I hate snowmen. Snowmen with their multi-tired bodies and stovepipe hats. Almost every run I have on Roller Polar is spoiled by their smug carrot-nosed faces.
Or by rocks. Or trees. Or those annoying birds that fly along nonchalantly and hit you in the face at the apex of your jump.
There's a decent case to be made for hating everything in this game. From the ball of snow you're struggling to stay on to the inept polar bear you're playing as.
This is cruel one-touch arcade action at its best, and it cements Nitrome as one of the finest exponents of that hateful genre.Snow dice
The game is all about staying on a giant ball of snow. It's rolling down a hill, picking up detritus as it rumbles along.
Those stones and trees swing round from behind you, and you need to leap over them. Clearing an obstacle bags you a point.
The key to success is learning the patterns you need to follow. Trees need a double jump, but if you start it too late you'll plough into the trunk.
Stones only need one jump, but if there's a tree behind them you'll need to double jump even earlier.
And then there are the snowmen. First you need to double jump to clear the complete creation, then leap again over the head, then finally hop over the hat.
All the while keeping an eye on other obstacles being sucked up by the inexorable march of the spherical avalanche.Snow blind
There's a lot of frustration here, but almost all of it stems from mistakes that you make. You miss a jump, fail to notice a bird, and your decent looking run comes to a teeth-grinding end.
It speaks of the brilliant simplicity of the experience that as soon as one catastrophe has played out, you'll leap back on the ball for your next go.Roller Polar is deliciously cruel, and its fast-paced failures and gorgeous graphics show that Nitrome really is a force to be reckoned with.