Focus On is a series of posts which, well, ‘focus on’ one particular thing from any number of genres or sectors. There are lists aplenty out there which order the ‘best’ entries in any given category, the intention of these posts are to highlight one of those and what makes it great. This week I’m looking at a charming little mobile game called Alto’s Adventure. Available for both Android and iOS, it sure is beautiful.
What is Alto’s Adventure?
Alto’s Adventure is an endless snowboard game available for both Android and iOS (and Kindle Fire if you accidentally bough one of those).
The premise is simple; you play – initially – as Alto, a young chap who is trying to round up his llamas. How the llamas got out is left up to the player’s imagination, although from the title screen Alto’s security measures appear to be overwhelmingly lax. To get them under control, Alto must snowboard down the mountain past the fleeing llamas in order to tag them.
There are a number of items along the way to help and hinder Alto’s adventure down the hill. There are pickups that give Alto boosts every so often and rocks and fires scattered around that he must avoid. In addition, there are towns and forests that can be boarded through, adding to the ambiance and feel of the game.
There are also the dastardly ‘elders’, who are sleeping on the mountain. Once you go past them, they awake and chase you. Why? No idea, maybe they don’t like being woken up. Either way, they are only evaded once you manage to jump across a chasm.
Tapping the screen will jump your character while holding it will start a backflip; putting together flips, grinds and evasions helps raise your combo, which in turn results in boost.
The characters of Alto’s Adventure
As it happens, Alto is not the only protagonist. There are a number of riders to unlock, all with slightly different attributes. The pick of the bunch for me is Maya who, while a little slower, is the most agile and can pull of flips where others would flounder. The premise is the same, regardless.
Audio and visuals
Alto’s Adventure is a good looking game. The art style is engaging and there’s a huge amount of polish in everything from the title screen to the menus, let alone the game itself. Little touches like having current goals projected in the sky as the player starts their run are lovely touches that prevent the game feeling cluttered.
There are some nice touches, too. There’s a day/night/weather system in the game that is semi-persistent. The time of day changes rapidly as you board and it’s possible to achieve full ‘days’ of distance. It’s a lively sight to board out of the darkness and into the sunrise. The weather affects are cool, too.
However it’s audio where the game shines. Personally, I’m someone who mutes pretty much every game they play but the opposite is true in Alto’s Adventure. I’m keen to have the sound on as it’s so relaxing. Given the fact you’re going to crash every so often, Alto’s Adventure manages to be very chilled. From the background music to the swish sound made by the snow, the game feels like its aim is to calm you down. Coupled with the art style it’s a powerful combo.
All in all, it’s a game well worth spending some time on. It’s currently free in the Google Play store and only a handful of pennies (well, 229 to be precise) in Apple’s App store – I recommend downloading it ASAP!
Source: Developer site