by Dan Moren
Alto’s Adventure is anything but a grind
I’m always on the lookout for good games, but on last week’s Clockwise, when Lex Friedman asked what two games would be our desert island picks, I realized that it’d been a while since I’d played anything new.
It’s as if the folks at Snowman (who previously developed the slick reminder app Checkmark) heard my silent plea. The $2 Alto’s Adventure is probably best classified as an “endless runner”; I’d compare it most to Tiny Wings—and that’s high praise, since that title should rightfully be enshrined as one of the earliest classic iOS games.
In short, you’re a snowboarder who is attempting to capture your escaped llamas1 and, of course, do some sweet tricks along the way. Naturally you collect coins and other power-ups while you try not to wipe up out on errant rocks or fall into chasms.
It doesn’t hurt that Alto’s Adventure is beautiful. The flat aesthetic reminds me a bit of Monument Valley, and I love the subtle 3D effects as you whiz past the procedurally-generated landscape of trees and villages, the dynamic weather conditions that shift from bright and sunny to dark and rainy—I even hit a thunderstorm at one point—and the fluid, beautiful animations. (Passing the occasional llama sledding down a hill hasn’t failed to get a laugh out of me yet.)
Most of all, though, Alto’s Adventure manages to capture that most elusive feeling in games—every time you wipe out, you feel like you can do better next time. I get the feeling I’ll be hitting the Try Again button for a while yet.
- Will somebody, though, please tell me why this person owns so many llamas? ↩