Developer: Flukeduke
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The Impossible Game. With a title like that, you know it’ll be a tough ride…but The Impossible Game takes “difficulty” to a whole new level. It’s fast-paced and brutal, but with near-instant respawning, the experience is as smooth as it is deadly.

You play a humble orange square, racing against a serene blue background. The trick is that there are plenty of obstacles on this course: triangles are like deadly spikes, and squares can be jumped on top of but will kill you if you slam into them. Likewise, you can die if you fall through a hole in the floor. Your orange square will hurtle forward regardless of the danger, and your only control is simple…tap to jump. Longer taps equal longer jumps, and you’ll need meticulous precision if you want to survive. The music syncs with your music, which is a very nifty effect that adds to the surreal quality of the whole thing.

Most of the time, you’ll only survive for a few seconds. The Impossible Game is unforgiving. Every time you die, the counter at the top of the screen takes note and then sends you straight back to the beginning. Most of the time it’s a constant cycle of death and rebirth, and you’ll quickly rack up hundreds of deaths. There’s only one level, but good luck finishing!

The Impossible Game would be truly impossible if not for Practice Mode. Tap the white flag, and it will materialize in the level where your block currently is. This places you in Practice Mode—when you die, you get sent back to the flag instead of the very beginning. This lets you get lots of practice with a specific sequence, so you might actually be able to win.

Of course, the problem there is that once you’ve mastered it…there’s nothing left, and you’ll quickly move on. (You can post scores to Facebook or Twitter, but how compelling is that, really?) But while The Impossible Game is simple, it’s an incredible ride. High-tempo, life-or-death, and completely seamless, it reminds me of Canabalt without the randomized levels—excellent platforming at its most basic. As a bare-bones example of what a game should be, The Impossible Game is a clear winner.

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