The beauty of the backgrounds, running the course of the day, lighting the landscape is absolutely incredible. This game shows what the iPhone is capable of without focusing on it. Snow and rain fall, lightening and shooting stars flash across your screen, as you become one with the mountain. Fiery embers and smoke rise into the air as you blaze by. The animation is truly stunning.
It is the simplicity of games like these that hook mobile gamers. Alto’s Adventure reminds me of Tiny Wings a few years ago. Beautiful graphics is what sells these games, not game play. But even with very simple gameplay, the game has a lot of great elements. Capture the llamas— which are points; the llamas are points—, collect coins, and chain tricks to get a higher and higher score. But watch out for the elders. They don’t like your youthful antics.
As you complete 180 goals, you will unlock 6 characters. Maya is the flipper. Paz is slow to start, but builds up big speed. Izel is the gadget junkie, trailing fire behind her board. Felipe is a llama. On a snowboard. Go with it. And then the elder, Tupa, channels the energy of the mountain.
Use your points to expand the magnet and hover gadgets and buy the wing suit. Yes, the wing suit. Not only do you snowboard with llamas, but you can fly too.
To say that I have played this game for hours is an understatement. Last week my daughter, a six month old that sleeps soundly through the night, woke up screaming at 3 am. My wife and I were up for 2 hours trying to get her back down. For the second half of that time, I was playing Alto. At 4 in the morning.
Beautiful games are few and far between. This is something special and unique. The team behind Alto’s Adventure has been working on it for two years. You can see the earliest experimentations on Harry Nesbitt’s blog as he tooled around with the Unity engine and on his Dribbble account as he worked through llama animations. The passion of the design and development team just bleeds through every pixel. Their two years are worth it, in my book.