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In the last few years we've seen a surge in what might be called 'pure platforming'. Games
that center around the platforming mechanics we're all familiar with, that put them to
use in gauntlet after gauntlet of skill based prowess and mastery. Impossible Pixel is this
type of game. Each level has the goal of reaching the exit (and collecting a secret coin along
the way if you are so inclined), but the trick is mastery over the jumps and leaps available
to you to avoid the sting of death that can come on all too easy if you're not careful.
Your character is equipped with a double jump, and the ability to slide off walls (which
enables the wall jump). Your leap is quite long (especially with some momentum behind
you), and these maneuvers can be combined together to create a beautiful effortless
looking run through each stage, weaving through saw blades and avoiding spikes with the greatest
of ease. That is when the jump works however. The double jump has a problem of not registering
the tap of the on-screen button, and it's this little inconsistency that throws the
experience into turmoil. In a game based around deviously designed levels and mastery of the
simple platforming controls, having your double jump act as only a 'sometimes move' creates
a heavy level of doubt in the player when they approach each new challenge, thinking
to themselves, “Is it going to work this time”?
It's a shame because everything else is of high quality. The silhouette art style is
very striking, with each obstacle clearly defined (and bearing more than a little resemblance
to Canabalt), and the soundtrack does its job in being aurally pleasing but keeping
the adrenaline going. Everything combines to keep you playing death after death, trying
your hardest to overcome the next challenge.
So with some tightening and further testing of the control scheme, Impossible Pixel is
an easy recommend to hardcore platformer fans. Those that easily adapt to control schemes
will likely not have as much as an issue, and there's a good game underneath our concerns
so it might just be worth a look.