Impossible? No. Perhaps “The Incredibly Frustrating Game” is a more appropriate title. The Impossible Game has now made the jump to Android and is available free, for a limited time. Some might consider this to be the “minimalist’s game”. The simple art style combined with the most basic gameplay certainly supports that assertion. In The Impossible Game, you’re a square with one function: jumping. All you have to avoid is the triangles and the thicker black floor. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not exactly. This game relies heavily on accurate timing and an abundance of patients while you fight through this marathon of an obstacle course with no checkpoints; unless you’re in practice mode, that is.
The game couldn’t be more pick-up-and-play friendly. Even without the “how to play” page, most anyone could learn how to play just by simple trial and error. Touch the screen once, even by accident, and you’d learn how to jump. After hitting a triangle a few times, you could probably figure out those were something to avoid. From there, it’s just patients and more trial and error. The art design, although simple, doesn’t come off as bland; more than likely since you spend most of your time focusing intently on your actions. There’s also a “practice mode” which allows you to place checkpoints at will throughout the level, however to truly complete the game, each level needs to be done in one run through, completely unassisted by checkpoints.
The developer suggests you listen to the soundtrack to get the “full experience”. The only place it will probably get you is more frustrated. This game really should come with a disclaimer, since those with little patients could be enticed into throwing their phone in a fit of anger.
This game suffers from two major problems detrimental to gameplay. The Impossible Game offers three levels of graphics to choose between; however the difference is almost unnoticeable. Even when set to the lowest graphics setting, users will more than likely experience an occasional fit of lag while attempting to play. Gamers know these never come in the straight away ‘rest periods’, but instead attack right before that critical jump. In a game that demands the utmost precision, something like that is unacceptable. Another thing that will get you steaming is phone calls and text messages, assuming you have a pop-up notification. This automatically pauses the game no matter where you are which means you’re pretty much doomed when you try to resume. A simple solution to this would be to utilize a ‘rewind’ feature, similar to what’s seen in more recent titles from the Guitar Hero series. If you’re forced to pause in the middle of a song, the track rewinds approximately 10 seconds, and then automatically plays it back for you so you have some time to get your bearings. Without that, you’re sent all the way back to the start, even more frustrated since it wasn’t a mistake that was your fault.
If you’re the type who finds pleasure instead of frustration when faced with a challenge, you should pick this up while it’s free. If not, it’s really ultimately up to you whether or not it’s worth your money, but if you have an Xbox 360, you might want to consider picking it up their instead so you’re not forced to deal with random lag or switch to airplane mode so calls don’t interrupt your ‘perfect run’. More than likely, though, you’ll agree there are better things to spend your $0.99 on. For example, something like the an ad-free version of the ever popular Angry Birds which will let you take out your frustration by recklessly destroying things instead of demanding absolute perfection every single time.
The Impossible Game was created by FlukeDude LTD and is Amazon’s free app of the day for 5/18/11. It typically sells for $0.99