Porting mobile games across to consoles is always a bit of a risky business, especially when the core experience is so clearly defined by touch.
Alto’s Adventure came out about five years ago now and put its small development team – Snowman – on the map.
It builds on the popular endless runner format which works so well in mobile form – evidenced by the likes of Temple Run and Minion Rush – but fixing the camera from the side and focusing on stunts.
The game’s unique aesthetic really set it apart from everything else, though. The gorgeous sun-kissed skies, and the calming night aura really brought the background mountains to the fore. The vibrant weather effects, and the death-defying leaps over chasms – all in the name of chasing down Llamas.
But as silly as that may sound, the thing about the Alto games is that they are incredibly satisfying to play. You can pick Alto up for a quick turn and find yourself still tapping away an hour later. Even on your PS4 with all the other distractions available to you.
And that is the thing that these ports have got very right – especially the even more striking sequel, Alto’s Odyssey. These games are as fun as ever and look incredible on the big screen despite making a name for themselves on a small one. I was blown away by just how visually stunning both of these games are.
How is it possible that a game can look this good on a 52-inch screen when it also blew me away on an 8 inch one? On that merit, the port work here is truly commendable.
Of course, the touch element is something absent from a Dualshock controller and by being bundled into a console release, the game loses its immediacy in action. Both elements do serve to this collection’s detriment, somewhat.
Especially since the game has a surprisingly lengthy lag between loading screens. In fact, sometimes you’ll question whether you pressed the button to move between screens at all. It’s really odd and a bit distracting.
But the satisfying sandboarding is just as enjoyable no matter where you play. You can just dive straight in, just pressing your one button and soar through the game, ticking your way through challenges and striving to beat your furthest distance.
There’s a certain magic to the game that just never fails to keep you entertained or lift your spirits while playing. And on the face of it, this collection bundles together two very good games – while incredibly similar in style and structure – and both look more stunning than ever.
At a bargain price, these games potentially offer hours of entertainment at your fingertips, though you can get as much from them as you like with different characters to unlock and enhancements to change up the experience.
The essence of the game can be repetitive, and true, the ports aren’t perfect with the erratic slowdown and the game still feels like it’s naturally designed for touch, but The Alto Collection is still a fantastic introduction to two very special games.
While I probably won’t immediately think to jump on these on my PS4 all the time with so many other options to me – I still feel mobile is the best way to play – I have an appetite to unlock all the trophies and upgrades within the game.
For that alone, The Alto Collection is very special set of games that are still a lot of fun to play years after they first released.
The Alto Collection is now available on PC, PS4, XO, and Switch
Tested on PS4
Code provided by publisher