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Alto’s Odyssey Review for Android

Brought to you by Noodlecake Studios and Team AltoAlto’s Odyssey revisits Snowman Studios’ collaboration with Harry Nesbitt’s UK team: Alto’s AdventureNow, Odyssey has been out for a while on iOS and Android, but it made a significant splash in the phone app gaming pool. Nominated for several gaming awards and the winner of an Apple Design award for Outstanding Design and Innovation, this addition to Alto’s Collection has definitely improved on Team Alto’s debut game. 

Alto's Odyssey Review for Android

And, yes, it would be hard for me to avoid bringing up Alto’s Adventure  while reviewing Alto’s Odyssey, because Odyssey emulates Adventure in many ways. They both follow the same concept: an endless boarding game that puts aside the idea of destination and instead emphasizes the player’s  journey through beautiful landscapeBut I also wouldn’t feel comfortable saying that Alto’s Odyssey creates a very similar gaming experience to Adventure. While Odyssey’s differences from its older sibling may be few in numberthey create a notably different and more welcoming  atmosphere, which I attribute to Odyssey’s tighter weave of mechanics. 

Where Adventure introduces you to the game’s scenario through the  unfortunate escape of Alto’s herd of llamas, Alto’s Odyssey simply drops Alto in the middle of a dessert, takes you through the tutorial, and tells you to see how far you can go. Like in Adventureyou have to navigate obstacles, perform tricks, and achieve goals, and you score points based on a variety of tallies, such as distance travelled, tricks completed,  and chasms jumped. What makes Alto’s Odyssey a strikingly different experience from its predecessor is its addition of biomes and its steadier mechanical rhythm.

Alto's Odyssey Review for Android

In Alto’s Odysseysome of the earliest goals of the game involve discovering and navigating “biomes,” distinct environments that provide different terrain for you to traverseThe Canyons have rock walls to ride onthe Temples have vines that you can grind (and break), and the Dunes have hot air balloons. Once you’ve discovered all three biomes, they are generated randomly in each run—until you purchase the compass from Izel’s workshop. This varied environment also encouraged me to pay attention to the picturesque visuals and unintrusive yet gorgeous soundtrack that are becoming iconic of Team Alto’s work. Indeed, Alto’s Odyssey maximizes its long-term play value by including more mechanics that invest players in the game’s visual design.

Alto's Odyssey Review for Android

In Alto’s Odysseydifferent mechanics are spread out evenly throughout the levels, allowing players to steadily acclimate to them. Where the elders that could ruin your day in Adventures showed up early and often, Odyssey’s lemurs don’t show up until you reach the 2 km mark and only show up about once every few kilometers after thatWhere the elders could be a bit of a nuisance, lemurs provide a steady variance in the environment, making them more of a fun challenge.

Alto’s Odyssey also  introduced a new temporary boost, the lotus—addressing one of the most common challenges of the previous game by giving the player the ability to smash through rocks for a short period of time without performing tricks. There’s also a notable lack of llamas in Odyssey (aside from Felipe). While the llamas will be missedall these shifts draw Alto’s Odyssey away from the slightly steeper learning curve and busier gaming experience of Alto’s Adventure 

Alto's Odyssey Review for Android

Ultimately, Alto’s Odyssey embraces the core themes that were present in Alto’s Adventure and makes them shine. Bencouraging players to navigate multiple biomes in each run, by encouraging them maximize their gameplay in different environments—in other words, by getting you  to really pay attention to the visual design of the game—Odyssey teaches  players to really focus on Alto’s journey, even when they aren’t playing in Zen mode. Aside from some very specific glitches when you fall into certain chasms and the usual frustration of opt-in videos to revive your character, Alto’s Odyssey is a game I’ll gladly keep on my phone for rainy days and wait rooms.

Check Out the Alto’s Odyssey Trailer:

Alto’s Odyssey is available via Google Play and the App Store.

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