Let's just put aside for now the fact that Polar Rollout should really have been called Arctic Rollout.

While a puntastic nod to the godawful British desert of my youth would have been awesome, I'm willing to move on from my immense disappointment. Just give me a minute.

Instead, let's just focus on the game of Polar Rollout (psh), a simple line-drawing arcade game straight out of the old school.

Roll with it

If you ever played Kirby: Power Paintbrush on the Nintendo DS back in the day, or maybe its 2015 Wii U sequel Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, you'll be well familiar with Polar Rollout's premise.

The idea is to get a curiously ball-shaped creature to each level exit, hoovering up all the collectable fish along the way. In order to do so, you must draw out an ice path with your finger.

You only have limited time from when you start to draw to get your business done if you want a decent score, and you only have limited ice with which to do it.

It's a good job, then, that you can speed up our protagonist by pressing and holding the screen. This turbo boost also helps you to negotiate some of the elaborate loop-de-loops and jumps you will encounter.

There are also boosting mushrooms, destructible barriers, pineapple cannons, and temporary power-ups to consider.

Polar apposite

Polar Rollout reminded me a lot of the kind of games that were being released onto the App Store ten years ago. Part of that is down to its resurrection of the line-drawing mechanic, which used to be a popular sub-genre in the early days of smartphone gaming.

It's executed proficiently, with a tough but non-punitive time limit system that encourages replays in to win gold medals - the key to unlocking the next world.

Another reason Polar Rollout feels like a ten year old game is that it looks like one. It's got an awfully busy UI along the bottom of the screen that instantly sows confusion, and the kind of garish menus that may require an aspirin or three to recover from.

Meanwhile the game's visual style, while perfectly crisp and satisfactory, is the kind of simplistically cartoony fare that could just as easily have come from 2008 as 2018.

Polar Rollout, then, feels like a moderately enjoyable blast from the past. It's a decent if unspectacular line-drawing game that stands out way more today than, I suspect, it would have done back in the genre's heyday.