We’re swimming in a sea of auto-runners on the iOS App Store, but it’s a genre that I still continue to enjoy and the glut of derivative titles actually makes the ones that do something different with the formula stand out from the pack.

That’s the feeling I get from Polara, an upcoming auto-runner from Kunundrum [$2.99 / Free] developer Hope This Works Games.

Polara takes place in a dark, dystopian future filled with plenty of neon highlights where you play as Agent Lara, a “defense system special agent, that finds herself between a massive world power and the sympathies of a rebel cause”. Yeah, we’ve seen that sort of thing before.

Where Polara mixes things up is in its polarity switching mechanic. As you run along through 50 story-based levels, you’ll need to constantly switch your color from red to blue and back in order to pass through the impediments of the same color. The popular shooter Ikaruga is probably the best known example of this mechanic, though it's been used in several titles over the years to good effect. It’s probably easiest to get an idea of Polara by watching this teaser video.

The dark world with bright neon highlights, the fight against world powers for the sake of humanity, the running and jumping through cleverly designed obstacle course-like levels: Polara definitely treads familiar ground, but the polarity switching really throws a wrench in the whole thing, and I'm surprised nobody had thought of it before. We’ll be sure to take a closer look at Polara when it hits the App Store, which should be in just a couple of weeks.

  • Doom

    This game is amazing and beautiful..the levels are designed by a mad genius and they get tough as nails. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a challenge..it is money well spent!
    Can't wait for October 10!

  • ImJPaul

    Such a blatant rip off of Outland. Just not as good. Boo.

    • http://twitter.com/oshimagun Duy Nguyen

      How is it a ripoff? Cause it's a 2d game with colour switching? That's like saying canabalt is a ripoff of mirror's edge. This game looks like a pure platformer whereas Outland is more like metroidvania. I think it's gonna be crazy fun!

      • ImJPaul

        I think that's a bit of a far cry. The 2d endless runner genre has been going on for a long time. Outland took plat forming to a whole new level. Name one other game that uses the color switching mechanic in a platformer like that?! It's even blatantly red and blue. But sure, ill give credit where it's due. They took Outland and turned it into a endless runner that looks impossibly hard.

      • http://twitter.com/RebornJeremiah Michael Surya

        You can say that about any other game, That's like saying that Halo is a rip off of Doom. I can't validate your statement considering that your comment to begin with is just " Such a blatant rip off of Outland. Just not as good. Boo.". Have you played the game to even make such statement? Why are you even here if that's what you think anyway. Stop trolling and go back to your cave.

      • metalsquid

        The color switch mechanic was not invented by Outland. It's nothing new. The minute I saw this trailer I immediately thought of an old flash game called Marvin Spectrum that appeared on Newgrounds circa 2005. Go check it out. It uses 4 colors you have to switch between, red, blue, green and purple, as well as three different moves, jump over, jump through and slide under, to pass through obstacles. I've always thought it was a great candidate for touch gaming so it's good to have more games exploring the concept.

      • jakooistra

        This website is such a ripoff of IGN. And the forums are a ripoff of NeoGAF! Ugh!


        And seriously? Outland = polara?? Are you on crack?

        I wanted to leave this comment alone... But the trolling is too strong in him... Give in to the trolling side...

    • http://twitter.com/jtr0nic Jon Chan

      Yeah, you're right. I can't stand these rip off games ... Like Outland ... Outland is such a rip off of Mario. They just gave him a sword and a gun... they even took the blue and red color scheme. But sure, I'll give credit where credit is due. They took Mario and turned it into a platformer with combat that looks impossibly dark.

      You're ridiculous.

    • http://twitter.com/Keyeszx Louis Wagner

      If this is a rip off of Outland then Outland is a ripoff of Ikaruga. But in all seriousness the only thing these three games have in common is the color switching to be invulnerable to attacks of the same color.

    • albinosalad

      Silhouette Mirage, a platforming game with a color switching mechanic, released on Sega Saturn in 1997. The aforementioned Ikaruga released in 2001. Bonus trivia: both games were made by Treasure. (Am I the only person on this site that is over 30?)

      Zynga's Dream Heights is a "blatant rip off". This is not.

  • Benjamin Rodriguez

    Did someone say Ikaruga? All I saw was that name, and I thought insta-buy. I mean to even have any thought of comparing it to Ikaruga, it has to be at the very least a good game.

  • http://twitter.com/Keyeszx Louis Wagner

    Ikaruga is that you?

  • albinosalad

    My point was that both mentioned games were released before Outland.

    Games borrow and adapt play mechanics. Calling every game that shares a similar mechanic as another game a ripoff devalues the word.