Impossible Road, a minimalistic arcade runner from Kevin Ng and Pixels on Toast, is now available from the app store. Featuring tight controls, a randomly-generated pathway, and a strong “one more go” draw despite its fairly hardcore difficulty, Impossible Road is an intriguing offering that quickly got its hooks into us.
Impossible Road Pros:
- Cool minimalistic presentation that actually impacts gameplay
- Entertaining soundtrack
- Responsive touch controls
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards
Impossible Road Cons:
- Difficulty curve for earning impressive scores is steep; can be frustrating
- Can feel repetitive
Impossible Road tasks you with directing a large white ball along a narrow, winding pathway that perpetually twists and turns in a downward fashion. Along the way, there are a series of gates that your ball can pass through, with the last successfully traversed gate comprising your score. Not only is it difficult to remain on the track, but it’s actually encouraged to jump the track and attempt to reconnect to another section, skipping gates and quickly increasing your score when you pass through the next. If you are airborne for too long, the game will end. It’s quite easy to launch yourself, as hills and sharp curves will often send you into the ether whether you intended to or not. Skillful players will recognize spots where they can reconnect before the airborne timer runs out and jump large sections of track at a time. The behind-the-ball viewpoint presents a slight problem when you do get airborne, as your ball blends in with the white background and makes it challenging to see where your ball’s trajectory is likely to land you. There is no course correction option while in mid-air other than the same left/right turning action that you utilize while on the ramp. If you don’t have enough speed to make it back to the track or you leave the course on a tangent that takes you away from the track, you are stuck. There are no other bells or whistles, no leveling up, no bonus items, nothing to help you. Games don’t last long, and most will leave you with a single-digit score. In addition to your distance score, the game also records the number of gates that you jumped past, as well as the longest jump between gates.
Impossible Road’s minimalist style is refreshing and appealing, and the opportunity to rack up great scores by improving your skill at remaining on the track or finding great jumps to make is addictive. Restarting is extremely fast and the random path generation keeps things fresh. The techno soundtrack is upbeat and enjoyable, and the controls are very tight, requiring you only to hold on the left or right side of the screen to direct the ball in the desired direction. There is no tilt option. Replay value comes from trying to best you top score, your number of gates jumped, and/or your best gate jump, all of which appear in GameCenter leaderboards. A universal app for $1.99, Impossible Road is a fantastic 5-Dimple stud.
Impossible Road Review,