iPad-owning puzzle fans.

This is universal support done right, by the way. Not only does it have Retina support (and looks quite yummy for it), it also has iCloud syncing. Full disclosure, though—that syncing totally isn't working for us. It sounds like it is for most people, and if it works it will bring over your high scores and unlocks. So that's pretty rad. Of course, if you took the cheater's route and bought your unlocks last time around, you can just restore purchases on any other device. The benefits of taking the easy way out are manyfold.

Multiplayer is pretty much head-to-head One Polymer mode. As with that mode, the goal is to create the biggest single polymer you can. The only difference is a two minute timer that keeps your opponents from taking, say, an hour to build their masterpiece. You play simultaneously on matching boards with up to three other people through Game Center, and, of course, the biggest polymer wins. It's a good mode, and it makes me think a head-to-head points rush could be great fun too.

There are a handful of smaller changes to round things out. Two minute mode now has five and ten minute variations, each with its own leaderboard. There's a new IAP theme back available which has all the team colors from the Big Ten Conference, because nothing goes together like puzzle games and college football.

Aside from some slight UI and icon changes, there is one more update—a tiny one really, but it makes a huge difference. You can now long press a completed polymer to see its score before destroying it. In most of the modes this isn't the biggest deal. You really don't want to fuss about getting the perfect polymer when you're working on the timers of the Two Minutes or Bombs modes. But for multiplayer and One Polymer mode, this is a fantastic change. No more guess work when trying to figure out if I've beaten my last high score? Yeah, I'm in.

If you're a Polymer fan whose interest has lapsed, you're definitely going to want to check this update out. Multiplayer is a huge addition to the fun, and the other changes just add to what was already a pretty great little game. And if you've been holding out, this is the time to get on board. Polymer has really hit its stride with this one.

  • http://wondroushippo.com Carter Dotson

    Surprisingly, iCloud sync worked for me initially. The dev recommends leaving the app open for a couple of minutes to let the data properly upload, then it should all sync properly. Worked for me.

  • dibdib

    I don't know why I ever bought a Rubik's cube.

    There's something compelling about the prospect of solving them.  And one can't help but admire the guy who invented it.  The novelty and mechanics of the device seem like such great ideas.  But then you sit down with it, and suddenly realize it isn't very much fun, and it gets set aside again.

    That's how I feel about Polymer.  It _seems_ like a really great idea.  And I love the polish in the app.  I don't know if he outsourced it to a pro or did this single handed, but the menus look amazing.

    But then I played it, and it's like a two dimensional Rubik's cube.  And every bit as entertaining as that sounds.  I sat down thinking "I'm going to come up with some great solution for it".  A couple minutes later, I just wanted to end it and settled for maybe ten or eleven units.  Whatever it took to stop.  Then I uninstalled it, and cannot conceive of ever wanting to come back.  Exactly like that dusty Rubik's cube.

    I still like the idea.  It's the sort of thing I'd like to see get ripped off by Popcap or Pogo.  I think they could apply their casual appeal and turn this into something fun, like adding bonuses to the board, wildcards, or maybe tweaking the mechanic so it plays something like Meteos and we're shifting units of three blocks instead of an entire row/column.  Whatever that would look like, Polymer isn't it.