“The universe’s most simplified version of ‘N’….and just as hard”
The Impossible Game is a twitch-platformer: nothing but perfect reflexes will see you to the end of the level. Unlike more complex platformers, The Impossible Game is played with a single button – “Jump.” The game automatically scrolls the new obstacles in for you to overcome, so the player need only concern themselves with timing. If this sounds like an easy cakewalk, dream on.
The Impossible Game is a fantastically frustrating experience in platforming. Not since screwing up miserably at various levels in Trials or N+, over in XBLA, have I had such pleasure in failure. The difficulty is appropriately nightmarish, though not actually “impossible”, and the game even comes with a practice mode, allowing you to tackle the game’s challenges bit-by-bit, albeit without the promise of unlocking the trophies awarded for actually beating the game. Of course, you’ll quickly be sucked into the maddeningly addictive gameplay, and the trophies will no doubt come in time as you sink hour after hour into the deceptively enjoyable platformer.
Artistically, The Impossible Game decided to go with a “less is more” approach, and I believe that it has paid off. Minimalistic geometry puts the focus on skill and timing, and I would be gobsmacked to hear that they didn’t at least take some inspiration from the like-designed artstyle of N. The sound effects are pleasingly retro, and thankfully non-intrusive (when you die, and you will die, by the hundreds, it is important not to get too annoyed by the background effects!)
I suppose if I had to gripe, I would lament the fact that the gameplay IS so simplistic. It would be enjoyable to have multiplayer, with different-coloured cubes flailing around in a race, or to have some method of leaderboard ranking, but I suppose that based on how the game is designed, everyone would have exactly the same time for a successful run.
The Impossible Game takes itself to minimalistic heights – gameplay is concentrated to focus only on your mighty twitch reflex, graphics are simplified to be straightforward and identifiable, and the sound effects are suitably unobtrusive. Minimalism doesn’t stop there, however, as the price rolls in at a mere 80 MSpoints.
My final thought? Even The Impossible Game has to finish at some point, and I’m still addicted.
Game Score 8/10
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