Alto's Adventure review: Worth your money for the visual experience

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The Good Alto's Adventure gives you solid gameplay wrapped in a beautiful visual experience. Achievements let you focus on specific skills to level up.

The Bad At night in certain weather conditions, it's almost impossible to see the obstacles.

The Bottom Line While the gameplay is not as feature-packed as other games from the genre, Alto's Adventure's graphical style is more than worth your money.


8.6 Overall
  • Setup 9
  • Features 7
  • Interface 9
  • Performance 10

Alto's Adventure ($1.99, £1.49, AU$2.49) is an "endless runner" where you snowboard down a mountain as you hit big jumps, avoid obstacles and collect coins while going for distance.

This snowy endless runner concept is one that's been done before very well with Ski Safari, my favorite game from 2012. But while the gameplay might not stack up with that mature classic, what sets Alto's Adventure apart is a graphical style that's visually stunning and immersive as you race down the mountain.

Going for distance

At the root of every endless runner is the need to survive as long as possible and Alto's Adventure is no different. But it's what happens along the way that is so satisfying.

You start as Alto, a young shepherd boy trying to return escaped llamas as you snowboard down the mountain. But you'll also grind down roofs, avoid rocks, perform backflips, collect coins and jump over dangerous chasms on your journey. Any slip up means you'll go back to the beginning, but like most games you'll learn what works as you play and find yourself going farther and farther with each run.

At various points along your journey you'll also come across mountain elders. These veterans of the mountains will try to chase you down on their horses and the only way to shake them is to jump over a chasm they can't cross.

You'll also get a little help along the way with items you find on the mountain. A hover feather lets you glide over rocks for a short time, while the magnet will attract all coins around you so you can get more cash.

Grind the flag bunting for more points. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Limited shop

The coins can be used in the shop between levels to buy a few items, but there's not much there. Currently you can add to the magnet timer so you'll attract more cash, or add to the hover timer to stay safe for longer. But the big-ticket item is the wingsuit, which lets you fly short distances to help you avoid obstacles and get away from pursuing mountain elders.

Achievements to focus your run

At the beginning of each run, you'll be shown the current three achievements you can complete to level up. These can be anything from performing a backflip to jumping off a ramp before a grind. With the mostly random levels, it could take a few runs to pick up certain achievements simply because you might have trouble finding a big enough jump to perform a double backflip, for example.

As you complete these sets of three achievements, you'll level up, which gradually unlocks new snowboarders. Each has his or her own unique abilities. Maya, your first unlock, is able to do backflips more quickly than Alto, which will make the achievement for performing a double-backflip a lot easier.

One of the coolest things about the game is how environments change as you race. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

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