We Appear To Have Reached An: Impasse

By John Walker on July 12th, 2011 at 10:15 am.

Go on, flash.

It’s good to play a puzzle game that knows it’s a puzzle game. Browser game Impasse has no story, no faux-justification for its existence, no attempt to claim you’re saving the world by solving its stages. It’s simply a challenge, and it’s an excellent one.

The goal is to… wait, no. A large part of the process is to figure that out for yourself. So as tempting as it is for me to do my job of saying, “Move X to achieve Y,” I’d be doing that grubby thing of giving you a different experience than the one I had. Not that there are any epic surprises here, or weird twists. No such thing. It’s just a dead straight puzzle game, as it should be.

So instead I’ll say another thing it doesn’t do. It doesn’t award points as you play, or tell you how many moves you took at the end of each stage. Man, I’m sick of that. If I’m solving a puzzle, my achievement is in completing the puzzle. It doesn’t matter how many moves I took – I still achieved the goal. This idea that a goal-based puzzle game requires a high score table is daft. It can have one useful purpose, which is to say the minimum number of moves required, and thus adds another degree of puzzle to things. That I’m okay with. Impasse does neither, and good.

There are 24 stages, which should be enough to keep you distracted from your work/life/children for a decent while.

It’s the work of Wanderlands. And the game is exactly 600px wide on my monitor, which is the width of an RPS screenshot, and thus it’s the best game ever.

Thanks to Alex Bakke for the tip.

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21 Comments »

  1. Ian says:

    I like it but I’m not interested enough to finish it once getting a bit stuck.

    Clever game though.

  2. Wilson says:

    It certainly is a clever game, but it really needs a better way of indicating where solid blocks and blinky blocks are (particularly when they’re behind other blocks). I can’t be arsed to memorize the layout so I can figure out the puzzles.

    • Radiant says:

      ‘Puzzle’ games.

    • Tuan says:

      Wilson next time you play Battleship on a flash game I hope it shows you where the computers battleships are so you can’t be asked to try and find them.

    • Dozer says:

      Wilson has a valid point. The evidence? I feel the same.

      I like this game, but the choice to the player is small enough that the puzzles can be solved by brute-force-like trying of many variations until something that works is found. Solving a puzzle is satisfying, but less so when it was solved by repeatedly running into slightly different points in the same wallpapered wall until the concealed doorway is found.

    • Wilson says:

      @Radiant – I think you may have misunderstood my point. I thought the point of the game was to figure out how to get your piece through to the other side, by figuring about what pattern of movements is required to achieve this. If I was wrong, and the point of the game is actually also to memorize where certain special blocks are so you don’t get caught out when you’re part way through, then fair point. In that case, my comment is that I don’t like memory games enough to complete it.

      @Tuan – That’s a silly analogy and you know it. I would liken it to a flash game of battleships, where it covered up pieces of ships you’ve hit with an explosion marker, so you have to memorize where every piece of ship you’ve hit was. That wouldn’t be too bad in battleship, but I don’t think it would add to the experience either.

  3. Useyourname says:

    It’s the work of Bart Bonte Are you sure?

  4. Jubaal says:

    It’s nicely put together. I got stuck at the early “Lock” level and had to turn it off. I just couldn’t figure out a way to finish it, much to my shame and frustration!

  5. Diziet Sma says:

    That’s really good. Thank you for highlighting this.

  6. Tomm says:

    Just finished it, pretty challenging in places, but solutions are never too far away. Great waste of a half hour.

  7. Cerzi says:

    Yeah, was short but enjoyable, always good to see an original puzzle game that works.

  8. Carra says:

    Long live Belgium.

  9. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    How to do the level called bridge?

  10. Matt says:

    Wasting time at work on this. Cool little game, totally stuck on ‘deception’ though!

  11. wanderlands says:

    Hi, we’re the developers of Impasse. Thanks so much for featuring our game; we’re glad that you like it! Please note, however, that the only official version is on Kongregate, available here. It’s unfortunate that so many other sites have chosen to host our work without permission, mainly because now we can’t update the game across all the different sites.

    Thank you all for your support, it’s been very encouraging for us as developers. We’re overjoyed and humbled by the response to our first online release. If you have more feedback, we would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at admin@wanderlands.org :)

    Regards,

    Wanderlands

  12. KGB says:

    This is great! I like the way they introduce the new elements and just let you figure it out. And the new stuff comes fast so you don’t get bored but have to keep up.

  13. Melipone says:

    Thanks for the link…passing a few minutes while the work clock ticks down.

  14. Old Tom says:

    Great game,

    Finished it last night. Last few levels were wickedly clever. I liked how it required no instructions.

    Great work!