The recent release of the snowboard-inspired endless runner game called Alto’s Adventure has made a substantial impact throughout the internet. With its simple, yet elegant, graphics and immersive gaming experience it was hard not to give it a go.
The premise of the game is simple; you start by playing a snowboarding mountain herder who needs to catch his fleeing alpacas1 as they are escaping down the hills. You will unlock other characters and over 180 hand-crafted goals as you progress in the game, but the details of the goals and characters will not be revealed here. Regardless of which character you are playing, the controls are still as simple as can be: tap once for jumping, tap and hold to execute backflips. “Easy to learn, hard to master” comes to mind.
While this may sound just like any other game, there are two things that set this apart from the competition. The first thing you will notice is how amazingly beautiful the game is, and how the environmental design plays a major part of the overall experience. Everything from raging thunderstorms and drizzling rains to immense snowfall creates a rich and realistic atmosphere. And as if that wasn’t enough, the changing times of day adds another dimension to the realism. You will play through bright and sunny days and warm evenings, to just seeing a silhouette of Alto during the darkness of the night as he thunders down the snow-covered slopes. Just wait until you see the sun rise above the horizon, creating the most amazing atmosphere you can imagine in this type of game.
What really ties the game together is the excellent soundtrack and the prominent ambient details. Combine that with the subtle sound of flapping birds and the sound of crisp snow compressing as Alto fires through the slopes, you feel as tough you are a part of the world2.
The second thing that sets this game apart is the lack of in-app purchases. As the game has in-game coins and a purchasing system, it would have been trivial to add this, but it would however have completely ruined the terrific gaming experience. This is really a step in the right direction where you purchase the game and can immerse yourself in it fully without being interrupted with numerous requests for purchases to progress in the game. I hope other games follow suit.
If you are into these kinds of games and have some time to kill, I would highly recommend you to try this game out.