When you start up the first level of Polygonal Fury, from new developer DogInLake, you may get a feeling of déjà vu. For some reason (boomshine), it feels very familiar, but it's hard to (boomshine) put your finger on exactly what it's similar to (boomshine, boomshine, boomshine).
The basic premise of Polygonal Fury is straight out of Boomshine, and the first level will seem very familiar to veterans of that game: Simply click on a circle, and it will explode. Any circles that touch the explosion before it finishes also explode, and so on. You only have a few clicks to eliminate as many as possible, so pick your shots carefully.
As you continue onwards, however, you will note that Polygonal Fury has expanded on this simple concept. There are two additional shapes: squares zoom off in one of the four cardinal directions until they hit something and triangles fire a sniper shot, eliminating one random shape anywhere on the screen. After a couple levels, shapes gain hit points, so instead of triggering with a single click, explosion, ram, or shot, some will need to be hit twice. In later levels, some take as many as four.
It is, however, not all bad news. Each level has three levels of "complete". Bronze gets you to the next level, but is only worth one point. Silver requires more shapes to be cleared, but awards 3 points. And Gold is the best of all, giving you 5 points for clearing almost all of the shapes. Once you've collected some points, you can spend them on any of 11 different upgrades.
Each shape has three types of upgrade, one that improves the basic shape, one that adds "Super" versions of it, and one that gives the super shape a chance to be even more powerful. For instance, you can improve the explosion radius of circles, super circles have an even larger explosion, and upgrading the super circles gives them a chance to deal double damage. Arguably the most powerful upgrades, however, are the two click upgrades: Double damage and additional clicks.
Each upgrade (with the exception of double click damage) has multiple levels, each more expensive than the last. Adding a second point of damage to your triangles will cost you 15 points, but the third point is another 20, for a total of 35 points or 7 gold medals.to upgrade them fully. Fortunately, you can redo earlier levels to improve the medal you have, and if things get truly desperate, you can click Reset and reassign your points as you see fit.
Analysis: Polygonal Fury could have easily been another cheap Boomshine clone, but DogInLake clearly put some love into making it. The level balancing is simply amazing, with the challenges you are forced to meet increasing right alongside the abilities you've purchased so that you're challenged by each new level.
The three shapes are also surprisingly well-balanced. Each one plays a specific role in continuing the chain reaction, a role which is reinforced by the upgrades given to it. Circles are short range, hitting everything nearby and sustaining the reaction. Triangles handle long range, hitting a single shape with pinpoint accuracy and spreading the reaction to new areas. And squares are hybrids, moving in a straight line, able to hit one or more targets at any distance, if they are timed right. A few of the later levels completely lack one shape, and those are some of the hardest levels in the game, because all three types are indispensable, even with full upgrades.
The graphics and sound of Polygonal Fury probably won't be winning any awards, but they get the job done. There's also a rather half-hearted attempt at a story that feels tacked-on and is completely forgettable. And at times it's a royal pain to click on the shape you want to, between its motion and the bizarre tendency for a click to hit a shape beneath it instead.
Honestly, though, all of that is unimportant. Polygonal Fury is all about skill, difficulty, and upgrades, and it has those nailed. Everything else is minor quibbling, because it doesn't really get in the way, and the core gameplay is a blast.