I was trawling through Facebook the other night, before coming across someone mentioning a iOS app game that he said was visually stunning. Trusting this person, I thought I’d check out what the commotion was about; which is when I came across Alto’s Adventure.
Alto’s Adventure is unfortunately only on iOS at the moment – which sucks if you’re an Android/Windows phone user; because this game is ridiculously stunning. It’s visually one of the most impressive things I’ve seen on my smartphone, plus it translates over to the tablet looking just as amazing as it does on my phone.
The greatest quality of this game is the brilliant Day/Night/Weather cycle. It’s the best I’ve seen on a smartphone bar none, with it probably challenging many console games for being one of the best ever – The latest Need For Speed (was it called Rivals? I can’t remember, there’s been so many of them haha) had quite an impressive Conditions system and I’ve heard good things about the Dying Light Day/Night Cycle, from the short demo I played, it was fairly impressive going through that cycle.
Alto’s Adventure is an ‘endless snowboarding odyssey’, which means that over the course of a long playthrough, you can really see, and more importantly immerse yourself in, the ever-changing weather system and adapt to the full Day-Night cycle. Looking at the brilliant background graphics of the different mountains whizzing by is dangerous – I can’t count the number of times I’ve fallen or crashed because I was looking at the background instead.
There is a levelling system to some degree – you get given three tasks to complete; stuff like do 3 backflips in one run, collect 20 coins in 15 seconds, travel over 5,000 m in one run etc, which you can tick off to get to the next level and so on. There’s at least 51 levels as it stands; I know this because by going through these levels you unlock additional characters, first one being at 11 and then in stages on 10 levels. The only other way to progress these characters is through the workshop at the home screen – here, you can purchase a wing suit for 5,000 coins, which is a nice fun addition, activate in mid jump to be able to do loop-the-loops! You can also purchase upgrades for the magnet and hover timers, with 5 upgrades available for both of these, the highest upgrade costing 5,000 coins. It’s actually very easy to get the required coins to purchase the wing suit and highest tier for magnet and hover timers – I think this is due to how fun it is to do the levels and runs and the reply factor for completing the different tasks is challenging enough. There’s only really been one time so far that I’ve been truly stuck in a level – I needed to do 2 triple backflips in one run and it took me quite a while to get the layout of the run to be friendly enough to me!
As well as collecting coins as I mentioned to be able to upgrade these items, you collect llamas – simply to get more points in that run. Points is also rewarded for tricks during your run; well tricks is a bit of a vague term, seeing as you can only really do backflips, but it’s still fun to combine a rock bounce with a grind and then finishing with a backflip. So how do runs end? Well, rocks and flames are one part of this; they are littered throughout each run which means you need to keep an eye open, even if the backgrounds are trying to keep your attention. There’s also numerous chasms that you’re required to jump over or fly over; some being harder to judge than others, or others requiring you to grind across. Lastly, you run into Elders. These are so fun to encounter – they simply chase you down, and require you to try and stay away from them, whether it be above them, or simply by sliding faster across the ice paths to get a bit further away – with the only way they’ll leave you alone being when you cross a chasm. These encounters are just another way of shaking up each run.
The game was made over the course of three years by just a bunch of friends – which means I’m more than happy to give the £1.50 to buy it…and I recommend you trying it out if you like snowboarding or any app game actually!