Sometimes games are bigger and better than the sum of their parts. This is certainly the case for The Alto Collection – two endless runner styled games that puts its graphics and style ahead of any deep gameplay whatsoever. It is a risky strategy but it pays off handsomely.
Originating from their mobile iterations, The Alto Collection contains Alto’s Odyssey and Alto’s Adventure. Both contain the same base gameplay but have vastly different graphical styles. Both games use a one button gameplay mechanic that allows you to jump. The longer you hold it, you start to rotate and you’ll need to make sure you land properly or its game over. Restart and off you go again. Along the way you’ll be unlocking objectives that will give you additional characters as you play. You’ll also collect coins to upgrade your powerups such as a coin magnet or longer boost setting. Reindeers can also help boost your score.
Adventure takes place in a snowy mountain and you control a character going down hill, snowboarding your way as far as you can. Rocks and chasms block your path and you’ll have to jump over them. You’ll be able to gain momentum by pressing jump at the tip of an uphill mound before the chasm and that’ll give you air. Landing backflips and forward flips, along with grinding on huts and flag lines will give you a temporary boost. This becomes critical when you snowboard past elders. Elders will chase you and capture you when you pass them, so you need to constantly chain jumps and grinds to keep the boost up and stay ahead. Eventually, you’ll muck up and it’ll be game over and you’ll hit restart. The key extra unlockable here is a wingsuit that lets you glide for a while. This keeps you out of danger and is handy to use if you are caught short on a steep and big jump.
Odyssey moves you to the desert to sandboard. The leaps, grinds and jumps are the same as before but the elders are no longer about but now its a desert vibe. The key switch here is a wall grinding mechanic that lets you grind temple walls and ride up the wall. Its key for building momentum for boosts and it will also get you across large gaps where there is no desert to surf. There are also plenty of giant balloons to bounce off of for good fun too.
By design, this is a repetitive grind fest. You’ll see the same thing over and over and over again. The graphics and music make it a zen and chilled experience to just unplug and unwind with though. The game has a weather and a day/night cycle that changes the lighting and feel of the game. It is so gorgeous to play and simple to engage with, it is the perfect five minute quickie to slot in. It also looks stunning on the big screen even though you can feel the mobile roots throughout the game.
The Alto Collection shouldn’t be so good but it is. Cathartic, relaxing, simple and fun – this is the zen entry of the endless runner genre.
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