I’m not into app games. I like keeping my phone practical with only the necessary apps installed: notepad, torch, online banking. Then, of course, my human mind decided that it was totally practical to find some sort of puzzle game, because puzzle games help stretch the brain and brain stretching is completely practical and necessary.
What I stumbled upon instead was Alto’s Adventure.
The first thing you notice is how gorgeous it is. Seriously, it’s absolutely beautiful. I could pin the title screen up in my mother’s living room and she would love it. The second thing you notice is the soundtrack. The ambience just in itself is serene and calming. And then you start the game and the music comes in. It’s so relaxing that when you crash you just can’t get angry.
Then you notice the third thing: llamas.
Really, now, you must have already run off to find the game because llamas are just the magnificent icing on this most superb cake.
Ah, but let me tell you what the game’s about. You play Alto, a shepherd boy whose llamas have run off down the mountain. So you jump on your snowboard and chase after them. There are rocks to bounce off, bunting and rooves to grind, and massive hills and jumps to perform your best backflip.
I remember getting excited over Temple Run back in the day, seeing how long you can survive and racking up more points than your friends, but I got bored of that really quickly. Alto’s Adventure has the same sort of on-going, procedurally-generated course to run but it has a few little tricks up its sleeve to keep you playing.
If you complete certain tasks you level up, and when you reach a certain level, you can unlock a new character! Each character has a different ability that almost forces you to change your play style and tactics. Alto is fast and can make the big jumps really easily, Maya is light and is a pro at backflips, Paz is heavy and his boosts last for a longer period of time. There are three more playable characters, but you’re going to have to play the game to find out who they are!
And so, trust me when I tell you: Alto’s Adventure is a totally necessary app for your phone. I mean, I have it, so it must be.