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Portabliss: The Impossible Game (PSP Minis)


Did you know that you can download handheld games now? That's amazingly convenient! The only inconvenient part of it is finding the right games to buy -- and that's where we come in, with our Portabliss column. In each installment, we'll tell you about a downloadable game on the iPhone, iPad, Android device, DSi, 3DS, PSP, etc. Today: The Impossible Game.

The Impossible Game might actually be impossible -- just really, really damn difficult. That difficulty is belied by a total visual and mechanical simplicity. And yet, despite my persistent lack of success, I keep trying, fascinated by the simple gameplay.

Essentially, it's an even more streamlined, more rhythmic version of my beloved Bit.Trip Runner, albeit without all the variety. As ... a square, you jump to hit platforms and avoid obstacles in auto-scrolling levels, moving very quickly and with a very limited view. Make one mistake and you have to start over. These levels are all timed to the tune of accompanying music, so your jumps occur on beat. That's it.

But understanding how to play isn't the same as being able to play! The stages move so quickly, and the obstacles require split-second timing and precise jumps, or you start over. And, I'm afraid to say, the game keeps a running count of your attempts, in big print on the top of the screen.

Yes, The Impossible Game is intensely frustrating, which makes it ideal for portable play. You play for a few minutes until you get angry, then put it aside. The fact that it's designed for just a few minutes is the "ideal" bit, by the way. I'm not saying it's important to be angry while you're traveling.

The Impossible Game is available from the PlayStation Store for $2.99. It's also available on Xbox Live Indie Games, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and even the Nokia Ovi Store. We're always looking for new distractions. Want to submit your game for Portabliss consideration? You can reach us at portabliss aat joystiq dawt com.

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