After delays pushed the final release of Alto's Odyssey well past its planned summer 2017 launch date, the iOS game hit Wednesday, proving that developer Snowman's decision to take time to make it just right was a smart move. This is an excellent sequel.
Alto's Odyssey is worthy of its critically acclaimed predecessor, with enough additions and changes to the original formula to keep the game fresh. The beautiful scenery and weather effects you remember from Alto's Adventure are even more streamlined in the sequel, with new environments such as dunes, canyons and ancient temples.
The one-touch control system that made the original so elegant is still here, but with a major improvement. Instead of just tapping to jump and do backflips, you can now use wall rides that make pulling off longer trick combos much easier. Alto's Adventure already let you do combos of tricks, but you didn't really have control over them.
With the new mechanic, you can grind a line of flags, go to a wall ride, do another grind on a roof, then backflip to a landing. In other words, it's one more trick option in your arsenal that gives you more ways to combo.
As with the original, you'll be able to buy items for in-game currency that will boost certain skills, but the advantages are temporary. Also like the original, you'll be able to unlock six additional characters as you play, each with its own set of skills and abilities. Pay-to-win elements aren't evident yet, and Snowman says in its game description: "Alto's Odyssey is a premium game with no ads or in-app purchases. Purchase once, play forever."
When you just want to take in the scenery and music of the game, you can switch to Zen Mode, which has its own relaxing soundtrack and no coins or power-ups to collect. Instead, you just speed down the hills and take in the game's sights and sounds.
People were disappointed last summer when Alto's Odyssey was delayed with no release date in sight, but Alto's Odyssey has proven worth the wait.
As for an Android version, Snowman says to stay tuned.
"As a small team we have to prioritize one platform for launch, but we haven't forgotten about our Android players," said spokesman Ryan Cash. "We aren't committing to a release date and don't have any pricing details at the moment, but we will definitely be bringing Alto's Odyssey to Android."
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