IMPOSSIBLE ROAD Review
- Really striking low-key visuals.
- You always want to tap 'again' and have another go.
- The game really needs a tilt option.
A highscore game that if you're really good, might last more than a few seconds, but its control implementation keep it from greatness.
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Impossible Road is sleek and seductive. A simple arcade game where you have to try your hardest to stay on a twisting and winding track that is doing its best to throw you off. Success is a fallacy, as sooner or later you will plummet to your demise, only to press the 'again' button and repeat this process for as long as possible. Add to this a minimalist yet striking visual aesthetic plus a driving rhythmic soundtrack and you would think you're in for something special. Well, you would be if developer Kevin Ng remembered what platform he was making his game for.
You see, this game of tilting left and right does not have the option to achieve this by tilting your iPhone left or right. This is done via arrows on the left and right side of the screen, and this is the only control option. Now the arrows themselves work well enough, your ball gripping the track and moving smoothly in the direction you desire, but that's beside the point. It would be like creating a racing game on this platform without a tilt option. You can accommodate choice, but you need to play to the strengths of the device you're creating for. Now an argument could be made that tilt controls will cause the player to over-steer, which will spell disaster and make games only last a couple of seconds... but that's how the game works already.
It is incredibly difficult to stay on track. The ball hugs corners well enough, but the game constantly throws bumps in the road at you as well, and the added momentum from crashing back into the road is what will be your downfall, as you no longer have the steady finesse needed to navigate the bends in your way. If you're lucky once you are flung off, you can land on a lower section of road before the game fades to white signifying a game over. This is borrowed time however as just like the bumps, crashing into the road will not prepare you for the obstacles ahead.
It may sound like this game is a disaster, and while it does have its issues, there is something uncharacteristically addictive about it. It's almost as if the problems that cause your game to last only a couple of seconds steel your reserve to play again, just to see if you can work your way around the problem and last just that little bit longer. It is a testament to Endless Road that it can be recommended because of this. If you enjoy challenging high score games, this is certainly one for the collection, but the rest of you might want to wait for a tilt option and some rebalancing.