Experience the music in a new way. Feel it pulse around you. The Polynomial is a 3D space shooter with unique, fractal based scenery that animates to the music.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (362 reviews) - 75% of the 362 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010

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Buy The Polynomial

Buy The Polynomial 1&2 BUNDLE (?)

Includes 2 items: The Polynomial, Polynomial 2

 

Reviews

“I could easily look at this game all day”
GiantBomb

“...the prettiest screenshots in the world.”
RockPaperShotgun

“This is less a game and more of synapse-melting visualisation experience, where you stare into the alluring psychedelic void of possibilities, never quite sure where you're going or whether you'll ever come back.”
7/10 – Eurogamer

Polynomial 2 released!



Polynomial 2
released on Early Access.

About This 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.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (362 reviews)
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301 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
81 of 85 people (95%) found this review helpful
19 people found this review funny
Recommended
16.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 23, 2014
I do NOT recommend this game to discerning gamers. I HIGHLY recommend this game to someone who is looking for a cool thing to have on one's LED Projector wallscreen while playing phat beats or haunting melodies from one's "altered states of consciousness special music" folder.
I use Winamp's milkdrop for the beginning of the party, and then when guests are looking to relax and play simple mindless no-consequence gaming in the smoking room we switch to the Polynomial and the music never skips a beat.
Also, I understand the game does get more challenging when you crank up the difficulty, and that's the only way to get the higher level achievements, but I don't use this game for gaming.

The game mechanics are great. You fire your inobtrusive, silent weapon and attempt to hit an enemy this is often impossibly far away, carefully compensating for the great distance by projecting the target's trajectory in your imagination. That's hard to do, so this game is a challenge.

Its best features are the silent weapons fire and the silent seamless transition from getting silently shot to death by nazi robots to silently respawning; your music won't skip a beat, so people in the next room won't go, "Hey, what happened to the music!?"

Also, this game may cause people on drugs to stop talking and stare for a long time. Get an LED projector is my point.

On a side note, have any of you other reviewers actually done acid? This game will not cause you to become every person who has ever lived, so it does not feel like an acid trip. That being said, you should smoke the stuff that was recently legalized in your state before playing
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58 of 60 people (97%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 17
- 'Be your own DJ.' -

The Polynomial catapults you into a space arena, with colorful stars and lights illuminating your endless surroundings.
Controlling your own little spaceship, shooting 'enemy' objectives and gather power-up items makes it feel like an all classic space-shooter game.
It’s more a case of floating around, attacking anything that comes in your direction, exploring the intriguing and trippy world.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=602627619
Customize your own playlists while navigating along gorgeous environments, tweaking the settings to the style of music, flying around and listening to your favorite songs.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=567639290
The editor mode gives you plenty of freedom to mess around on over 30 custom designed maps, by changing the fov or adding post processing effects to your game.
The developer did a beautiful job, making the game analyzing your music and syncing it to their individual beat, starting from simple classic, jazz or dubstep and R&B.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=602630634
+Visually refreshing and unique game.
+Easy gameplay with lots of graphical options and customizable playlists.

The only downside, after a while it'll appear to be the same over and over once you've gone through all maps.

Verdict:
Overall, I had a great time exploring and enjoying playing with my own music. The flashing lighting effects can be trippy for the eye, so not an 'everybody's' game with the massive amount of crazy color particles on screen.
I still recommend anybody to give it a try!


8/10
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39 of 43 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2013
The Polynomial is a trip. Though there is a game hidden here, one that would most easily be described as an aerial combat shooter, a more appropriate term would be "sensory experience". I spent the majority of my time doing nothing more than floating through an endless space, with equal amounts of awe at what was happening before me and curiosity over how certain songs would be represented within the game or how tweaking different settings might transfigure the sky around me (virtually everything can be edited to you liking).

The neon light show of particles and bloom effects is by itself mesmerizing to look at, but when pared with the proper music it becomes something truly breathtaking. The song playing in the background directly influences how the visualization looks and behaves, and when they mesh together it creates something that is impossible to describe with simple words, nor one screenshots can do any justice.

The Polynomial has limited appeal to be sure, and after the initial novelty staying power is put into question, but regardless I can't help but urge those even partially interested to give it a few minutes of their time. It is truly unlike anything I've ever played, and something that really must be experienced first hand to comprehend its artistry.
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31 of 32 people (97%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
Load up your favourite tracks, sit back and enjoy the strangely trippy yet relaxing experience that is Polynomial.

Don't expect any story, or in depth mechanics from this title. You're essentially a floating entity in space that shoots giant cannon balls that look like a cross between Pac-Man and Bullet from Mario. You can collect power ups along the way that do a small upgrade for a short amount of time, however I didn't really feel any difference.

There are other games out there that offer a similar but more frantic experience to Polynomial, however I think Polynomial might be the only one that offers the chilled/relaxed angle on the musicially generated action genre.

In short, Polynomial isn't really a game, but an app that you can casually relax in while you listen to some of your favourite songs.
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89 of 135 people (66%) found this review helpful
29 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: September 22, 2011
forgettable characters
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
44 of 59 people (75%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 22, 2014
screensaver simulator
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
22 of 23 people (96%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
This is a brilliant music-based game. Beautiful artwork interspersed with game-play you can choose intensity level on. My favorite is listening to some very chill electronic music and fly around while I trip on my substance of choice. Very recommend much amazing!
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23 of 25 people (92%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
208.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
Ok, here's how to get the most out of the game.

1. Turn off the enemies.
2. Turn off the hud (press H 2 or three times).
2. Switch the "map" every so often manually if the song that's playing isn't spectacularly visualized.
3. Screw around with the settings (beat/melody) for each song/map to see if you can optimize the experience. You have to be creative and experimental.
4. Add your own music once you get the hang of it.
5. Use this as a christmas card for a loved one. The "Christmas" map goes with "Jingle."
6. If you stay still, it looks like the little friendly beings are crawling across your screen.
7. Try and find a good view which includes the "Sun" and most of the particle effects. Stay still for a bit.
8. Try and "dance" to the music by moving along the particle effects, kinda like surfing on soundwaves.
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16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
The Polynomial is great: when high. Seriously, I'm not even gonna lie about it. The visuals are spectacular. Fractal-based landscapes with blazing colours and a handful of presets to change up the mood. As for gameplay, it is simple. You've got allies that look as if they've just arrive from a different plane of existence (the Ancients of Stargate SG-1 come to mind), and enemies that look like pacman. You kill your enemies with a dual gun. But WHILE doing that, you've got some stoner metal blazing in the background, and a visual spectacle that anybody on a good high can appreciate. When this is on sale, I recommend you buy it.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2013
Oh my! Oh my, oh my! That is really all I can say for this game. It is absolutely beautiful. Depending on the music you put with it, it can be relaxing, hectic, chaotic, blissful...anything! If you do not own this game, GET IT NOW! Might I recommend using the song called 'Promise' from Thomas Bergersen's 'Illusions'.
Honestly this is a rival for audiosurf and in many ways more than a match for it! I cannot recommend this enough!
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Recently Posted
1313Q
4.7 hrs
Posted: September 18
Make's great use of procedural generation based off of [any] music. Don't get it for depth of game-play, get it as a game to relax to and enjoy the graphics of.

Great for when you have recently tried some kind of sacred herbs or fungi.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
bigfooty
0.3 hrs
Posted: August 9
What... did I... just experience? My goodness that was fun! This isn't for everyone but is quite honestly like playing a space simulator combat simulator if you lived in Tron. Freaking amazing!!! Have only just started playing but I can tell this is going to be awesome. I see there is another one out there... sweet!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kamarae
0.9 hrs
Posted: August 9
Product received for free
Probably one of the most chill and relaxing games Ive played in a long time. I got caught up most of my time just cruising around and enjoying how my music (Alestorm :D) effected the scenery. The settings are pretty easy to tweak so you can make increase or decrease the effect your music has on the background. My favorite was the Christmas tree one with the snowflakes. Also, no worries if you dont have any of your own music to use, the game comes with a built in soundtrack thats about an hour or so long. I tested a few songs and the tracks I tried out were pretty well made for the game.

Basically, you are some sort of entity flying around space shooting gray pacmans with teeth, helping little ghost allies, and finding upgrades. Its nothing too overly complicated, and if you die it just restarts you. If youre after achievements (soon I plan on trying to work on them), youll need to increase the difficulty to increase the amount of bad guys that spawn. If youre just looking to cruise around to some music, I recommend leaving the difficulty on easy and just enjoying it.

Combat isnt too complicated. Theres a zoom button, and some power ups to fly through, but there isnt any upgrading or anything like that.

I didnt find any bugs or crashes and the game ran smoothly

Overall, Id recommend it. It sort of reminds me of the old Winamp visualizations and what Id imagine would happen if you could make a game out of them. Its an extremely relaxing and chill experience of a game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
allJellyNOtoast
0.5 hrs
Posted: July 31
I got lost for a while, After baking this surely makes for some tasty dessert...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Splitforces
1.1 hrs
Posted: July 30
I could not for the life of me figure out this game. Different settings, run around shooting other various shapes that shoot back at me. It's interesting at a glance but did not keep me hooked.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ΩCheshireSH̶R̴̷O̶OMॐ
3.2 hrs
Posted: July 11
Mesmerizing fractals but obtuse controls. You can load your own music playlists into this.
Also recommended by Psychonautic Gaming Collective
Helpful? Yes No Funny
picollo71
5.2 hrs
Posted: June 9
1. Change your sound settings so that the sound input captures your sound output.
2. Imbibe your favorite mind altering substance(s) of choice.
3. Play SomaFM or your favorite dubstep psytrance vaporwave whatever
4. Turn up all the grafix!
5. Transcend this plane of existence to nirvana.

FULL OF STARS/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shadowrunner
0.5 hrs
Posted: May 24
Yep, it's a wallpaper generator lacking actual gameplay, but damn, the visuals are simply mesmerizing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
nmflanders
9.9 hrs
Posted: May 23
I bought this game for the visualization and exploration, not the actual shooter. This is great for just floating through space enjoying the trippy visuals reacting with your music. The 3d shooter is alright, but never really grabbed my attention. There are TONS of options to adjust the visual and audio experience. I just turn off all enemies, hide the on-screen HUD and enjoy the view!

I know its been almost 6 years since the release date but adding support for the Oculus Rift and Vive would be amazing!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dyne
0.3 hrs
Posted: May 6
A lot of the positive reviews seem to be from people who are blown away by late 90's winamp visualizations. If that's what you're into, this is for you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny