There are plenty of games out there that test our raw brain power.
Whether it be the numeracy-testing attributes of sudoku, vocabulary-stretching crosswords, or the logic-centre stimulation of your typical brain trainer, we like out mental abilities to be measured.
Now we have a game that tests how much of a smartarse you are.
Impossible Level Game takes a bit from each of the above-mentioned disciplines and adds in a dash of attitude. It tests your alertness and media savvy-ness (vocab' test failed) as much as your academic skills.
Riddle me this
Across each of the 30 levels, the goal is simple – to resolve the riddle and move on to the next.
The best levels make ingenious use of the touchscreen as well as our own instinctual tendencies. Without wishing to spoil too much, one of my favourite levels calls to mind that familiar urge to tug on a loose thread on an item of clothing, with satisfying results.
There are a fair amount of misses to accompany the hits. But the quirky nature of it all is just refreshing enough to drag you through the low points, with a good smattering of throwaway ‘red herring’ levels and post-modern gags thrown in.
We’d love to give you some examples, but I wouldn’t want to spoil any of it for you (check out the two accompanying screenshots for an idea of what to expect). That’s partly because of another of the game’s failings: it’s far too short.
30 levels is short in any puzzle game, but in one that throws away one-shot ideas with this much gleeful abandon, it makes the whole thing feel a bit like a demo. Perhaps the developer ran out of devious ideas or cultural references, but we would have hoped for at least double the number of levels.
Who’da thunk it
Another issue is the slightly amateurish feel of it all. The accompanying text we received with the game describes it as having “retro” graphics, but that feels a bit like the game’s 31st attempt at deception. It really is rather rough around the edges.
We wouldn’t expect a simple puzzler to even attempt to trouble our mighty Motorola Milestone, but a little bit of spit and polish wouldn’t have gone amiss here.
This is also evident in the nature of some of the misses. Some of the levels suffer from poor execution, either in technical or descriptive terms, while others are just bad at a conceptual level – the kind of puzzles that get left on the cutting room floor at bigger developers.
None of which should put you off Impossible Level Game. What it lacks in consistency and technical soundness it makes up for with sheer originality and vibrancy. It won’t last you long, but it reaches parts of your brain other Android games just don’t reach.