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Upcoming ‘Polara’ is an Auto-runner with an ‘Ikaruga’ Vibe

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) 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.