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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Alto’s Adventure gets a spirited Apple Arcade expansion

Spirit of the Mountain

Last year, I revisited one of my favorite iOS games, as Team Alto updated Alto’s Odyssey, bringing it to Apple Arcade with new levels, music, and artwork.

It turns out that Alto’s Odyssey: The Lost City was only half of Team Alto’s Apple Arcade project. The new Alto’s Adventure: Spirit of the Mountain returns to the snowy, llama-filled slopes of the original game. People who haven’t ever played Alto’s Adventure will be able to start from the beginning. At the same time, veterans will be able to transfer over their saved progress and immediately begin advancing toward new challenges.

The big difference between the two games is that in Alto’s Adventure, you endlessly glide over snow, rather than sand. Other than that, it’s very similar, with some slight detail changes. (In Adventure, you can capture stray llamas, you run from an elder instead of a lemur, and there aren’t any nasty vine cables that break out from under you.) But they are almost exactly the same in terms of gameplay, as you flip and grind to build up speed and activate the ability to fly via the wingsuit.

Much to my surprise, I discovered that I never quite finished Alto’s Adventure. I truly became obsessed with Alto’s Odyssey, and the skills I built up in the sequel let me dive right back into Adventure and blast through challenges that once stymied me.

Like last year’s The Lost City expansion, Spirit of the Mountain adds the new concept of “Lost Goals,” little glowing bottles that you pick up that provide you with new goals on top of the game’s level-based challenges. Players have to pick up 10 different wooden objects scattered throughout different runs as they advance through levels to enable the collection of Lost Goals. (Hint: The objects always appear in the game expansion’s one new terrain type, a red forest.) Even if you exhausted the entire level tree of Alto’s Odyssey back in the day, you’ll find new challenges inside the Lost Goals.

The Lost City added a biome and new soundtrack music to the game. Spirit of the Mountain takes a slightly different approach. Since Alto’s Adventure allows you ride the mountain as different characters, Spirit of the Mountain adds a new playable character who is powerful and fun but also takes a little getting used to. I won’t spoil the details here, but it was a delightful moment when I unlocked that character and discovered their unusual characteristics. And yes, there’s new music—but it only plays when you play as the new character.

Is this more of the same, in a way? Yes. But the game is beautiful and fun and, again, these are my favorite iOS games ever. If you haven’t played the Alto games and are an Apple Arcade subscriber, they’ll be as new and fresh as the day they launched. If you played them and loved them, the new content and challenges will be a delightful invitation to revisit an old favorite. I couldn’t be happier to spend more time on the slopes with Alto and his good friend, the Spirit of the Mountain.

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