“Alto’s Adventure” is arguably one of the very best mobile games ever made – or, at least, both critics and the players agree.
There are three key factors that have come into play for its success: Its dead-simple, one-button gameplay mechanics, its arcade-based, addictive nature which allows you to enjoy it for one minute or three hours all the same – and a strikingly gorgeous artistic direction, that makes Alto’s titular adventure extremely pleasing to the eyes and ears.
The game originally came out in 2015, and fans have been waiting for a sequel for a long time. Developer Snowman first announced it in the summer of 2016, with an initial debut scheduled for a year later.
“Alto’s Odyssey” was then pushed back to 2018, but on Monday Snowman has announced all the details you need to know about it.
The game is coming out on February 22.
The developer first teased Alto’s return with a post on its social media pages earlier last week, but it’s now confirmed the official date for Thursday, February 22.
It will be a direct sequel to “Alto’s Adventure.”
“Alto’s Odyssey” will continue the story of “Alto’s Adventure,” so it won’t be a disconnected chapter.
The idea is that Alto and his companions have travelled all the way down from the snowy mountain, and ended up in a rocky and sandy – but still downhill – desert.
You will not need to have played Adventure to enjoy Odyssey, however.
“[Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey] are part of the same world, so they need to feel like they’re painted with the same brush,” developer Snowman said. “[However] the number of vistas and locations has more than tripled.”
There where Adventure primarily focused on the snowy mountain, Odyssey will take you to at least three distinct biomes: Dunes, canyons, and temples’ ruins.
There will be six characters, starting again with Alto, which you will be able to unlock as you progress; each with its own abilities, pros, and cons.
The mechanics will largely be the same, but with a few twists.
The idea behind both Adventure and Odyssey is that of an endless descent; the bidimensional world that you jump into is procedurally generated by an algorithm, and as such it’s different each time you play and it only ends when you die.
The developers apparently toyed with the idea of implementing a grappling hook, but eventually ditched it as it made the game too complex. So Odyssey will stick to the original formula, in which you can only tap to jump (and keep the finger on the screen for as long as you want to stay mid-air) as you go along.
The trailer Snowman released today shows a few new interaction points, however, such as lagoons, hot-air balloons, and grindable rocks, which can both alter the otherwise ever-increasing speed you gain throughout the run.
“There are real-time weather effects that add a depth to the world; you’ll see fog and rain roll in and the wind blowing plants around,” Snowman said in an interview with The Verge.
“When you’re in the midst of a sandstorm, the world turns dark, with bright flashes of lightning crackling in the background. And while the iconic llamas from the first game are gone, there are new animals to interact with, including colourful birds that will follow your snowboarder around.”
There is still a “photo mode.”
Alto’s gorgeous visuals are an integral part of its smashing success, but the fast pace of the game made it hard to take a screenshot mid-air.
That’s why Snowman created a dedicated photo mode – hit pause whenever you want, and access a frozen-time window to take your time and capture the dazzling bursts of sunshine, amber sunsets, and blue moonlight scenery Odyssey will offer.
The feature first appeared in “Alto’s Adventure,” but it’s making a much-appreciated comeback here.
Zen mode is also making a comeback.
Speaking of taking your own time, the beloved Zen mode is back, too.
Zen mode offers players the chance to play exactly like normal, but with a key difference: You can’t die.
The game loses its competitive edge, but if you just want to kill some time or lose yourself in the vistas and beautiful soundtrack, Snowman has got you covered.
The story published today on the App Store also says that the feature has been “retained and reworked,” but there are no further details with regard to differences with Adventure’s original Zen mode.
Snowman is putting a lot of emphasis on the soundtrack.
Much like its predecessor, “Alto’s Odyssey” will focus heavily on its sound component.
“Headphones are absolutely essential,” says the App Store’s preview; and for good reason.
Todd Baker, the British composer who worked on the beautiful score of another hit mobile game, “Monument Valley II,” has joined Snowman to create Odyssey’s main track.
Torin Borrowdale, on the other hand, is back for the creation of the separate track that accompanies players in Zen mode, which reflects the more calm nature of the playing mode.
The game will launch on iOS first, at £4.99.
Not unlike “Alto’s Adventure,” which took over a year to reach Google’s mobile platform, Odyssey too will launch on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV first, with no release date for an Android counterpart as of yet.
It will cost £4.99 in the UK App Store, and $US5.99 in the US, with no ads or in-app purchases.
You can preorder it now at this link, and the app will automatically download on your device on February 22.
There’s also a launch trailer.
You can watch the full trailer below.