Game Review: Alto’s Adventure

Release date: 2015 (iOS), 2016 (Windows)
Version played: Windows 10 in 2017

Available for free on the Windows game store, Alto’s Adventure is a endless sidescrolling game developed and published by Snowman games. Players control Alto, a young boy who must snowboard down the snowy mountain peaks to collect his escaped Llamas. Clicking the mouse will cause Alto to jump, and holding it down will make Alto perform a backflip, which, if landed successfully, grants a speed boost and a score increase. Alto can collect coins, which can be used to purchase upgrades, much like games such as Temple Run, and there are various objectives to complete during each run in order to level up.

+ the soundtrack is incredible. A very calming ambience and great “pings” for coin collection, as well as a nice whirring noise  and a very satisfying horn sound, for just two in-game collectible power-ups, make for an unforgettable experience
+ the graphics are simple, but very charming in their own way. Each of the various characters are unique in their own ways, and the scrolling background, especially the rising and setting sun, would make for a fantastic desktop background no matter when you take the image. Various weather effects, such as rain storms complete with lightning strikes, break up the backgrounds before any monotony can set in
+ the gameplay is very simple, requiring only two button presses the whole way (or if you want to be technical, two buttons or holding one of those buttons). All you have to do is jump and, if you want, backflip, but it is choosing when to backflip, and whether to try and push it to be a double- or triple-flip that makes the game challenging but rewarding
+ the characters are fun, each with their own unique abilities to set them apart. Although as is often the case in these sort of games, one stands out head and shoulders above the others

altosadventure_2
gif via Wikipedia

– the sometimes frustrating failures are made worse by watching the ads, if you wish to resume and keep progress of the current run. I couldn’t even find a way to pay to get rid of them (not that I would have anyway)
– one of the achievements requires you to play the game for five in-game years (where a day takes roughly 8 minutes). Achievements like this — in any game! — are just ridiculous, and obviously are solely meant to provide a fake incentive to play for longer

> this game was, in many ways, a mash up of the browser game Line Rider, the mobile game Temple Run, and the previously reviewed The Deer God. An interesting amalgamation, to be sure

Should you play this game: For a free game, this provided me with far more enjoyment than I was expecting. Perfect to play with something streaming on another screen, this game will let you relax, as well as pull off some truly satisfying jump, flip and grinding combos. Do yourself a favour and get this game on your format of choice

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