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The Impossible Stairs

I really enjoyed The Impossible Stairs. First of all, the game is a nice homage to The Impossible Bottle. Its setting, initial goals, and focus on family relationships are all similar to aspects of The Impossible Bottle. Its major puzzle mechanic bends time in satisfying ways, as The Impossible Bottle’s mechanic does with space. There are several small touches that reference The Impossible Bottle, too – from a crossover character to the ending.

The Impossible Stairs is also thoughtfully designed. For example, it emphasizes extended family – I particularly enjoyed Grandma and Uncle Joe – which is appropriate for a game in which the passage of time is such an integral part. The game space is relatively small, which allows more focus on the game’s core temporal paradoxes.

The puzzles are the kinds of puzzles you’d expect from a game featuring time travel, in which you’re required to think both backward and forward in time. They’re solidly done, and I enjoyed the intellectual challenge of working through them. They’re probably my favorize set of puzzles in a Mathbrush game.

The Impossible Stairs is also well-implemented and gentle on the player, as you’d expect from Mathbrush.

Overall, this game hits my sweet spot of emotionally resonant and intellectually engaging. I’ve played a lot of good Mathbrush games, but I’d say The Impossible Stairs is my favorite.

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