The name of a video game is one of its most important aspects. It takes careful consideration and deliberation to settle on a title that evokes the gameplay, plot, and style with just a few words. We get franchises like Call of Duty representing military service and Dishonored evoking vengeance and justice. But once in awhile a game will come along and tell you exactly what it is, without frills or clever subterfuge. Impossible Road is one such game. But is it possible that this game is awful or is impossible for this game to fail to entertain? Let’s have a look at the possibilities, shall we?
Impossible Road is as simple a game as you could possibly get. You have a road, of impossible geometry, and a ball to journey down this improbably constructed road system floating in space. That being said, the minimalism of the whole game is staggeringly beautiful. Instead of rendering a ball on the road, the software instead renders a circular shaped absence in the road with just a touch of shadowing. It is implying a ball on the road without actually showing you. The graphical simplicity immediately endeared the game to me. Being easy on the eye’s helped this game quite a lot because the first few minutes can be phone-snapping frustrating.
You’re given no direction whatsoever from the moment you tap it open. You get the “Powered by Unity” logo, then tossed onto the Impossible Road for your first attempt which is guaranteed to end in disaster. It take a few runs of experimentation to figure out what I’m about to tell you.
The gameplay involves two invisible buttons on each side of the screen. One turns the ball left and the other turns it right. That’s it. That is all the control you have to get this ball down the road. There are also checkpoints dotted along the road. Pass by one and you snag a point. But, if you fall off the road, you can fall for some time without hitting the game over screen. It fades slowly to white. But if you land back on the road and grab a checkpoint, you collect the points for everyone in between and the game records your highest “jump” record.
There is really nothing else to the game. If you’re looking to win, it is an exercise in futility. You simply can’t overcome this impossible tract of floating blue road. You can try to make it as far as you can, but that is all you can do. Like an endless running game, Impossible road is all about the high score and the level of difficulty, which can be quite high, only heightens the level of satisfaction when you beat the previous number.
Couple the simple and addictive chase for a high score with somewhat randomized levels and a thumping techno soundtrack and you have the recipe for a game that’ll put a zen-like trance over you. It is perfect for a spot of fun while waiting in line or after a hard day of work and you need to unwind a bit. It is one of those games that has the simplicity to clear your head and help you relax if you let it. Even when you fail, you aren’t too upset because you know there is endless amount of road ahead of you to enjoy.
When I first saw the title Impossible Road, I viewed it as a gauntlet thrown down by the developers. It was challenging me to defy the developers and prove that this road was possible. What I found out was that this road truly is impossible, and my failure to conquer it made me love it even more.