Alto's Odyssey

Altos Odyssey screenshot

First Impressions: At first glance, this was just a typical casual game. The reason I chose to play it was that I seldom play video games (except for this class) but when I do, they’re always casual games. I’d seen trailers for Alto in the past and the graphics really appealed to me. The tutorial level was very informative and helped prepare me for the game. The game is centered around a snowboarder who rides down snowy peaks and sandy hills. The gameplay is really simple: tap to jump, hold to do a backflip. When Alto rotates too far or not far enough and doesn’t land on his feet, the game ends.  

Going Further: As I continued to play, I was happily surprised by a number of things. First, although this is an arcade style game, the gameplay was different every time I restarted. The hills were dynamically generated so you couldn't ever master a sequence. My favorite part of the game was the randomness of the weather conditions. Each time the game restarts, the weather completely changed. Sometimes it would be raining and sometimes there was an ominous red atmospheric light. I also encountered many interesting objects to jump on and over. For instance, when I jumped into a tornado, it boosted my jump significantly. When I jumped onto a hot air balloon I bounced higher than usual. Sometimes, there were large gaps in the path and it left me no option but to jump on a balloon to make it across the gap.

I also really liked the sound effects. Just like Monument Valley, they were simplistic and really fit the mood.  An interesting detail that was part of the game was Alto’s Scarf. It seems that it grew based off of the complexity of moves that he performed.  While there wasn’t necessarily a story, there was a sense of exploration that I felt as I helped Alto travel through the game.  

Reviewed by
Nathan Macfarlane