A few days ago I found myself browsing through the Epic Games Store and noticed The Alto Collection, developed by Serenity Forge and Team Alto, a familiar title with a slightly new name that was next-in-line to be one of Epic’s free offerings. I was excited since I could fondly remember playing Alto’s Adventure, a mobile game that was developed by Snowman and released in 2015. Despite not knowing much about how The Alto Collection would differ from what I was familiar with, nor how a mobile game would feel with a mouse and keyboard, I knew I had to give it a try!
As it turns out, The Alto Collection is, as its name might imply, a collection of previously released Alto games, comprised of 2015’s Alto’s Adventure and 2018’s Alto’s Odyssey. When one boots up The Alto Collection, they have the choice of picking between the original or the sequel, and it’s quite simple to pick between the two. Once you’re in, you’ll play through an exceptionally brief tutorial and then be on your own to enjoy the endless runners however you’d like. Maybe you’ll put more stock into performing tricks, or perhaps you’ll prefer seeing how far you can go.
Simplicity is a strong undercurrent beneath every experience in The Alto Collection. From the gameplay to the music and graphics, everything about the Alto games can be approached with ease. Only one button is required to play, and the only real mechanics one has to master are figuring out when and how to jump and execute tricks as you continuously move through the beautiful procedurally generated landscapes. Despite their simplicity, I would caution against writing these games off as boring. In fact, I would argue that, if anything, they are calming with the potential to be frustrating, depending on how serious you take your scores! There’s even a zen mode that dispenses with distractions in order to focus on your flow.
The two games available in the collection are very similar, and one’s preference is largely a matter of personal taste. After playing both, I found myself leaning more towards Alto’s Adventure. While my preference is likely due in part to nostalgia, I also found myself partial to Adventure’s soundtrack and the presence of llamas. Odyssey seems to eschew llama collecting in favor of more expansive biomes and the potential for more complex tricks. Overall, however, the two games have more similarities than they do differences.
Through playing either game, one can amass coins to buy items from Izel’s Workshop, that can alter your experience drastically depending on what you buy. There are also multiple characters that you can unlock that can change the overall feel of the game.
If you’re in the market for a simple, loveable game with a calming aesthetic and accessible gameplay, look no further than The Alto Collection. Those who enjoy complicated mechanics and intricate storylines might want to skip this one, but if you’re looking for relaxation and incredible art, you just might want to give this one a try!
You can play The Alto Collection on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It will also be coming soon to the Nintendo Switch. The Alto Collection is currently free on the Epic Games Store until August 20th. You can also purchase it on the Playstation Store and Microsoft Store for $9.99.