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Experience the music in a new way. Feel it pulse around you. The Polynomial is a 3D space shooter with unique, mathematical scenery that animates to the music. And this is not some boring mathematics. This is fractals.
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010
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Buy The Polynomial

$6.99

About the Game

Experience the music in a new way. Feel it pulse around you.

The Polynomial is a 3D space shooter with unique, mathematical scenery that animates to the music. And this is not some boring mathematics. This is fractals. There are worlds to explore, ugly enemies to kill, pretty allies to protect, bonuses to collect, and scores to beat (if you are into this sort of thing). It also includes arena editor and a non-shooting mode in which you can simply explore and rock out to your music. The game comes with 50 minute soundtrack; you can also import your music and playlists or even use the microphone input. There is a great variety of options that you can adjust for your own ultimate visual experience.

Key features:

  • Dynamic universe animated to music of your choice or microphone input.
  • 50 minutes of original soundtrack.
  • Unique 3D graphics and effects.
  • Highly configurable visuals, music, and image post-processing.
  • Full featured editable music playlist.
  • Support for anaglyph 3D glasses and the common 3DTV formats.
  • Joystick support.
  • Built in arena generator and editor.
  • 35 hand-picked arenas.
  • 4 music visualizers to choose from.
  • Innovative scoring function.

PC System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, 32 or 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 1.8GHz, AMD Athlon 2GHz, or better
    • Memory: 1GB
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® 7600 or better, ATI Radeon® HD 2000 series or better, with 256MB video memory (512 MB recommended). Intel HD cards may hang up or have very low framerate.
    • Video: OpenGL: 2.1 , GLSL: 1.2
    • Hard Drive: 100MB

Mac System Requirements

    • OS: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later. (10.5 is not supported)
    • Processor: Intel Mac 1.8GHz or better
    • Memory: 1GB
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® 7600 or better, ATI Radeon® HD 2000 series or better, with 256MB video memory (512 MB recommended). Intel HD cards may hang up or have very low framerate.
    • Video: OpenGL: 2.1 , GLSL: 1.2
    • Hard Drive: 100MB

Linux System Requirements

    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, fully updated
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 1.8GHz, AMD Athlon 2GHz, or better
    • Memory: 1GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® 7600 or better, ATI Radeon® HD 2000 series or better, with 256MB video memory (512 MB recommended). Intel HD cards may hang up or have very low framerate.
    • Hard Drive: 100MB
Helpful customer reviews
31 of 36 people (86%) found this review helpful
391 products in account
11 reviews
5.1 hrs on record
screensaver simulator
Posted: February 22nd, 2014
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
199 products in account
51 reviews
1.2 hrs on record
It's like a modern 3D Atari Space shooter with blinging lights that go with your custom music. Get the highest score possible and post it on Youtube for bragging rights if you want. In the end, it's all about challenging your high score and doing better than what you did in the past.
Posted: February 27th, 2014
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
115 products in account
29 reviews
5.3 hrs on record
This isn't a game to me, more of an interactive music visualizer in space. Quite a good one at that.
Posted: February 22nd, 2014
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10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
36 products in account
1 review
6.3 hrs on record
dude what
Posted: March 8th, 2014
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
1,121 products in account
80 reviews
0.4 hrs on record
My non-recommendation comes down to not that this is necessarily a bad product, but by most players standards, The Polynomial is hardly a game.

Load up the game and you're brought up to the first loaded game world and a menu to configure a variety of options. The "world" you are in immediately shows you a list of "what items does what" much like an old arcade game or a flash game, though, I had to load into the game and aim my camera around to read the entire menu. The game worlds have various fractal based visualizations which appear to be various streams of light created by colorful small orbs.

Before I go into the details of the game, while there are definitely available combat game mechanics, it feels more like a 3D Space Flight simulator edition of the visualizations you would see in something like WinAMP. The game is damn pretty and it is interesting for a little while to see how the steams and balls of light react to the music (including your own injected music). You fly around these visualizations much like a 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DOF) shooter like Descent or Retrovirus. Ghosts around the level can speed you up and heal some of your damage, while pac-man like chompers try to eat said ghosts and also shoot to kill you. You can also shoot in the same fashion in the form of a endless steam of blue orbs. It's week, but its infinite and perfectly accurrate with some bullet travel, so you need to lead targets sometimes. That appears to be the only way to harm these enemies. There are other items that protect you from damage, give you power ups like more speed and damage, and let you travel to other worlds and visulazations. The only true goal it seems to to see how high a score you can get in certain allotted time frames to be compared on the leaderboard. Strangely, the first time I played the game, I didn't have a HUD to show my kills, saves, points and etc on my first play, but on my second loading of the game, i saw a big list in the upper left hand corner of the screen - maybe I changed an option in error. Finally, you can also make and share your own levels by choosing from various Seeds a la Minecraft and messing with a multitude of visualizations and various options. The music you choose is in a separate menu for all players depending on what they imported, so I don't think it matters what music you "choose" for a level - the game is dependent on the music the player has (which there is some of in the game).

If you're expecting gameplay experience like Beat Hazard or Symphony, then you probably won't be entertained as I found the game the be quite boring and confusing and it felt like it was missing something. It feels as the game was meant to be a "interactive visulization" and the developer felt they had to add game mechanics to make it "playable". That said, it appears to be a potentially interesting way to "fly through your music" - I may give it another chance in easy modes just to "chillax" and soak in the visual experience, but I generally rather "play" my games. Though thanks to the indie scene, there are much more entertaining and rewarding "import your own music titles" from a pure gameplay perspective. However, as made obvious by the screenshots and video, the game is gorgeous.

This is probably best seen as a love letter to the fractal/math/demoscene/visualization community, so people of those types should potentially enjoy this. This game is a tough recommendation for core gamers and music lovers. I generally watch TotalBiscuits WTF videos of a game if I can find it, though for whatever reason I didn't look for one this time (and somewhat regret that). However, TB has made a video of this to give you an idea of what is going on.
Posted: August 5th, 2014
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62 of 70 people (89%) found this review helpful
146 products in account
120 reviews
0.2 hrs on record
forgettable characters
Posted: September 22nd, 2011
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