In 2015, developer Snowman Games released Alto's Adventure: an endless runner game in which you control a snowboarder down the mountain to collect llamas and coins. I loved it. It was one of the most beautiful games I played that year, and it is one of few games I still play on my iPhone.
In 2016, the developer announced a sequel, Alto's Odyssey. After two years of waiting, it's finally here. This time, the game takes you to a majestic desert filled with many surprises.
Down the Dunes We Go
Alto's Odyssey may have swapped snowy mountains for sand dunes, but it retains the elegant mechanics of its predecessor. Using only one finger, you control your character up and down the dunes. You tap the screen to jump and perform tricks, collecting coins and power-ups while avoiding obstacles like rocks and chasms. You also complete goals, accumulate high scores, and work towards upgrades.
Like Alto's Adventure, the landscapes, lighting, and weather effects in Alto's Odyssey are procedurally generated, which means no two runs are ever the same. Alto Odyssey also introduces three gorgeous areas to explore (called "biomes" in the app): the dunes, the canyons, the temples. Each biome has unique visuals and gameplay elements, allowing you to perform new tricks like bouncing on hot-air balloons, jumping off tornadoes, or grinding on walls.
While the locations are new, the cast of characters remain familiar. There are six of them, each with their own attributes and abilities. You start with Alto, a well-rounded boarder with average riding and backflipping speed. Then there's Maya, a light rider who performs flips quickly, but has trouble gaining momentum. You unlock new characters as you level up, and at occasions may need to switch between characters to complete specific goals.
Parents Need to Know
Alto’s Odyssey is not a specifically a kid’s game, but it is family-friendly. It’s easy to learn, and there is no scary or inappropriate content within the app. If your kids are still trying to get the hang of things or often get frustrated when they crash, you can start them off with Zen Mode, which allows them to play endlessly without worrying about making a mistake.
Another factor that makes Alto’s Odyssey a great game for the whole family is the lack of ads and in-app purchases. The app does have micro transactions for item upgrades, however they are purchased using the coins that you collect on each run. The game doesn’t require an internet connection.
Things I Like
Alto’s Odyssey is a brilliant sequel to an already excellent game. I love how it retains the elegance of its predecessor while adding new, exciting elements. Comparing the two, Alto’s Odyssey feels more flavorful because there is a lot more to do (longer trick combos, anyone?) and see. The weather system is more dynamic, and helps add variety to every run. And the background music is just oh so lovely to listen to.
My one advice towards players from Alto’s Adventure who’s eager to dive into Odyssey: be patient. The early parts of the game may seem similar at first—that’s because the new goodies are revealed progressively. Just focus on leveling up first. It’s worth the wait, I promise.
I highly recommend picking up Alto’s Odyssey. It’s truly a gem, hitting all the right notes that made its predecessor a hit, and then going even further. Even if you prefer heavier, more serious games, this is one experience worth trying just for its gorgeous audiovisuals alone. It’s also accessible by little kids, so it’s a win-win in my book.
App was provided for our honest review.