With a name like The Impossible Game, frustration, addiction and relief should be listed as side effects. I definitely experienced plenty of the first two during my time with this PlayStation Mini, but the lack of the latter proved just how difficult this game really is.
The concept is simple, guide a square through various geometric obstacles using only a jump manoeuvre. After reading the instructions, which explain that holding X will make the square continue to bounce, my first thought was that the game didn’t sound too complicated. Once I started playing however, I discovered that I was very very wrong. Only 2 obstacles in, both simple triangles to jump over, do you find the first gap in the floor. Here you must jump onto and between two stationary squares, the first of many instances where the question ‘How do I do that?’ appears in your mind.
I found myself asking this a lot during The Impossible Game, which is a good thing considering the very knowing title. It takes a little while, but once the simple controls click in your head, how to get past each obstacle becomes easier in theory. Putting these theories into practice is what makes this game truly impossible though, as only players with pinpoint precision, timing and nerve will finish these levels.
Included are the 4 levels from the original version, with a new exclusive stage included for PSN players. It acts as an extension of the opening stage though, so the music which plays a key role in the gameplay is the same. The music moves with the stage, making this more rhythm action that expected. Each stage features a different tune and as the music changes, and extra electronic sounds are included in the mix, the level design reflects it more and more. It adds a sense of urgency to an already intense game.
The disappointing thing, is that despite the music being integral to the gameplay, to actually complete any given level with a soundtrack, upwards of 3 minutes in length, you have to do so in one go. If you opt to use the Flag system which allows you to place checkpoints and try from that point, the music stops and is replaced by a generic tune. When it was taking me upwards of 200 ‘attempts’ to complete any of the levels on offer, I think I would have been driven mad without using Flags, which makes the lack of music disappointing.
If this feature was apparent in The Impossible Game, I would recommend it as one of the essential Minis on the PlayStation Store. As the game is though, it achieves what it sets out to do very well. For less than 2 quid, this is a bitesize addiction where those players who obsess over perfecting their run will quickly lose hours of their day. A great addition to the PSN, and one of the few games I feel truly deserves the accolade of being ‘Impossible’.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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