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Cart [#52181#] | Copy | Code | 2018-04-30 | Link

Hey! This is my first Pico-8 game, a clone of the DS game Polarium. It's pretty much feature complete, except that I plan to add some rudimentary music and sfx (and perhaps some more flashy animations).

The code is pretty bad, hacky and unoptimized. I don't really know what I'm doing! I'll probably store levels as something else than nested tables of 0s and 1s, since that takes up almost all the tokens, but to get it up and running I just did it like this. If I do that I might manage to squeeze in levels from the GBA sequel too.

The title screen uses a tile-based version of DrPete's fizzlefade implementation!

P#51985 2018-04-25 04:11 ( Edited 2018-05-11 13:04)

:: Bugs

I've already had a few bug reports:

  • Movement doesn't work on mobile. I changed how I detect direction to disallow diagonal movement, which seems to work great on PC and web, but not on mobile for some reason. Any input welcome. The way I do it now is probably dumb. Seems to be fixed, but let me know if there are problems. Movement seems to act differently in the mobile player; for example, moving diagonally on mobile seems to move in a "staircase" movement now, while on PC/web nothing happens.
  • Completing levels that are multiples of 10 does not update the completion status Fixed
  • Completing a stroke that does not flip any tiles (ie. it only covers the gray border) does not correctly reach a win/fail state (must use the pause menu to return to level select) Fixed
P#51991 2018-04-25 06:34 ( Edited 2018-04-25 08:09)


This is pretty cool, I don't really remember the original very well so I can't say how it compares, but it seems well put together, congrats.

P#51995 2018-04-25 08:12


Awesome work!

Took me a second to figure out what I was doing on level 1. Once I got to level 13, it seemed impossible. Up until that point, the levels were all solvable by making the entire board a single color.

I Googled some Polarium gameplay and watched how horizontal lines were cleared instead of the entire board.

Anyways, it may help to have an early easy/small puzzle that cannot be solved by making the board a single color. Something like:


Which can be solved by a single vertical line.

Anyways, looking at the instructions, I see that they're pretty clear on this point :) I just didn't parse it on my first read through.

P#51999 2018-04-25 09:34 ( Edited 2018-04-25 09:35)



  • After completing a level, increment the selected level to the next incomplete one (I kept navigating back to the level I had just completed)
P#52000 2018-04-25 09:37


Thanks for the suggestions!

The game is pretty close to the original, and most of the levels are from that game too. I'm trying to make some levels of my own, but I wanted to upload the game now and making 100 (or some large number) of good levels takes time, hehe. That would probably mean I should invalidate the save though.

I'll at least swap out one of the early easy levels with one that can't be solved with one color!

I'm not sure if automatically moving the cursor to the next incomplete level will be confusing or not, especially if someone has completed many of the inbetween levels, but I'll think about it.

I'll at least add the level number to the playing screen so you know where you are at all times, and also an indicator saying if it's already completed or not. Some cues like that would probably be nice.

P#52002 2018-04-25 10:11


@trevorade Thanks again for the suggestions, I've now implemented all of them in some way. Changelog:

  • Level 4 has been replaced by a checkerboard patterned level
  • The current level number is displayed while playing, as well as whether you have already completed the level
  • After completing a level, you can choose between going back to level select (which does not increment the selected level) and going directly to the next unsolved level. This seemed like a compromise that wouldn't confuse anyone. I just kept it simple: It will only go forward, not backwards. So if you have completed all subsequent levels, it will only let you go back to level select, even if you have an incomplete earlier level. I assume this functionality has introduced new bugs.
P#52084 2018-04-27 17:51 ( Edited 2018-04-27 18:18)


I like the changes!

Have you thought about music and sound effects?

P#52101 2018-04-28 09:33


Yes, but I've never made sound before. If I put music in it'll be the original's weird electronica I think.

P#52107 2018-04-28 13:51


Is level 100 posible?

P#52617 2018-05-11 12:27

:: Level 100 hint

@Chodot: Yes. Here's a pretty big hint, this is how the cleared level looks like (what lines should be black and which should be white):

P#52618 2018-05-11 13:04

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