a portfolio of videogame writings
Overtly, Impossible Road’s premise is about as simple as they come: guide a rolling ball down a winding pathway for as long as you can. It’s a distance platformer – Super Monkey Ball by way of Super Hexagon – and it manages to be as infuriatingly challenging, yet effortlessly addictive as either of those comparisons.
What isn’t immediately apparent is that falling from the edge of its barrier-less path doesn’t automatically spell game over. Reconnect within seconds, and you can roll on. Fall for too long and the screen fades to white as a dubstep-style electronic ’wub wub wub’ sound salts the wound of your failure. In what is an otherwise simplistic distance runner (or roller), the ability to freefall is an enticing, often infuriating risk-reward proposition; a deeper layer of strategic play that gives its challenge a longevity beyond simply seeing how far you can get.