Roller Polar is the marriage of twitchy arcade and endless runner, and it is the combination of simple one-hand controls and notoriously challenging game mechanics. After a series of quick failure early on, you know this is a handy game for self-torture where you will fail countless times and still come back trying to do better.
Roller Polar is about a polar bear that rides a snowball down the mountain, just like what you sometimes see from the cartoon. But it definitely needs your help to avoid being tripped by a lot hitch-hikers. You see, as the snowball rolls down, everything in its path from rocks & trucks to living animals are half-wrapped into it and rolling together. It takes at least one circle for these unwilling hitch-hikers to get away. And the poor bear can rely on nothing but its timely jumps to avoid them and stay alive.
In-game controls are simple. Tap once to hop and tap twice consecutively to perform a higher backflip. To hop or jump higher depends on the size of the upcoming hazards. Small wildlife like penguins and squirrels as well as rocks is easy to hop over, while the tall things like deer, snowmen and Christmas trees requires a quick twice tap to dodge. If you step over or get hit by any of them, you fail and have to start over. The game goal is to jump over as many hazards as possible and keep breaking your own record.
Hazards also vary from each other in the way they go. Not only do large things require higher jump, they are also more difficult to get rid of. Take the snowman for example. You have to dodge it three times, first a whole body, then a bust and at last its hat, once it is caught up in the snowball. Other than barriers on the ground, you really need to watch for the bloody birds that are adept at catching you off-guard. When you are pleased at your perfect dodge of that pair of elk antlers, that bird comes from nowhere to knock you off. And the similar failure will happen more often than you think, too frequent to let you force the idea of “jumping over that bird” into a habit. Then, guess what? You may even jump right into it, because that bird shifts to a higher height sometimes.
Roller Polar is progressively difficult. And switching to a new snowball is just the watershed. At certain point, you have to rid of your old ride and hop into a new one to survive the collision. Greater challenge awaits. The snowball rolls faster and the hazards become more clustered. Instead of one barrier each time, you have to time you hops and back-flips perfectly to dodge four rocks as a cluster or a squirrel adjoining a tree. There are no power-ups or special abilities to use. Just jump and jump at perfect timing.
Roller Polar can be played completely for free. You can pay a small amount of cash to get rid of the adverts that pop up at times between you failures. Its challenging jumps, beautiful pixel art and vivid soundtrack all come together nicely. It is a great time-waster that you can play for a long time.