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The Impossible Line

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Line up for a decent game that's lousy with ads

Product: The Impossible Line | Developer: Mi | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPhone | Genre: Line- drawing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
The Impossible Line iPhone, thumbnail 1
What is an impossible line, anyway? Is it a perfectly straight line drawn without a ruler? Or is it a line that experiences no signal failures or other delays for an entire morning? 

In the case of Chillingo's The Impossible Line for iOS, it's a line that winds around invisible walls as neatly as a bee dances around raindrops. It turns out that drawing such lines is actually perfectly feasible - but it's not always easy.

The Impossible Line is a straightforward memory game that calls on your visuospatial skills.

Each level is presented as a chalkboard sketch marked with thick, solid "barrier" lines. You're given a few seconds at the start of each round to memorise where the barriers are, after which they disappear and you have to navigate around them and reach the end-level target.

If you manage to do so without hitting any of the invisible walls, you're allowed to move on.


The Impossible Line tests your accuracy as keenly as it tests your memory. Sometimes success depends on banking around tight corners and squeezing into narrow passageways - kind of a tall order when you have nothing to go off except a memory of the level layout, which dims rapidly.

Luckily, there are some perks on your side. There's no time limit to contend with, so you can be as slow as you like, methodically edging forward to make best use of your radar - a large red dot in the corner of the screen that shrinks whenever you approach a wall. 

IAPs explained
The Impossible Line offers in-app purchases, and while they're not necessary, one purchase in particular might have a direct effect on how much you enjoy the game. For £1.49 / $1.99, you can get rid of the game's clunky, obnoxious ads, which tend to get in the way in the free version of the game.

Otherwise, you can buy coins via in-app purchases, which go back into power-ups. Power-ups are handy, but not necessary since a little persistence will carry you through most levels within a few minutes.
Moreover, whenever you successfully complete a level you earn coins to spend on power-ups, like a quick three-second peek at your surroundings, or a miner's hat that shows you the outlines of barriers as you draw close to them. Unsurprisingly, power-ups are expensive, and earning coins without resorting to in-app purchases means a slow grind.

The Impossible Line offers the same memory-taxing challenge level after level. The gameplay varies little beyond steadily increasing in difficulty. You can therefore expect to get tired of the game's gimmick after a few dozen levels, though the solid challenge should please you for at least that long.


Unfortunately, theres an excellent chance that you'll get tired of the game's ads before the experience itself wears thin. The ads are big, annoying, invasive, and immensely distracting - a sub-optimal feature in a memory game.

You can pay £1.49 / $1.99 to axe the ads, and if you haven't had your fill of The Impossible Line's concept a few levels in you may find the investment worthwhile.

The Impossible Line plays a single note, but it's pleasant enough. Just don't be surprised if you get bored with it long before the end.
The Impossible Line
Reviewer photo
Nadia Oxford | 27 August 2013
The Impossible Line is a puzzle/memory game that should keep you entertained for a little while, but it won't make any lasting marks on your soul
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