Impossible, huh? Pffftt, I’m a skilled gamer! Just a bit of platforming? No problem. Hey, these platforms are moving pretty fast. That’s a lot of spikes. Okay, there’s nowhere to land. Guess I’ll die. No more lives? … I’ll be back later.
Imagine a spiritual successor to Donkey Kong Country came out without anyone noticing? That’s what we have here. After years of hype for Playtonic’s debut 3D platforming game Yooka-Laylee, it received quite a bit of backlash for not being the best game ever made. It was pretty much what people asked for, a Banjo successor that revived open 3D platforming, but unreasonable expectations developed over the years. Playtonic took a completely different approach to Impossible Lair, announcing it and launching it very quickly in the same year. All they really needed to sell this game was a trailer with new David Wise music, roll-jumps and barrels.
Instead of purely catering to kickstarter backers demands, Impossible Lair is a passion project that takes advantage of the 2D platforming genre to fix all the problems the original game had. The “empty” and “unfocused” level design of a 3D wasteland becomes very focused and tight when you can only move left and right. I recently finished all 40 levels and the Impossible Lair itself, and I really have to commend this game. I’m a huge fan of Donkey Kong Country and especially Tropical Freeze, and I’m bursting to talk about this. Impossible Lair is the real deal.