This article was originally posted at https://www.theodysseyonline.com/altos-adventure-favorite-games
We’ve come really far with video gaming, and this goes beyond the ginormous graphical upheaval games have received, where the blocky humanoid figure of Lara Croft initially blew us away in 1995. We’ve not only revolutionized our games but our consoles as well: no longer must we limit ourselves to our living room couch to play a game, even ones with imagery that blows us away.
When our mobile devices entered the age of smart technology, gaming naturally came along with it. Sure, Snake is fun, but the ability to play a fully-developed adventure game in 3D simply by whipping out your cell phone is incredible.
Despite these technological advances, however, we realise there isn’t always a need to push our devices or our consoles to their limits. With enough creativity, good level design and style one can create a game that manages to grab our attention far more and earn a place in our heart because it stands out to us.
For me, this game is “Alto’s Adventure”
Alto is a young shepherd boy, one of a few snowboarders living in the snowy mountains with an understandable desire to shred the humongous slopes trailing down endlessly. The aim of the game is to catch the Llamas that Alto seems to always inexplicably lose control of, but the objectives you receive often have you focusing on everything but this.
As you fly down procedurally-generating hills you’re given goals to allow you to level up, with a successful completion of all three current objectives moving you up another level. As you reach every 11th number you unlock another character, be it the fast-flipping Maya; the speedy, flame-shooting inventor, Izel; and even Felipe, a llama that just happens to know how to snowboard.
But, it’s not so simple as collecting a certain amount of gold coins or performing a certain distance in grinding. Along the way you’re met with perilous chasms, rocks jutting out of the mountain along with the Elders; a group of guardians that watch over the mountain… when they’re not asleep.
Since it’s an endless game there’s not really a way of beating it, but completing all 180 goals gets you an achievement on whatever device you’re playing it on, along with the satisfaction that you’re ~really cool, man~.
Alto’s Adventure has been said to not have brought anything new to gaming, and while what its gameplay offers isn’t revolutionary that’s hardly a justification for such a statement. What Snowman and Harry Nesbitt have created is a game that takes traditional platforming and sports gaming and combined it with a glorious, minimalistic design to make something not only challenging but beautiful.
Akin to the UK, my home country, the weather never likes to stay the same either, but in Alto’s Adventure, it’s more than every five minutes. An outpour of rain or thunder and lightning suddenly casts into the sky, the mountains fixated in the faded background zapped with lightning.