Impulsion - PC Review

Physics and reaction collide

Game Info:

  • System: PC
  • Publisher: Playdius, Plug in Digital
  • Developer: Driving Force Games
  • Release Date: July 19, 2018

Who it Caters to

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What do you crave personally when you buy a puzzle-based game? Do you want something that is incredibly easy and only tests your mental fortitude slightly or do you desire a puzzle game where reaction is key and will push your mind into full on reaction mode? If you chose the latter options, then you’re the target audience of this review for a little game called Impulsion. At its core, Impulsion wishes to test players not with simple puzzles but with a combination of reaction-based puzzles and physics-based concepts. Every challenge grows in difficulty while playing Impulsion and for those who love speedrunning titles that fuse reaction with speed, you will want to sit and read this review.

What to Expect

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Impulsion is a first-person puzzle game where reaction and physics meet together. The key theme in Impulsion is to solve challenging rooms where your reactions will be test through and through. Run, jump and avoid various dangers by using two different guns that manipulate the flow of physics around you. Enter into a story mode with increasingly hard challenges and then go for speedrunning challenges as you face off against others on an online leaderboard. Impulsion is all about moving…fast. Your fingers will need to dance and your mind will need to follow if you want to have any hope of surviving the rooms you’re about to enter.


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In Impulsion, you play as a robot who has recently woken up in a strange facility devoid of life. The only other soul—if you can call it that—is an A.I. claiming that you must take on increasingly hard challenges to test your skills. You must rely on your own mind and two guns that can alter physics if you want to take on these challenge rooms and find out why you are here in the first place. Death doesn’t mean the end in Impulsion, however, dying isn’t the way to successfully solve a map either.


IM-1-Impulsion-capture-560x315 Impulsion - PC Review
When we first sat down and downloaded Impulsion, we did what we usually do at Honey’s Anime HQ. We immediately went onto Steam and watched a trailer of what we were about to get into. Our first thoughts were that Impulsion just mirrored a game called Portal by the developers at Valve, but once we began to see a bit more, we realized our critical error in thought. Then when we sat down and began playing Impulsion, we whispered a small apology to the developers—in this case, Driving Force Games—about our lapse in judgment. Impulsion is so much more than Portal and we’ll show you what we mean in a moment. Welcome, everyone, to our review of Impulsion for the PC!

Impulsion is a very simple game to explain to those entering this multi-room challenge game. Players take control of a robot who must defeat each room but successfully surviving the various perils within. Though here’s the thing, folks, Impulsion isn’t about fighting monsters or other robots but instead about fighting your own reactive abilities as you quickly learn how the concepts of physics can be manipulated in ways not often seen in games. Impulsion is the marriage between speed, reaction and mental fortitude and it works wonderful because of this trifecta.

The main pull of Impulsion is that you are given two guns quite early on in the game. One gun shoots blue spheres and the other shoots orange ones, thus why you can forgive us for thinking it was mirroring Portal in design. The guns in Impulsion act as the main tool to solve the various puzzles in each room. The blue spheres speed up anything that enters them—so you, for example—and the orange ones slow down time and allow for a secondary jump to performed if the player enters one. However, the main thing to note here is that each room makes sure that you can’t just simply spam the gun’s spheres around to solve the puzzles. Like Portal, the two guns you have can only be used in very specific ways.

Players will notice that the gun shooting blue spheres that increase speed can be shot almost anywhere, on the walls and even on the floor. This allows for jumps across chasms or even to perform wall runs—of sorts—if a player times a sprint well enough. Meanwhile, the orange spheres can only be shot on orange tiles or surfaces and usually are used to perform jumps near a ledge that you previously had to jump towards or to control the speed of a laser wall that might kill you if you don’t place one down. Impulsion’s main gameplay might seem confusing if you’re not using these guns for yourself, but once you see how simple the concepts work, you’ll soon realize the challenge isn’t in figuring out the controls…the challenge is figuring out how to work fast with your mind and keyboard in sync.

At its core, Impulsion is fun and exciting because it tests you, the player, into making quick reactions all while messing with the laws of physics. Speeding up in an area using the blue gun might help you move fast and make a large jump but if a laser wall is present it will also speed up the wall if it hits you, meaning you’re going to need to realize how to avoid the wall catching up to you and equally how to still gain the speed you need to make that jump 30 meters away. Impulsion will have you dying…a lot…but each death will teach you that with practice you can become better. There’s even incentive to completing rooms faster thanks to a speedrunning theme where your scores go up on an online leaderboard and show how fast someone else beat that level. Besides the main story mode, there are just challenge rooms and speedrunning challenges to keep players well entertained even if they should somehow fly through the main story challenges, which we promise won’t happen unless you’re amazing already at speedrunning titles.

Finally, let’s discuss the visuals and music for Impulsion. While Impulsion doesn’t have a lot of variety in its room designs—more so colors—its still an impressive looking title with some solid designs and visuals. The same can be said of the music which might not be soundtrack of the year but does keep the flow of challenges with some solid tempo-based tracks. If we had any complaints in general about the sound in Impulsion, it would be the voice acting. We won’t say the voice acting destroys the experience of the story mode but due to Impulsion being an indie game, its voice acting is pretty rough. The dialogue does make up for this with an AI voice who can be kind sometimes and brutal other times, but don’t expect GlaDOS level of dialogue.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

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Impulsion is a speed runner’s dream and equally those who love hard challenges that require lightning reflex will enjoy it as well. There’s just a beauty to be had trying to run through a challenge as fast as possible knowing what to do but training yourself to react fast enough to accomplish said room. Impulsion is a tough game though and the pace picks up in difficulty might turn some gamers off who aren’t willing to die a million times to learn the simple but complex nature of how to maneuver in Impulsion perfectly. Impulsion is also held back slightly with some ho-hum voice acting in the story mode, but thanks to some silly dialogue that doesn’t take things too seriously, it doesn’t hurt the overall experience. We highly recommend buying Impulsion as this is a beautiful puzzle/speedrunning title that will grab you from the gate and make you wish to only get faster and better with each passing failure or high completion time.

Honey's Pros:

  • Reaction/physic-based gameplay works perfectly for an amazing experience
  • Speed running maps will become a never-ending struggle that you will want to take on to prove your skills
  • Incredible music that works to keep pace and speed perfectly in sync
  • Strong visuals despite a lack of variation in environments
  • Silly dialogue that keeps the game from feeling too serious

Honey's Cons:

  • Voice acting isn’t the best
  • Becomes quite difficult early on

Honey's Final Verdict:

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Impulsion proves to the indie gaming world that big teams aren’t always necessary for a big game with a ton of enjoyment to be had. Impulsion was made by a small three-man cell of French students as the site says and that truly wows us here at Honey’s Anime. If you crave a tough puzzle game with genuine challenge that warrants practice, you will absolutely love Impulsion for the PC. Are you excited to try out Impulsion based on what we had to say about it? Tell us in the comments below so we can discuss Impulsion with you readers and know of your experiences while playing it. Be sure to keep stuck to our hive as well for more game reviews and gaming articles curtsey of us here at Honey’s Anime.

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Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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