707318_largerIt's not hard to find a game that you hate. It's also not particularly hard to find a game that you love. However, it's not often that you find a game that you both love and hate in equal measures. For me, Impossible Road [$1.99] is that game.

I love Impossible Road for its minimalism. I love the music. I love the strange, immersing, science-lab-experiment atmosphere. I love the bright white ball and twisty, turny, banking road. I love the metallic blue paint job. I love the way it gets the heart thumping harder than a top fuel dragster's V8.

I hate how god-damned crap I am at Impossible Road. I hate that there are people out there with a score in the tens of thousands. I hate that at the time of writing this, one particular person had a score of 34,676. I hate that no matter how hard I try, the best score I can come up with is thirty nine. THIRTY BLEEPING NINE! I hate how frustrating it is and I hate that I keep coming back for more.

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I also love how I keep coming back for more. Impossible Road is a real oddity. It's one of those uber hard games that you'd usually have a crack at until you decided it was pointless and throw it out the window, knocking out the neighbor and ending up in a civil lawsuit, yet you keep punishing yourself, in the search of that ever-elusive "New High Score" text. It's an incredibly humbling experience. I don't care how good you are at video games, unless you're the Rain Man of the iPhone game, you're going to truly suck at Impossible Road and you're going to love it. And hate it.

Gameplay is simple. You control a bright white ball on a twisting, endless road and you simply tap either side of the screen to turn in the relevant direction. As well as the twists and turns, there are jumps to negotiate and you'll often find yourself plummeting into the abyss, the screen fading to white. If you manage to land on the ever downward spiraling road again before complete whiteout, you can continue on your impossible quest but trust me, it won't be long before you're headed towards the bright light. That's all there is to it. Roll, steer, roll, fall, land, roll… you get the minimalistic picture. It's simplistic genius.

Dotted along the road are gates that need to be passed through in which to accrue points. Each gate is worth one point. ONE. How the hell can any single, human being play this game long enough to encounter 34,676 of those gates? Who is this person? Do they speak in binary code? Do they eat C++ text books for breakfast? Are they some kind of weird alien/human, creepy-looking science experiment child?

I have tried everything, from staying on the road to trying to tie together massive jumps but still, the best I can come up with is thirty nine and I'm in the top forty five percent in the Game Center leader boards, so at least I'm "slightly" better than average. Perhaps when you have been rolling for a certain amount of time the gates release a higher score. I don't know, I certainly haven't got that far. And I'm not alone, just look at the plethora of Youtube videos bragging about scores "over one hundred". I have to admit though, even that impresses me…

So there you have it. Impossible Road is an impossibly hard, impossibly addictive and impossibly impossible game. I hate it. I love it. Damn you, Kevin Ng, what have you done to my brain?

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Bhavuk Jain

    My best one is 550

    • http://www.polygame.co.nz/ Karl Burnett

      That's impressive! Lots of dropping/jumping or did you try to stay on the track?

      • Bhavuk Jain

        I just stayed on the track and tried to avoid the shortcuts

      • http://www.polygame.co.nz/ Karl Burnett

        Well I still can't beat 39. I SUCK!

      • Bhavuk Jain

        Don't loose hope. You can beat that score.

      • http://www.polygame.co.nz/ Karl Burnett

        1st world problems. LOL

  • lr1919

    Don't know if ill ever beat my 142... My advice would be to stay on the road as much as possible, once you start jumping you can start flying out of control.

  • Matthew Rossman

    Past around 1000 range, the scores are obviously hacked or there is some kind of cheating going on.

    When the game first launched, there were scores out that it would have taken longer to achieve than the amount of time the game had even been out. Welcome to the GameCenter leader boards ;)

    • C. Stubb

      "...some kind of cheating going on."

      Uh, the point of the game is find the intentional design flaws and exploit this. The game's description even encourages it. If your score isn't very high, it's because you're playing by the rules too much. :)

      • Matthew Rossman

        I don't mean that kind of cheating. I mainly mean hacking, or finding a legitimate glitch and exploiting it.

        (and while tons of people surpass me by hundreds of points, I wouldn't describe 344 as "not very high")

      • loophole

        Haha so true about Game Center :D

  • Jesse7277

    Lol I played for a few minutes before work. Scored a 7;)

    • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

      My high score is 6. You win.

  • Rothgarr

    I got this when it came out a month or two ago. it's WAY hard but every time I play I suffer from "Just one more try". Before I know it an hour has gone by...

    • Matthew Rossman

      Hey, that rhymed!

      • Rothgarr

        I'm a POET, and didn't even KNOW IT!

  • FookedonHonix

    I wish there was an alternate gameplay mode where the track could be dynamically created by your own music

  • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

    I like how it flew off the track and landed on it again.

  • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

    Impressed that so many folks spent $2 on this! Also, the graphics seem perfect for inducing a seizure. Any feelings on the graphics -- love 'em, hate 'em, or meh?

    • http://www.polygame.co.nz/ Karl Burnett

      Love em :)

    • Josh

      Love them

  • LOLCAT

    I envy your score of 39...my best is 4.

  • matthelps

    35!

  • matthelps

    40!

  • Scarydude766

    118 is my record so far. I just can't stop playing this awesome game!

  • Josh

    Lol I've had it for half a day and my high score is 53

  • railwayrifle

    I can manage this game until the road starts curving.

IMPOSSIBLE ROAD Reviewed by Karl Burnett on . Rating: 4.5