Alto’s Odyssey Review

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The original Alto’s Adventure, launched three years ago, was an unmitigated success. Players loved the simple yet exciting gameplay, wonderful visuals and a soothing soundtrack, resulting in millions of copies being sold across multiple platforms. Three years later, developer Team Alto is back with a sequel. Called Alto’s Odyssey, the game has similar gameplay style to the original but with a few new twists and a brand new setting. It’s now out on iOS and we decided to take a look. Unlike the snow covered peaks of Alto’s Odyssey, you slide down sand covered dunes in a desert in…

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Review: ‘Alto’s Odyssey’ for iOS heads down the mountain as an excellent sequel to ‘Alto’s Adventure’

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"Alto’s Odyssey" makes a number of enhancements to the successful formula set out by "Alto’s Adventure" three years ago, resulting in an endless runner that will satisfy both players of the original and newcomers alike.
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‘Alto’s Odyssey’ developers tout economics and ease of development for Apple devices

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The developers of "Alto’s Odyssey" have skewed toward supporting Apple’s iPhone and iPad for several reasons, above all ease of development, a new interview reveals.
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‘Alto’s Odyssey’ Review: Once More Down the Mountain

Snowman returns to their breakout hit with Alto’s Odyssey [$ 4.99], and while they don’t veer too far from what worked in Alto’s Adventure [$ 4.99], they still find room for a few surprises while maintaining the engrossing atmospheric experience of the original. It doesn’t do enough new to change the minds of anyone that didn’t like the first game, but everything Adventure does right, Odyssey expands on it.

If you’ve played the heck out of Alto’s Adventure, you need to be patient. The game seems very similar at first. If you haven’t, well, you control Alto or one of several other characters on a sandboard as they go through desert environments. Yes, sandboarding is a real thing, and it’s awesome. You can tap and hold on the screen to perform backflips, and you need to land your flips safely in order to not crash. Land a flip, and you’ll gain a speed boost. Chain together a bunch of tricks, such as multiple flips and grinds, and you’ll get even bigger boosts. You can’t flip forward, so if you need to correct your position, you need to let go and hope you land cleanly on your board. Timing your flips is crucial to success in Alto’s Odyssey.

Part of the hook for Alto’s Adventure was that it was a backflipping endless runner like Ski Safari [$ 0.99] but really beautiful. And Alto’s Odyssey manages to one-up Adventure in terms of creating a gorgeous atmosphere. The desert environments are stunning, and the biomes that the game introduces all come with their own elements to differentiate them, and provide a unique flavor to each run. You might wind up in one biome for a few runs, before you eventually start to end up in other biomes, and it all feels rather natural. The storms and day-night cycle add variety to each run, and create for some gorgeous worlds. If you want to just enjoy the landscapes without fear of failure, you can just play the Zen Mode, and pick back up whenever you crash.

The new movement mechanic (which I’m not going to spoil because a large part of the game’s fun is in discovering things for yourself) adds a great new aspect to chaining together tricks, and in developing and maintaining speed throughout your runs. That’s the greatest strength for Alto’s Odyssey: the sense of feeling like your exploring a new world, not always knowing what you’re going to get next. I do like that the elder from Alto’s Adventure returns in a sense in Alto’s Odyssey, but lasts a much shorter amount of time.

Because of the multiple playable characters, I say the game should be more appropriately called Maya’s Odyssey, because she remains the superior character in the Alto franchise. Sure, she doesn’t pick up speed as quickly, but that’s not the key problem in the game, successfully landing backflips is a lot tougher. I suppose I understand that it teaches players to learn how to to backflip and to make smart decisions. But the game just gets to be a lot less frustrating with Maya and her ability to flip quicker than Alto can. If anything, I’d say that it’s easier to pick up speed with her because you can make more backflips with Maya than you can with Alto. But it also comes down to taste, I suppose. But much like in Alto’s Adventure, I find my self sticking with Maya. Of course, maybe Alto or one of the other characters you unlock is more your speed.

I wish the game awarded coins more quickly, because I’d like to buy the wingsuit earlier on than it is available. In fact, it feels like it’s quite possible to out-progress the game to a certain extent, and then it becomes about the grind to get more coins to unlock the wingsuit. I understand that the revival items are expensive, but they feel prohibitively expensive. The wingsuit is such a fun and unique part of the Alto experience, and I wish it was a bit more accessible to unlock. This is where other games include IAP for more coins, and I’m not going to lie, I’d have paid to unlock the wingsuit faster.

While I felt this way in Alto’s Adventure to some extent, the problem is that Alto’s Odyssey follows a lot of the same notes that the first game did. The new things it introduces are welcome, but I feel like this won’t change anyone’s opinion on the series, but it will make fans happy. There are still surprises to be had, but the idea that you can guess what’s next, or feel familiarity at something new, is just a little disappointing.

Snowman gave Alto’s Odyssey the full complement of iOS features, including iCloud support and Apple TV compatibility. The game works really well with the Siri Remote, and it’s nice to just sit back on the couch and play the game that way, versus holding up an iPhone or iPad.

Still, I think Snowman knows how to make a fantastic backflipping endless runner. The atmosphere is second to none, the physics do require an acclimation period but they feel fantastic over time. And the way that the game progresses and introduces new elements makes it a compelling experience to play over time, even if I wish it went a bit faster, or was more generous with the coins. And hey, a premium game without in-app purchases is a unicorn on the App Store, I’m sure there’s people wanting me to shut up about saying I’d spend money on coins.

If you liked Alto’s Adventure and want more of it, pick up Alto’s Odyssey. If you never played Alto’s Adventure and want an incredibly beautiful endless runner with intriguing progression systems, get Alto’s Odyssey. If you didn’t feel great about Alto’s Adventure, I doubt Alto’s Odyssey does enough new things to change your mind.

TouchArcade

Alto’s Odyssey, UniChar, and other awesome apps of the week

A brilliant sandboarding endless runner that’s sure to go down as one of this year’s greatest iOS games is just of one of the picks for this week’s “Awesome Apps of the Week.” In addition, we’ve got a great Unicode app for iOS, a gambling-centric version of Angry Birds, and a significant update to one […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Alto’s Odyssey’

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Alto’s Odyssey

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since the original Alto’s Adventure [$ 4.99] launched in the App Store, becoming an unexpected mainstream success and thrusting developer Snowman into the spotlight. Ever since then people have been asking about a sequel, but due to all of their success Snowman was able to enter the publishing realm in addition to their own upcoming projects and as such have been quite busy these past three years. Well, at long last that sequel, Alto’s Odyssey [$ 4.99], arrived in the App Store this week almost three years to the day from the launch of the original. Here’s a brief excerpt from our review.

…Alto’s Odyssey manages to one-up Adventure in terms of creating a gorgeous atmosphere. The desert environments are stunning, and the biomes that the game introduces all come with their own elements to differentiate them, and provide a unique flavor to each run. You might wind up in one biome for a few runs, before you eventually start to end up in other biomes, and it all feels rather natural. The storms and day-night cycle add variety to each run, and create for some gorgeous worlds. If you want to just enjoy the landscapes without fear of failure, you can just play the Zen Mode, and pick back up whenever you crash.

…The new movement mechanic (which I’m not going to spoil because a large part of the game’s fun is in discovering things for yourself) adds a great new aspect to chaining together tricks, and in developing and maintaining speed throughout your runs. That’s the greatest strength for Alto’s Odyssey: the sense of feeling like your exploring a new world, not always knowing what you’re going to get next. I do like that the elder from Alto’s Adventure returns in a sense in Alto’s Odyssey, but lasts a much shorter amount of time.”

The launch of Alto’s Odyssey has been surprisingly mixed, with one of the big criticisms being that it’s not different enough from the original. I think that criticism is valid in so much that if you didn’t enjoy the first Alto, there’s probably not anything here that’s going to change your mind. However, for fans of the first game, this is what you love but bigger and better in every way. When it comes to making a game that you will constantly just stop to marvel at its beauty, Snowman is unmatched with their Alto games. That also means the original is still worth keeping around, as it offers an aesthetically different experience that’s still a joy to return to. But Alto’s Odyssey is better in every way, and whether you’re ready for more or you’re new altogether this is one that will become a permanent addition to your device happily living alongside its older sibling.

TouchArcade

‘Alto’s Odyssey’ took three years to make, and that’s all right

It's been three years since Snowman, a tiny independent studio based in Toronto, launched Alto's Adventure on iOS devices. Back then, the Alto crew was three people — Ryan Cash, Harry Nesbitt and Jordan Rosenberg — and Alto's Adventure was their fi…
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Alto’s Odyssey Guide – How to Tackle the Tough Tasks

Alto’s Odyssey is a completely stunning and serene runner, but it can also be a bit tricky. Check out these to try and keep your cool while playing this endless runner:

Don’t focus too much on tasks

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Out Now: ‘Alto’s Odyssey’, ‘Dice Brawl: Captain’s League’, ‘Birdy Trip’, ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, ‘Glitch Dash’, ‘Dissembler’, ‘Up a Cave’, ‘SiNKR’ and More

It’s yet another week in the never ending cycle of new games flooding the App Store, and as always we’re here to round up the best of the lot. This week sees the release of a highly-anticipated follow-up to one of the App Store’s all-time greats, and that is the beautiful Alto’s Odyssey. One thing I’ve learned is that the first few minutes feel like just more Alto, which is absolutely great, but the longer you play the more you uncover new and interesting twists on the formula and even at this early stage I’m pretty confident this tops the original Alto’s Adventure in every way. Of course there’s plenty more on offer besides that so give the full list of new games below a thorough look and let us know which games you’ll be playing this week.


 

Alto’s Odyssey

iTunes Description

Just beyond the horizon sits a majestic desert, vast and unexplored. Join Alto and his friends and set off on an endless sandboarding journey to discover its secrets.

Soar above windswept dunes, traverse thrilling canyons, and explore long-hidden temples in a fantastical place far from home.

Along the way, you’ll grind across vines, bounce atop hot air balloons, ride towering rock walls, and escape mischievous lemurs – all while uncovering the desert’s many mysteries.

Forum Thread: Alto’s Odyssey (By Snowman)


The Best Ninja

iTunes Description

Night in Japan. Full moon. A new ninja has to climb the ninja tower as high as he can, avoiding the hitting hammers of the master ninjas.

Forum Thread: The Best Ninja (by Angel Navarro)


Birdy Trip

iTunes Description

You are not alone in the sky!

It’s time to migrate to sunny lands. Grab your cute friends on the way and be careful, many dangers could smash you during your journey.

Forum Thread: Birdy Trip (by Bloop Games)


Bouncy Smash

iTunes Description

Bounce and smash across expertly designed levels bursting with color and light in Bouncy Smash!

Challenging gameplay and beautifully designed environments await you in this modern arcade platformer. Perfectly time your bounces to crush wave after wave of evil enemies – or unleash powerful smashing abilities to take them out in one single blow. Choose arcade mode for endless fun – or intense daily and weekly challenges to earn special outfits, skins, and skills. Bounce and smash your way to victory in this addictive arcade game with roguelike tendencies 🙂

Forum Thread: Bouncy Smash (by Identity Visuals)


Darkest Nightmare: Freeform

iTunes Description

It’s going to be a long and dark night for Gerde, the only remaining survivor from a group of magicians. Join her in her quest to fight off the monsters and avoid the dying light. The mission isn’t going to be that easy, however, as intoxicating monsters have taken over the dreadful paths she need to traverse. It will take more than just five nights to defeat everything.

It’s not over yet. Gerde’s darkest nightmare is just about to begin.

Darkest Nightmare is now in freeform!

Forum Thread: Darkest Nightmare: Freeform (by Popsicle Games)


Dice Brawl: Captain’s League

iTunes Description

In Dice Brawl you’ll build your team and embark on an exciting adventure across a world of fantasy ruled by Pirates, Elves, Beasts, Dragons and…Robots?!

Move around the board, build fortresses and fight your enemies. Climb through a variety of different Battleboards themed after all the different creatures living in this very odd world. Make your name known across the seas. Here the more fame you get, the higher your rewards are going to be. But beware, this is no place for the weak!

Forum Thread: Dice Brawl: Captain’s League (by Idiocracy, inc)


Dissembler

iTunes Description

Dissembler is a subtle puzzle game about unraveling bold, abstract designs one color at a time.

Flip pairs of tiles to make matching color groups vanish, but that is where the resemblance to a standard match-three ends. In Dissembler no tiles will drop in to replace the ones you’ve matched: your task is to remove all tiles and leave behind a clean slate. The experience starts simply, leading you gently from basic principles to more complex puzzles, but before long it will require careful planning and lateral thinking.

Forum Thread: Dissembler (by Ian MacLarty)


Fuse Balls

iTunes Description

Fuse Balls was created with inspirations of minimalistic art design. Circles of various colors fall towards a center gravitational force creating smooth transitions and requiring color matching to fuse circles.

The fun part about the game is how gravity reacts to circles, the circle gravity movements, music, and sound effects help with proving an unique game experience from a very basic match 3 game concept that can challenge the basic or advance player.

Forum Thread: Fuse Balls (by Dilmer Valecillos)


Glitch Dash

iTunes Description

Dodge your way past hammers, axes, geometric obstacles and even lasers!
Glitch Dash is hard, REALLY hard. Your reflexes need to be on edge to get through the intense mazes that is Glitch Dash.

Run through the beautiful and abstract world and just try to survive. If you are looking for a really challenging Impossible Runner, then Glitch Dash is the game for you!

Forum Thread: Glitch Dash – (By David Marquardt)


Maguss

iTunes Description

Dive deep down into the fantasy – Play Maguss!

Maguss is a wizarding, location-based MMORPG set in the most amazing environment ever created – the Earth itself. Create your own customized character and embark on an unforgettable journey. Unleash powerful spells by drawing simple glyphs and battle magical creatures and other players in a semi-turned, strategic, action-filled combat. Earn experience, level up and unlock more spells, better equipment and other skill perks. Walk to encounter creatures and collect ingredients, learn spells, brew potions, find chests and fight other players to earn respect and glory. While the world is a stage, you are the lead actor.

Forum Thread: Maguss (by Mawa)


Popup Roller

iTunes Description

A fun and addictive tilt and ball rolling game, with popup platforms. Various levels are built to challenge your skills. Enjoy and complete each level by tilting and guiding your ball.

Use your skills to keep the ball on the narrow platforms by carefully tilting your phone to control the ball. Reach the green box to continue and unlock the next level. Yellow boxes popup bridges and platforms to complete each maze.

Hold you phone flat and start each level. Try and beat your previous time. Can you keep your nerve and carefully tilt and complete that next level?

Forum Thread: Popup Roller (by Neil Wallace)


Rogue Hearts

iTunes Description

Welcome to this modern reinterpretation of a rogue-like dungeon crawler! You will need a strategy with self-judgment and control, a necessity in SRPG and tactical games. Break through challenges and trials by controlling the character directly.

*Explore dungeons, and discover an unwanted and dark reality.
*Explore regions with diverse themes and randomly generated dungeons with optimized, intuitive, and easy-to-use mobile device controls.
*Fight boss monsters with deadly attack patterns and earn loot.
*Engage in these ordeals by using characters with close combat and long distance skills.
*Not only battles, but various traps and puzzles also lie in wait.

Forum Thread: Rogue Hearts (by NINETAILS CO.)


Romance of the Three Kingdoms

iTunes Description

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: The Legend of CaoCao is now available on mobile platforms around the world! Come play the timeless SRPG classic!

■ The strategic tour de force “The Legend of Cao Cao,” remastered for mobile.
– Join Cao Cao in his legendary quest to dominate the Three Kingdoms!
– Assemble a team of elite commanders to conquer your foes!
– Reenact the tales of other legendary characters in [Story] mode!

Forum Thread: Romance of the Three Kingdoms (by NEXON Company)


Seul (Alone): The Entree

iTunes Description

“Seul.(Alone) ticks all those boxes & is up there as one of the finer ‘choose your own adventure’ style games.” 7/10 – GBHBL.

Seul.(Alone) is a philosophical thriller, containing horror elements. A subsistence where characters dwell. It is a choose your own adventure type of game but there are mysteries to solve and connections to unfold. Journey through here but remember you may not stay.

Forum Thread: Seul. (Alone): The entrée (by Steven Koutsouliotas)


SiNKR: A Minimalist Puzzle

iTunes Description

SiNKR is a minimalist puzzle game. There is just you, hooks, pucks, and various contraptions you need to clean up each level. Sink all the pucks to advance to the next challenge. Each level is handcrafted. No scores, no timers, no text, no distractions. Responsive ambient music.

This game has been designed as a premium game. There are no ads or in app purchases. Playtime approximately 1.5 hours (speedy) to 3 hours (relaxed). Reviews are not requested in game but they are very much appreciated. Thanks for playing!

Forum Thread: SiNKR: A minimalist puzzle (by Wahler Digital)


Up a Cave

iTunes Description

Guide your cube through extremely challenging caves with variety of traps and enemies.

Up a Cave is a physics platformer game where you dash your way out of a cave while collecting gold and diamonds to boost the cube’s stats. If you find a level too challenging or even impossible, you can always upgrade your cube to make things easier.

Forum Thread: Up a Cave (by Niko Pesonen)


81!

iTunes Description

Challenge your puzzle game skills with this free exciting game that will keep you entertained for hours. No time limits! Easy to play and suitable for all age

A little about the game:
The game takes place on a square field of 9×9 cells and represents a series of moves. Each turn first on the board appear in random cells of 2 dice of random colors. Next you need to move any cube horizontally or vertically to another free cell, if after moving you collect 3 cubes or more of the same color in a line, horizontally or vertically, all such cubes disappear. If the whole field is full, you lose. The goal of the game is to collect the maximum number of points.

Forum Thread: 81! (Vyacheslav Sergeev)


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