Impasse


ImpasseArtbegottiWhen you're writing about a minimalist game, particularly when it's a puzzle game where half the fun of the game is discovering the rules yourself, it's really hard not to go overboard with nonsense in a review. You could turn the entire thing into a sonnet or some other metric form, or talk up the game in incredibly vague and flowery terms. Impasse by Wanderlands doesn't need that. It's a clever but tricky puzzler that speaks for itself, even if it lacks so much as a title screen.

Without spoiling too much of the actual gameplay, the goal is to navigate your circle (the plus) to the finish line (the check) in each level using the [arrow] keys. Along the way, you'll encounter different obstacles that create an impasse for you. These obstacles behave in different ways, so you've got to figure out what each one does and why. There are twenty-four levels to traverse with increasing difficulty. The shortest distance between two points certainly isn't a straight line here, as you'll end up making circles around yourself to find the correct path to the exit.

The simplistic presentation of a handful of circles and symbols with subtle sound effects works well for a puzzler of this sort, where concentration and calmness come in handy. On the other hand, the minimalistic approach does leave a few helpful items out, such as the ability to select puzzles. While you can skip an unlimited number of levels through the menu using the [Esc] key, you can't actually backtrack and play a previous level without resetting the entire game. Also, it feels as though too many puzzle elements were crammed into such a small package, as you're still being introduced to new circle types within the last few levels of the game.

That said, there's a tremendous amount of brainbusting to be found in such a tiny game. You only have thirty spots to move to, but you'll be trekking around the grid for a good long time. It'll be pretty hard to pass up this Impasse.

Play Impasse

Thanks to Donut and Taylor for sending this one in!

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

Impasse: The Lost Manual

  • The goal in each level is to navigate the + to the check mark using the arrow keys. You can move up, down, left, and right, and can wrap vertically around the level. Stepping on any other circle resets the level. All circles react to your movements at the same time that you make them, so if you move to a spot at the same time that a circle moves away from it, you'll be safe.

  • Dark gray circles are stationary and never do anything.

  • Purple or orange circles with up or down arrows shift once in the direction the arrows are pointing every time you move vertically. You can safely move through a single arrowed circle by getting right in front of it and moving towards it; it'll swap places with you and you'll be perfectly safe.

  • Yellow or blue circles with up or down arrows behave like their differently colored counterparts, only they react to horizontal movements instead of vertical ones. Think carefully before attempting to move past columns of them; the trick is to time it so the blank spot moves to your destination at the same time you do.

  • Cyan or magenta circles with - signs on them blink in or out of existence every time you move vertically. If it doesn't look like you can get past them, try wrapping vertically around the board and returning to where you were.

  • Green O circles are harmless. Red X circles behave like gray circles. However, whenever you step onto a green O, it vanishes and all the red X's disappear or reappear.

Impasse Walkthrough

MOTION

RDRRRRRUURRRD

PATHWAY

RDRRURURRDDRRUR

WRAP

RDRRDRRRURRRU

SURPRISE

RDRRDDRRRUDUDRRR

GOING UP

DRRUURRUURRURRUUR

PHASE

UDRRURUDRUURDUDRRUURRD

WEAVE

UDRRDDRRDRUURRURR

LOCK

RUDRURDRUURRDRUDRUUR

BRIDGE

URDRUDRUURRRDRDUDRR

FLASH

RUUURRUURRUURRRUUR

DECEPTION

UUUUDRRUUUURRDDDDRURUDURRDDR

SIDESTEP

DUDUDRRUULUURRRUURUUDUDURUURRR

OFFBEAT

UUURRURURURURURRRU

HURDLE

UUUUDURRDDDRRUUDRRURURURU

BACKDOOR

UUUDRRDRRUDUDURURUDDRRDRD

AXIS

URRDRDULRRRRRURULURR

SWEEP

UUUUDUDRLRRURURURURUDUDURURR

GATE

UUUURLRLRRURRRLRLRDDDDRRURLLRURR

UNZIP

URLRRRRUURLRDDRRRRD

TWINS

DDDDDURLRLRRRRDDDRDLRLRUDUDRRRUUR

MACHINE

UURLUURRRRURLLDUDUDRRRDRDUDRLRRU

REDUCTION

RRDURRDUDULRLRRRRDURR

LURE

UUUUDUDURLRLRRRRRRDUDUDLLULRULLLLDDUDURLRLRRRRRRDRRR

FINAL DANCE

URLDDDDRRRRLDRRLRDLRDRLDLLUULLLDDDDRRRRURLURURRRR

34 Comments

Bridge is Really hard. I cant beat it. Eh, maybe later. Fun game.

And yes, I know you can skip.

This is fun with a good degree of difficulty but still easy enough I can figure out each puzzle without too much frustration. Right now stuck on gate, but I will figure it out soon enough!

Thanks so much for reviewing our game (complete with obligatory wordplay) - it is hugely encouraging to us as developers. Just letting you know that the official version of the game is hosted on Kongregate here.

Also, we've been visiting jayisgames.com for years, and having our first game featured here is incredible - thank you once again for your support!

Impasse: The Lost Manual

  • The goal in each level is to navigate the + to the check mark using the arrow keys. You can move up, down, left, and right, and can wrap vertically around the level. Stepping on any other circle resets the level. All circles react to your movements at the same time that you make them, so if you move to a spot at the same time that a circle moves away from it, you'll be safe.

  • Dark gray circles are stationary and never do anything.

  • Purple or orange circles with up or down arrows shift once in the direction the arrows are pointing every time you move vertically. You can safely move through a single arrowed circle by getting right in front of it and moving towards it; it'll swap places with you and you'll be perfectly safe.

  • Yellow or blue circles with up or down arrows behave like their differently colored counterparts, only they react to horizontal movements instead of vertical ones. Think carefully before attempting to move past columns of them; the trick is to time it so the blank spot moves to your destination at the same time you do.

  • Cyan or magenta circles with - signs on them blink in or out of existence every time you move vertically. If it doesn't look like you can get past them, try wrapping vertically around the board and returning to where you were.

  • Green O circles are harmless. Red X circles behave like gray circles. However, whenever you step onto a green O, it vanishes and all the red X's disappear or reappear.

Great game! Challenging and fun. I finished in about an half hour.

Maybe you should take that thing out of the walkthrough section, since it has no information that's actually useful and not blatantly obvious.

[I feel it is helpful to have an overview of the gameplay since there are no instructions provided in-game. And what you might feel is blatant and obvious may not be to another. -Jay]

Bridge is hard.. the annoying thing is those hidden grey circles! I've got so far if you want to follow it.

down, up, right, right, up, down(trust me.. it works)right, right, right, down.

Thats how far i've got.. can anyone work out the rest?

I passed bridge, but I don't know how to get back to it to do it again. A new instance of the game takes me to the same level I'm on.

How can I go back to a finished level?

Stuck on hurdle (just past the 50% mark)
I don't see how it's possible to get past the second row with a purple arrow :(

Ps: got past it :)

Yay, finally finished it! Fun game. Its simplicity and graphics style are reminding of Tonypa's games. As for future improvements: a way to replay earlier levels would be welcome. An undo button would be helpful, but not required, as the levels don't need a lot of moves to solve. It probably also destroys some of the trial-and-error feel of the game.

Finish'd it :) Great game and the last level is HARD

Found a solution for Bridge. Very tricky.

Here's a hint:

Figure out how to get past the first group of Up's so that you can get past the Down's in almost the same way.

Hint #2

To pass the groups of arrows, you have to be in the same column as their middle, and loop once.

Here's a solution:

Down,Up,Right,Right,Up,Down,Right,Up,Up,Right,Right,Right,Down,Right,Down,Up,Down,Right,Right

Nice game! There's a huge amount of satisfaction when you finally reach that little check mark every level.

My only criticism would be that the game relies too much on color, which could make it hard for colorblind people to play. This problem could easily be solved by just adding more symbols. For instance, instead of having a blue minus sign and a pink minus sign, the pink one could be a vertical line instead.

Other than that small criticism, it's a great game.

Here is a guide to some of the levels:

Motion

Right, Down, Right(5), Up(2), Right(2), Down, Right.

Pathway

Right, Down, Right(2), Up, Right, Up, Right(2), Down(2), Right(2), Up, Right.

Wrap

Right, Down, Right(2), Down, Right(3), Up, Right(3), Up.

Surprise

Right, Down, Right(2), Down, Down, Right(3), Up, Down, Up, Down, Right(3).

Going Up

Down, Right(2), Up(2), Right(2), Up(2), Right(2), Up, Right(2), Up(2), Right.

Phase

Up, Down, Right(2), Up, Right, Up, Down, Right, Up(2), Right, Down, Up, Down, Right(2), Up(2), Right(2), Down.

Weave

Up, Down, Right(2), Down(2), Right(2), Down, Right, Up(2), Right(2), Up, Right(2).

Lock

Right, Up, Down, Right, Up, Right, Down, Right, Up(2), Right(2), Down, Right, Up, Down, Right, Up(2), Right.

Bridge

Up, Right, Down, Right, Up, Down, Right, Up(2), Right(3), Down, Right, Down, Up, Down, Right(2).

Flash

Right, Up(3), Right(2), Up(2), Right(2), Up(2), Right(3), Up(2), Right.

Sorry for the inconvenience as this is where I stopped making the walk-through.

I wish the (-) signs has some way of telling you where they are when they are off. I'm fed up with making it past one part of the level only to have to guess as to which spaces will be safe to move to.

If you press spacebar at the game, and turn hints on, it'll show the outlines of whether a down/up arrow or a minus circle is there.

Finished! Very well-thought out puzzles...

final dance, the last level, hurt my brain. The trick is to get the middle green circle, then go back to get the first green circle before proceeding. If you get both green circles on the right, you will be stuck.

Woot, a game I recommended got reviewed :) I still haven't beaten the last few levels...

solutions to levels 1-15:

motion DRRRR UURRR RRD
pathway RDRRU RURRD DRRUR
wrap DRRRD RRRUR RRU
surprise DRRRD DRRRD DRRRD
going up DRRUU RRUUR RURRU UR
phase RUDRU RUDRU RUDUD RRUUR RD
weave DRURD DRRDR UURRU RR
lock RUDRU RDRUU RRDRU DRUUR
bridge URDRU DRUUR RRDDR UDRR
flash UUURR RUURR UURRU RUR
deception UDUUU RRUUU URRDD DDRUR UDURR DDR
sidestep DUDUD RRUUL UURRR UURUU DUDUR UURRR
offbeat RDRRR UURRU RRRU
hurdle UUDDD DRRDD DRRDU URRUR URURU
backdoor DUUUR RDRRU DUDUR URDDR RRD

Impasse Walkthrough

MOTION

RDRRRRRUURRRD

PATHWAY

RDRRURURRDDRRUR

WRAP

RDRRDRRRURRRU

SURPRISE

RDRRDDRRRUDUDRRR

GOING UP

DRRUURRUURRURRUUR

PHASE

UDRRURUDRUURDUDRRUURRD

WEAVE

UDRRDDRRDRUURRURR

LOCK

RUDRURDRUURRDRUDRUUR

BRIDGE

URDRUDRUURRRDRDUDRR

FLASH

RUUURRUURRUURRRUUR

DECEPTION

UUUUDRRUUUURRDDDDRURUDURRDDR

SIDESTEP

DUDUDRRUULUURRRUURUUDUDURUURRR

OFFBEAT

UUURRURURURURURRRU

HURDLE

UUUUDURRDDDRRUUDRRURURURU

BACKDOOR

UUUDRRDRRUDUDURURUDDRRDRD

AXIS

URRDRDULRRRRRURULURR

SWEEP

UUUUDUDRLRRURURURURUDUDURURR

GATE

UUUURLRLRRURRRLRLRDDDDRRURLLRURR

UNZIP

URLRRRRUURLRDDRRRRD

TWINS

DDDDDURLRLRRRRDDDRDLRLRUDUDRRRUUR

MACHINE

UURLUURRRRURLLDUDUDRRRDRDUDRLRRU

REDUCTION

RRDURRDUDULRLRRRRDURR

LURE

UUUUDUDURLRLRRRRRRDUDUDLLULRULLLLDDUDURLRLRRRRRRDRRR

FINAL DANCE

URLDDDDRRRRLDRRLRDLRDRLDLLUULLLDDDDRRRRURLURURRRR

Solutions to levels 16-24:

NOTE: Solutions are not necessarily the shortest ones; they are simply the ones that I was able to find.

axis URRDR DURDD RLDRR RURUL URR
sweep RLRLR RRURU RURUD URURU R
gate DDRLR LRRUR RURDD DRLDR LDRRU RLLRU RR
unzip UUUUR LRRRR UURDR LDRRR RD
twins UUUDU DRLRL RRRRD DDRDL RLRUD UDRRR UUR
machine UURLU URRLR DRDUD RLDUD UDRRR DRDLD RRRLU RU
reduction URRRR RLRUL UURRD RRR
lure DDRLR LRRRR RRDUD UDLLU LRULL LDLDD UURLR LRRRR RRDRR R
final dance DDRLD RRRRU RLURL RDLDL DRRLR DLRDR LDLLU ULLLU URRRR URLUR URRRR

Sweep is an excellent challenge (I haven't beaten it yet, but I just got "the point" of the level). Thanks for this game recommendation, Steve.

I like this game. Can't wait for the user-made level pack. I finally found a game that was challenging, but that I didn't have to run to the walkthrough for(good thing, because there wasn't one at the time.) I was going to make a walkthrough, but after an hour spent making a boring urduldur walkthrough after realizing that my words made no sense, I checked back here and someone already posted a full walkthrough. :( I was almost finished, too. Oh well.
This is a great game, because it has large, friendly cirlces with no glaring bright white spots, so it's easy on the eyes, because provides a lot of challenges, yet everything can literally be figured out logically, so I didn't have to use a walkthrough, and because there's room for user-levels.

By the way,
@Zxo: The flashers disappearing? That's the point. It's part memory game. Just plan ahead, and don't get ahead of your planning.
@Nerdypants: It is sad that colorblind people can't play. However, changing the symbols wouldn't work too well. For the minus signs, it doesn't matter that they're different colors. The only thing that's different is when they're on and when they're off. It's more challenging to have them the same color, but not impossible. For the arrows, however, I agree. The horizontal ones and the vertical ones need to be separated. I think this could be done by having an outlined arrow and a filled arrow, or a short fat arrow and a long skinny arrow. Even for non-color-blind people, it's very annoying when you forget momentarily which way the circle goes, and you run into it.

Walk-through for
level 11

down up up up up right right up up up up right right down down down down right up right up down up right right down down right

level 12

down up down up down right right up up left up up right right right right right up up left up down up down up up right up up right right right

level 13

down right right right right up right up right up right right right up

level 14

down down down up down right right down down down right right up up down right right up right up right up right up

level 15

down up up up right right down right right up down up down up right up right down down right right right down

Thanks hiyooo!

Dartania Thorne - I can understand that memory is part of the game, but I think that it makes for a poorer game. I'm a figure-outer, not a memorizer. The logic and puzzling aspects of this game are great on their own, no need to rehash one of the oldest games in history.

Wow, what challenge!

Final Dance

uuuu rldr rrru rlur lrdl
dldr rlrd lrdr ldll uull
luur rrru rlur urrr r

Wasn't able to get the game to take focus. No matter how many times I click, arrow keys just scroll the page.

[Since you didn't specify the browser you're using, I'll assume it's IE since that is a known bug with IE. Please try a different (better) browser. -Jay]

How come my walkthrough isn't linked in the walkthrough section?

[Sorry, sometimes we miss them when they're posted. If we forget, just send us a note. Thanks. :) -Jay]

gate was weird; used the walkthrough on that one. Nice use of spoilers by the way.

Has the game changed since it was published?

[Yes, the game was updated recently. -Jay]

Since you guys are mathematically oriented (as I have read) I wonder if you might consider giving us (the public) a mathematical analysis of your wonderful game somewhere. It is all about phase and high multiples of 2 and 3 but I think it is infinitely extensible to more cells & rules & dimensions.

I am in awe of this little game and think it has a potential akin to Conway's Game of Life.

What I am saying it that the rules, strategies, and results might portend a bit more than just a game (not to sound too much like Wolfram).
Cheers - slord (who is humbly but temporarily stuck on "lure")

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