Do you see that bubble on the upper right hand side of the picture? It won't vanish with the touch of a finger, but instead redirect you to another app or promotion. That's called an ad, and even though The Impossible Line touts itself as a free to play app, you'll have to pay $1.99 to rid yourself of this constant distraction. So let's not kid ourselves with this freemium business -- is The Impossible Line a solid two dollar investment?

Can you play The Impossible Line with ads holding court on your device? Of course you can, but to truly concentrate and enjoy the intricacies of this puzzler, a relatively clear screen should profoundly enhance your experience.

The mission is to draw a line from your starting point to its requisite destination. Although it sounds simple enough, there are blockades and obstacles that hinder your journey, and if your line touches any of these structures, the game's over. As each level begins, you have a few seconds to scope your terrain, and then everything except your directional arrow and your end point disappears. But first, let's check out what everything looks like before the vanishing act.

Each level will earn you coins which in turn can buy a couple of upgrades. A miner's hat will light your way for part of your line drawing and a more useful addition, which costs a bit more money, will have the blocks reappear on your device for a couple of more seconds.

I prefer taking a mental picture and then just traveling blind until I reach my final step. I'll probably fail nine times out of 10, but since each game is over in a blind flash, it usually takes only a couple of minutes to complete the hardest of stages.

Each section has the feeling of being lovingly constructed by the developers, and there's an austere yet serenely look to the game. I never thought a chalk board would ever grab my eye, but The Impossible Line has, well, done the impossible. And for that, my two dollar throw down was absolutely worth it. Oh look, another pretty picture!!

There is also a cool replay feature which documents your successful line drawing with each completed section. Although there are 200 levels to complete, it never gets old watching one's success repeated immediately after a hard earned victory. I screwed up on this maze-like contraption numerous times, so checking out this replay put me in a much better mood.

Drawing lines on a chalkboard may sound like a mind numbing bore, but thanks to this casual game's intriguing play on one's memory and use of finger skills, The Impossible Line rises to the occasion. It's fitting that there are only seven Game Center achievements for this app, and six of them deal with passing various level benchmarks. Once I moved past the irritating ads feature, I was ready to fully enjoy sliding my fingers all around my new chalk board. The simplest things in life can be so much fun, but whether they're free or not is another story.


App Store Link: The Impossible Line for iPhoneiPad | By Chillingo Ltd. | Price: Free | Version: 1.0 | 23.3 MB | Rating: 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating