067 Things About Alto's Adventure

This game does a lot of things right, and certain transcends the traditional “Endless Runner” genre. It has beautiful design and music, smart and generative level design, attainable but achievable goals each level, a beautiful and dynamic weather / day-night cycle, and a basic character upgrade system.

However, I think the upgrade system is the least developed piece of the game design, and it’s biggest flaw. The entirely of the game hinges on your interest in getting three different persistent goals achieved, each run. Once these are completed, you move on to the next “level,” with new goals. As you play the levels, you collect coins, which let you do one of three basic upgrades, of which their effects are barely useful.

The coins could have instead been spend on more noticeable things. Maybe you could spend some on upgrading a specific characters Speed, Rotation, Points Multiplier, and so on. Or maybe you could upgrade your snowboard to do various different special effects. Maybe some coins could be spend on building certain structures on the mountain side that help you in the same way each time you pass by them. Things like this could have made a big different in how addicted I would be to the game. I understand that much of the game’s charm is its simplicity and basic nature, but there were a few missed opportunities here.

March 8, 2015

#game-modifcation, #game-review/critique