I’ve had the pleasure of playing a pre-release of Alto’s Adventure for a while now. It’s a truly immersive, gorgeous, addicting app. Sure, there are countless endless runners to hit the App Store; Tiny Wings and Badlands to name a few personal favourites. But you cannot find either on my phone. Something about their fun-factor wears-off. I’m pleased to say that hasn’t been the case with Alto’s Adventure.
It all began in 2012, when Snowman’s founders (a favourite development team of mine), decided to make something fresh and exhilarating – something to combine their love of snowboarding and app-building. They asked an artist to “help bring this vision to light,” and went from there. It took time to learn the skills to create such an amazing iPhone and iPad game, but they did it. Development began in January 2013, and it was submitted on January 27th of this year.
The team really met their goal of creating something with a “strong and distinctive look and feel.” The runner is smooth, graceful, and challenging. Despite the entire game operating on a single-touch mechanism, it is quite difficult to master the 180 goals – but not, I might add, too difficult to make you want to throw you phone at the wall. The terrain gets progressively harder, something the team says was meant to replicate real-world snowboarding. Six characters are also available, each with individual abilities for different gaming styles. The snowboarding llama was a nice touch.
Let’s take a moment to talk solely about the experience. As you play the game, the lighting and environment changes from day to night. But the weather and time also changes when the game is in the background, keeping the gameplay feeling alive. There is real evidence of the amount of time and effort put into these effects. There are more than half a dozen different weather scenarios that can take place; anything from blizzards to shooting stars. I also love the “layering” of the background. Of course you play in the foreground, but the mountains and trees of the background appear in front of, and behind one another to add a three-dimensional effect to the game.
One thing to note are points and scores. As this is a game about snowboarding, you perform tricks while airborne. By doing combos, you increase your score and speed – doing things like capturing llamas, leaping chasms, grinding rooftops, and doing backflips. With Game Centre integration, it’s simple to compete against your friends for the high score. Additionally, coins can be found along your journey, which can be used to increase time lengths for the Magnet (which causes more coins to attract towards you), and Hover (which lets you float above the track to avoid obstacles). However, the best item to purchase (using in-game money only – no IAPs!) is the Wingsuit. The gameplay is completely changed, with the player flying through the air to create different types of tricks. My only quip is how hard it is to get the Wingsuit, which only activates after a certain amount of trick combos – but getting it is certainly worth it.
Overall, Alto’s Adventure is my favourite quick-play game for iOS. I love being able pick it up, play for a moment and feel satisfied. It never gets old. I will definitely be recommending Alto’s Adventure to all my friends.
Get it on the App Store for just $1.99 (USD).