Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: Impossible Road

Who knew hell could be so beautiful? Impossible Road may look serene and minimal, but in practice it is anything but. The extreme twists, turns and cambers you have to negotiate by guiding the ball or "Vessel" ensure you won't have a moment to stop and stare. Control is very simple; press the corresponding side of the screen to make The Vessel turn right or left. The goal is simply to make it through markers in order to increase your score. Fall off though, and it isn't game over. You can still steer The Vessel while the screen will slowly fade to white but if you touch any part of the track it goes back to normal. This mechanic, if used correctly, allows you to skip through huge segments. The genius of the design is that whatever marker you go through counts as your score. This sort of risk/reward mechanic is nothing new, but rarely has it felt so nerve-wracking.

Once I started getting good I very luckily managed to get a decent score of 80. Beating it has been incredibly difficult because the track gets progressively harder. I would get past the 76th gate and fall off, trying desperately to bounce back on to the track and regain control, only to bounce back off again. I'm pretty sure that at one point if I had just made it through a gate I would have a score of something like 100. Well, that's what I keep telling myself and it keeps bringing me back; only to see that soul-destroying screen white-out and the words AGAIN? appear in front of me.

Perseverance has paid off in the end though and I have made it to 85! My main gripe is that there are points where it is impossible to get back onto the track if you fall off. Sometimes that can feel unfair, because one of the best parts of the design is that it gives you the opportunity to correct your mistakes. It is particularly annoying if it happens when you are about to beat your high score! This is definitely a game of slow progress, but that gameplay is satisfying enough on its own to not get in the way. In that sense it reminds me of Super Hexagon. Both games are infuriatingly difficult, share the same control scheme, look amazing and have cool soundtracks. They are also the two best games on iOS, so download them now.

Find it on iTunes

Developer: Kevin Ng


My thoughts exactly. Recommended for commendation.

Mr Flanagan

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