mzl.azchqnyc.175x175-75Kevin Ng's upcoming Impossible Road has the look and feel of an everyday mobile arcade game, but it's definitely not. In it, you guide a ball down an infinitely winding neon stretch of track, collecting points as you rocket through the numbered gates that line it. It's a simple, breezy task where death comes fast because the track twists, turns, and falls into itself. As you play, though, you start noticing gaps in the system. For instance, the ball doesn't need to follow the track linearly. You can let it fall off and land onto a stretch that's deeper down. You can also skip gates, too, and earn the same amount of points that a person that managed to hit them all would. Also, the ball doesn't even need to roll down. If you're a bad enough dude, you can just keep throwing it off the track and controlling its ricochet off of the curves.

I thought I was a crazy person when I started noticing this, but sure enough, Ng notes in the app description that this is a game about exploitation. "And when you learn how to cheat the game and you discover that it is rewarded not punished," the description reads, " the leaderboards will belong to you."

As far as physics and feel go, Impossible Road is hard to measure. I mean, as an arcade line game it feels OK. I mean, you can keep the ball on the track and it has a decent amount of weight and predictability behind it. But, the point seems to reside in breaking the game part, letting the ball tumble and roll and bounce off lower swathes of track -- you know, stuff that you're typically not supposed to be doing. Does it feel a little funky as a result? Sure, a little.

Strangely, Road also has that one-more-time thing going for it. I'd still be playing if I didn't NEED to stop and let you guys know about it. Does this say something about how much fun subversive play can be? I don't know! But since I plan to go back and keep racking up my sick scores that I totally broke the game for, may it does.

Impossible Road will be out tonight at around 11PM EST. You can add the game to your Watch List on our app [Free] and get a notification whenever it makes it over alongside the rest of tonight's releases.

International App Store Link: Impossible Road, $1.99

  • MidianGTX

    What do you mean by "funky" exactly? Leaving the track was always the most exciting part of the F-Zero games and essential for good scores in all of the Super Monkey Ball games. Something about it gives you a rush... and speaking of which, the last stage in Sonic Adventure 2 (Final Rush) had another similar mechanic with its crazy descending grind rails.

    This essentially seems like a simplified version of the best parts of a slew of other exciting games. I'm not sure how well it can work on its own, but I'm definitely coughing up the cash to find out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/craiggrannell Craig Grannell

      It's an insanely addictive game, although be prepared for it to kick your arse repeatedly. Imagine Super Hexagon, only less forgiving.

    • pope22

      To be fair, those are console games. Many new gamers are touchscreen native. My kids (for example) rarely hold a controller, and then only grudgingly. So for them, this mechanic will be new to them.

  • xStatiCa

    Wow.. I like this. The freedom to go outside the track and land on another part of the track reminds me of my favorite iOS game Jet Car Stunts. The fun of JCS is finding shortcuts by jumping to sections of tracks that are not the primary path to cut your track times. I am hopeful this game brings out that same thrill and freedom. I will be buying it for sure just because of that.

  • Smartbomb

    This is an example of the main reason I love mobile gaming; small, perfectly considered bites of instantly rewarding fun that have strong identity. Just relieved it wasn't another tilt to play game, grinds my gears being forced to move what I'm looking at.

    (Small digital footprints and iAP free are nice bonuses).

  • wojovox

    I hear there is no gyroscopic control. I literally cannot think of why that would have been passed up with a game like this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/craiggrannell Craig Grannell

      The game's design is such that the turn circle/speed is key. The controls are therefore digital. If you used the gyro, you'd assume analogue control, and the entire thing would feel wrong.

    • Max C

      Im So glad this game isn't gyro controlled. The controls are very tight and responsive for touch controls.

      I can see why gyro controls would work in principle, but the amount of turning required would give you RSI pretty quickly!