Impulsion – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Indie, Platformer
Developer: Driving Force Games
Publisher: Playdius, Plug In Digital
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Impulsion – Review

Site Score
Good: -Addictive gameplay
Bad: -Can cross the line from addiction to frustration
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Wouldn’t it be great if you could restart the day until you got it absolutely perfect? Many movies use this in their story to allow the character to grow, evolve and learn from previous mistakes by giving them unlimited do-overs. But what if you can’t get it right, you would be stuck in an endless loop while your mistakes and failures stack up indefinitely.


The story of Impulsion starts with you waking up in a futuristic bedroom inside a space station. You are immediately greeted by the computer voice of Archie, the A.I. which controls the space station you are currently in. Do you know that feeling when you just met someone and you already know you’re never going to get along? Archie will guide you through several hallways to a test room. The game does not provide much context to the nature of the test or why the station appears to be empty although Archie does refer to other test subjects. Once inside the test room you’ll be asked to sit down in futuristic looking dentist chair and you just know things are getting serious. Archie provides a brief explanation which comes down to him plugging you into the Matrix and running several test levels. The one with the girl in the red dress was unfortunately not available. You are now ported to virtual world, in this world death results in a reset of the level, successfully completing a level grants access to the next. The story is limited and does not really offer much in the sense of character development or story progression. The setup of the story mostly exists to explain the endless loop of retries to complete a level.


The game was made in the Unreal engine and looks decent but not spectacular. The levels in the virtual world are kept sober. Once inside the virtual world you’re basically on a rollercoaster, it can go up, down, left, right but always forward on a linear track. The walls are plain with built-in LED strips, those lights do a good job creating some variety in the environment. Behind every corner could be a floating platform, a turret or a laser fence. For the amount of levels the game has there is just enough diversity. You don’t get to see your character at all with exception of his hands who wield his two speed altering guns.


The game features an electronic, upbeat soundtrack which fits perfectly with the futuristic look of the game and does a good job in adding tension. The voice of Archie who continuously monitors you, informs you about obstacles and mocks your failures is annoying. However this feels as if it has been done by design, mission accomplished. You can however turn him off, if you get tired of him comparing you to a vacuum cleaner.


Impulsion is a fast-paced first-person platformer. If one had to compare the game to others one might say it’s like Mirrors Edge and Portal all wrapped into one with a The Matrix vibe. The game is all about parkour so gaining momentum is the name of the game. Running and jumping is about ninety percent of what you’ll be doing. If you take a closer look at the control scheme of the game you’ll notice that you need seven buttons in total. Five of those are your general movement keys plus jumping. The two remaining keys are the left and right mouse button which lets you fire respectively your left and right weapon.

The levels of the game are linear as your task is to get from point A to point B without dying, if that happens you instantly get teleported back to the start, only to be mocked by Archie.  The first five levels can be counted as tutorial levels as you are guided through the use of your two weapons. There are no enemies in the game, your only nemesis is the environment.

Armed with two guns, one blue and one red you start the level. Both guns produce a force field respectively red or blue, only one of each can be active at any given time. The blue force field speeds anything that enters it up and provides a big jump boost when you jump while inside the blue bubble. You do have air control in this game when jumping so you can still change your mind mid jump and go in the other direction. The blue force field speeds everything up and can therefore also be used to disrupt the environment, a slow moving platform can be turned into a rollercoaster. The red gun on the other hand slow things down and allows you to double jump but it can only be deployed on red elements in the area, while blue ones can be deployed everywhere, red ones need to be deployed at the right place at the right time. Reaching the end of the level is a serious task and a small miscalculation in your jump can cause your virtual self to die and be respawned at the very start only to be mocked by the Archie who loves nothing better than to make hurtful comments while comparing your performance to that of a vacuum cleaner.

The gameplay might be limited but the game mechanics are not, you’ll encounter one obstacle after another. Often the next obstacle is behind the corner just out of sight, so you’re most of the time jumping on good luck into the unknown and then it’s up to your reflexes to quickly make your next move. The game features leaderboards based on how fast you were able to complete the level, it does not take into account how many times you tried.


Impulsion is a decent game in its genre, it balances the line of challenging, addictive and frustrating very well. The game fits right into the easy to learn hard to master category. Each failed attempt makes you want to try again and the more times you die the bigger the emotional fulfillment if you actually complete the level. The online leaderboards provide a competitive edge to the game as well as making it an ideal candidate for speedrun endeavors.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Impulsion - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

I am an Illustrator/Artist who studies Concept Art and Game Design in my free time. Designing things is in my blood and I am always very curious in making games. Motivated and dedicated to become better in every way I can. You only live once and I intend to fully enjoy it! As for gaming itself I do prefer to play the following games: FPS, RPG, Action Adventure Games, Fighting Games, Hack and Slash.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.