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We Appear To Have Reached An: Impasse

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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John Walker

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Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, we killed John out of jealousy. He now runs buried-treasure.org

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