Playing Polara is a bit like rubbing your tummy while patting your head, except if you get confused and start rubbing your head by mistake you'll fall face-first into a deadly laser and die.

So the stakes are slightly higher. But that's what you'd expect if you just nicked a super-secret military suit, busted out of a research facility, and started escaping into the city. Deadly lasers are par for the course in that situation.

Roses are red

That's the plight of Lara, who stars in an endless-runner where tapping one side of the screen makes her jump and tapping the other causes her exoskeleton to swap from blue to red.

Which is handy, as she can pass through blue lasers while she's blue, and red while red. And she can bounce on blue springboards while blue, ride red conveyer belts while red, shrug off blue bullets while blue, and stand on red platforms while red.

In each of the game's 50-odd stages you'll barrel through a series of jumps, lasers, and obstacles, which require you to swap colours at a moment's notice.

Polara is not a one-trick pony, by the way. It's a simple concept, sure, but the developer puts so many fresh spins on it we're surprised it doesn't get motion sickness.

Violets are blue

And the game is also tough. As with the head-pat-tummy-rub game it's easy to mess up, and getting every colour-swap right is a real test of your mental fortitude.

It's just a shame that the game is so forgiving. There's no limit on the number of times you can die before finishing a stage, and it's very generous with checkpoints. This deprives the game of all-important tension.

That being said, Polara is still a lot of fun. The colour-swap feature is a clever concept (as it was in Ikaruga and Outland), and it works especially well in an auto-runner.

It doesn't look great, and the story is B-movie bad, but the addictive thrills of leaping through lasers while changing colours will easily carry you through the entire game.

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