Created By: Spark9 on September 5, 2011
Troped

ImpossibleGame

A game that, by design, can never be completed; generally meant as a joke.

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This is a game with a clear final goal, that prevents you from ever reaching that goal. These are almost always joke games, where the joke on the player is that the game simply cannot be completed no matter what you do.

This is distinct from an Endless Game, which doesn't have a final goal but simply repeats itself; and from Unwinnable, where the goal is possible from the start, but can become impossible as the result of player actions.

Examples,

Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • September 6, 2011
    Spark9
    The old term "Kobayashi Mario" should redirect here (it presently points to Endless Game, which is not a good fit).
  • September 7, 2011
    Lyendith
    There mustn't be a whole lot of examples... I mean, who would be interested in playing a game while knowing fully it's impossible by design?
  • September 8, 2011
    ZombieAladdin
    Jigsaw's protege in the Saw films makes "games" that are unwinnable--her death traps are more easily solved, but the solution is typically sealed shut. Jigsaw is not happy with this approach.
  • September 8, 2011
    desdendelle
    This is suspiciously similar to Unwinnable By Design.
  • September 8, 2011
    Balmung
    Not really. A game that's Unwinnable By Design can be won, but the designers included ways to make winning impossible, such as forgetting to pick up [insert item here] and then being able to save afterwards anyways.
  • September 8, 2011
    Stratadrake
    @desdendelle: Actually it's the other way around: Unwinnable By Design has a lot of misuse for this trope (and other "impossible" situations), which is why it's here.
  • September 8, 2011
    Zsuzsa
    The "Snakes and Foxes" game from the Wheel Of Time series. There's no way to win without cheating.
  • September 8, 2011
    Lumpenprole
    Supposedly, an old PC game called "Hacker" could only be won by hacking the real-life game itself.

  • September 9, 2011
    Glowsquid
    From the Harder Than Hard page:

    • Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors poked fun at the Harder Than Hard trope with an impossible difficulty that was literally impossible. During the game you would get laser'd, prompting the following quote:
      Lou Reed: This is the impossible level, boys. Impossible doesn't mean very difficult; very difficult is winning the Nobel Prize. Impossible is eating the sun.
  • September 9, 2011
    Abodos
    How about renaming the trope Comically Impossible Game? That way, we can keep people from complaining about beatable games that they think are too hard.
  • September 9, 2011
    Stratadrake
  • September 27, 2011
    Stratadrake

    Video Games

    • Not Tetris is a parody of Tetris with full physics modelling, making it almost impossible to fill lines correctly. Not Tetris 2, on the other hand is actually playable (lines clear after being 90% filled), but still difficult as it's easy to mess up the pile; it also includes the original as its "Stack" gameplay mode.
    • While most games in Windows Freecell can be won, Microsoft programmed two hidden game numbers (-1 and -2) demonstrating layouts that are clearly impossible.

  • February 9, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Bump?
  • February 9, 2012
    Millstone
    • The Game is lost the moment you think about it.
  • February 9, 2012
    Stratadrake
  • February 10, 2012
    BlackDragon
    Glowsquid raises an interesting point - would games that are normally 'possible', but has a genuinely impossible 'Impossible' mode count? 'cuz I think there's one or two others like that...
  • February 10, 2012
    Stratadrake
    I think they can, so long as it is intentionally and literally impossible. If it's just named "impossible" but technically isn't, it's just Harder Than Hard Up To Eleven.
  • May 4, 2012
    ShiningArmor87
    Almost every Luna Game except the sixth.
  • May 4, 2012
    arromdee
    I played the Hacker game when it came out. It is not an example. You are hacking into an imaginary computer system which is simulated in the game. You're not hacking into the game itself.
  • May 4, 2012
    Ekuran
  • May 4, 2012
    billybobfred
    I think this has already been launched, as Unwinnable Joke Game.
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