Jul 26, 2010

Impossible Level Game

Is this a game or not? I don't really know how to classify it. Impossible Level Game from HyberBees has been generating some solid ratings in the Android Market so I thought I'd try it out and then you can decide if this is something that will float your boat.

First, the game's Market advertising says that if you're smart then this is for you and if you're dumb then don't bother. I know it's just marketing, but I've hated that kind of thinking ever since I stopped doing it. Different people are gifted in different areas and just because your logic skills aren't the best doesn't mean you're stupid. Maybe composing music is your bag or perhaps architecture or God knows what. On the other side, does this game really need brains of any sort? Once again, debatable and I'll give a sample puzzle and solution (along with an appropriate spoiler alert) at the end of this review.

Impossible Level Game essentially consists of several puzzles. The first two aren't really puzzles, but are more of a 'follow directions' kind of thing and then after that it is all about puzzles. Or maybe it's all about trial and error. I think it's probably a little bit of both. Some of the puzzles involve going back to prior puzzles and redoing them which is particularly annoying when it requires typing a previously found password over and over and over again. At the same time, some are cute and you can redo the puzzle the hard way, as if you've never seen it before, or apply your new knowledge and short circuit it.

The other negative (and positive) side of this game is replay value. Once you're done with the puzzles then you're done with the game. For less than $1.50 that may still be a good deal as, for example, take an adventure game or, better yet, let's be time relevant and use StarCraft as an example. One of my best memories of that game was when Kerrigan became a Zerg. They executed it so well, but it's a one time event like watching a movie or reading a book. If a game is going to offer a true 'adventure' then it really needs to be this way. For that I heartily applaud this title. Unique and innovative little riddles, puzzles, or mysteries that you solve once and then you're done, but will pull your hair out in doing so. This entertainment 'model' can make for an outstanding 'one time through' experience. Does it do so here?

In this case, it's probably going to all come down to your personality. And here's the promised sample puzzle (spoiler alert... skip the rest of this paragraph as I'm going to hand you a solution to a puzzle): The screen shot (sorry it's so small... it came from their Facebook site) has a spoon on it and says "There is no spoon!" at the top. Ok, what do I do? Click on the spoon and it gives you a hint suggesting that you bend the spoon... so I'm busy doing all sorts of gestures on the screen to try and bend the spoon. And is a bent spoon not a spoon??? I guess that is a philosophical question that won't be debated here. Nonetheless, after fiddling eventually (and I don't recall if it was an accident or what) I moved a little square that matched the background's color in the lower left of the screen and then realized I could drag it. Behind said square was a hammer that I had to drag onto the spoon. And then it bends. Personally, I don't feel that I used any brain power in solving that... I think I got lucky or eventually saw the microscopic visual clue of a bit of white peeking out at me. At the same time there was an 'a-ha' moment when I noted the little square could move and that there was something behind it.

This isn't an ordinary game and I always like innovation. I would have liked it more had I felt that there was less trial and error. I wish I could go into detail, but every puzzle I give away makes the game that much less relevant. 3.5/5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. "There is no spoon" is a reference to The Matrix.