Funny thing is, I do not download many games on my iOS devices. I am more of a utilities guy when it comes to my phone, and when the only real input for an iOS game is the screen itself, it sometimes makes playing games a little uncomfortable for me when my fingers obstruct a portion of the gameplay whenever I need to interact with it.
That’s why if I download a game of sorts, it would normally be a ‘1-tap’ type affair where minimal interaction is required and I have more opportunity to enjoy the gameplay/visuals than fighting with my finger positions on the screen.
So I am quite a fan of minimalist gameplay, but it’s not that often you find a minimalist game that has enough style to make it enjoyable to play too.
Jetpack Joyride, Desert Golfing, Retry and Impossible are a couple games that have stuck out as one’s which have been memorable and enjoyable for me and have earned their small, permanent space on my phone. Today, I am pretty happy to add Alto’s Adventure to that list.
This game came a little out of nowhere for me, but after seeing a brief few screenshots and a simple tagline about a snowboarding-inspired endless runner, I was immediately sold and couldn’t give up my $2 any quicker this morning of it’s release.
Alto’s Adventure is a single-tap mechanic on an endless runner type rail. You’re a snowboarder going down a hill, and your main objective is to jump (single tap) over obstacles, collect shiny things along the way(whether it’s coins or escaped llamas), and dares you to try push your jump into a backflip trick (hold your tap) which, if landed correctly, gives you a little more speed and slight invulnerability to any near incoming obstacles.
So it nails the gameplay mechanic pretty well. It’s easy to catch on, and offers a bit of risk vs reward as you try chase your best distance without crashing into a rock or landing a bad flip.
The thing though which stood out the most is the design, and it is damn gorgeous.
Snowboarding is all about the sweeping vista’s and the tranquility of smoothly travelling through the scenery. Alto’s Adventure captures this brilliantly with it’s geometrically flat and minimalist design, with enough style, flare, and use of soft and warm colours to make it a pleasure to keep playing and getting lost in it’s journey.
Of course theres another level of challenge and reward in the gameplay, and for each level you’re on you hit to meet 3 requirements during your game time before you move up a level and onto the next 3 challenges. This is very similar to Jetpack Joyride‘s progress system and it’s subtle and challenging enough to ‘try one more time’ towards another unlock.
I haven’t gotten much deeper than that in the gameplay, so I don’t know yet what further rewards and unlocks there are hidden away, but I am frankly not that interested in any of those things right now. The design, gameplay and overall style has won me over enough to just enjoy the simple thing which is does so well. And that is to enjoy your shred down a never-ending snow slope, enjoying the thunderstorms, sunset’s and sunrises in the background to the sounds of a soothing soundtrack along the way.
Get this game now. It’s cheaper than a take-away coffee, and you’re supporting amazing work.