Nintendo has filed European trademarks for the terms \”Virtual Boy\” and \”Polarium.\” Companies regularly reserve names just to be safe, so this isn\’t necessarily an indicator of what’s to come, but trademarks like these are still an interesting window into what Nintendo is thinking about.

Virtual Boy was Nintendo’s famously unsuccessful experiment with 3D gaming. It’s known as much for its ambition as its deep red tint and tendency to cause headaches.

But technology has made enormous leaps and bounds since 1995. 3D games are now more common than 2D, and Nintendo has more experience working with real-life 3D perspectives through the 3DS. The recent success of Oculus Rift also shows that people are now more open to the idea of virtual reality headpieces. Not to mention, the 20th anniversary of the Virtual Boy’s release is only a year away.

Polarium was a Nintendo DS game released in Europe in 2005. It involved flipping black and white tiles to create matching rows, enabling the player to defend against other tiles falling from the sky. The \”electronica soundtrack\” was also a selling point.

The object is to make room for tiles falling from the top screen by clearing rows of tiles below. You do this by flipping the tiles to make rows that are all black or all white.

Gray neutral tiles surround the playing area, so you can flip disconnected groups of tiles. The gray tiles are particularly helpful in Puzzle mode, where you’re challenged to eliminate all black or white tiles without lifting your stylus once. Polarium comes with 100 puzzles. You can also build your own custom puzzles and send them to a fellow night-clubber with a tap of the stylus.

The marketing is sort of weird – \”night-clubber,\” \”trippiest experience yet\” – but the gameplay makes it a good fit for either a sequel or a release on the Wii U’s DS Virtual Console.


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