Snowman returns to their breakout hit with Alto's Odyssey [$4.99], and while they don't veer too far from what worked in Alto's Adventure [$4.99], they still find room for a few surprises while maintaining the engrossing atmospheric experience of the original. It doesn't do enough new to change the minds of anyone that didn't like the first game, but everything Adventure does right, Odyssey expands on it.

If you've played the heck out of Alto's Adventure, you need to be patient. The game seems very similar at first. If you haven't, well, you control Alto or one of several other characters on a sandboard as they go through desert environments. Yes, sandboarding is a real thing, and it's awesome. You can tap and hold on the screen to perform backflips, and you need to land your flips safely in order to not crash. Land a flip, and you'll gain a speed boost. Chain together a bunch of tricks, such as multiple flips and grinds, and you'll get even bigger boosts. You can't flip forward, so if you need to correct your position, you need to let go and hope you land cleanly on your board. Timing your flips is crucial to success in Alto's Odyssey.

Part of the hook for Alto's Adventure was that it was a backflipping endless runner like Ski Safari [$0.99] but really beautiful. And Alto's Odyssey manages to one-up Adventure in terms of creating a gorgeous atmosphere. The desert environments are stunning, and the biomes that the game introduces all come with their own elements to differentiate them, and provide a unique flavor to each run. You might wind up in one biome for a few runs, before you eventually start to end up in other biomes, and it all feels rather natural. The storms and day-night cycle add variety to each run, and create for some gorgeous worlds. If you want to just enjoy the landscapes without fear of failure, you can just play the Zen Mode, and pick back up whenever you crash.

The new movement mechanic (which I'm not going to spoil because a large part of the game's fun is in discovering things for yourself) adds a great new aspect to chaining together tricks, and in developing and maintaining speed throughout your runs. That's the greatest strength for Alto's Odyssey: the sense of feeling like your exploring a new world, not always knowing what you're going to get next. I do like that the elder from Alto's Adventure returns in a sense in Alto's Odyssey, but lasts a much shorter amount of time.

Because of the multiple playable characters, I say the game should be more appropriately called Maya's Odyssey, because she remains the superior character in the Alto franchise. Sure, she doesn't pick up speed as quickly, but that's not the key problem in the game, successfully landing backflips is a lot tougher. I suppose I understand that it teaches players to learn how to to backflip and to make smart decisions. But the game just gets to be a lot less frustrating with Maya and her ability to flip quicker than Alto can. If anything, I'd say that it's easier to pick up speed with her because you can make more backflips with Maya than you can with Alto. But it also comes down to taste, I suppose. But much like in Alto's Adventure, I find my self sticking with Maya. Of course, maybe Alto or one of the other characters you unlock is more your speed.

I wish the game awarded coins more quickly, because I'd like to buy the wingsuit earlier on than it is available. In fact, it feels like it's quite possible to out-progress the game to a certain extent, and then it becomes about the grind to get more coins to unlock the wingsuit. I understand that the revival items are expensive, but they feel prohibitively expensive. The wingsuit is such a fun and unique part of the Alto experience, and I wish it was a bit more accessible to unlock. This is where other games include IAP for more coins, and I'm not going to lie, I'd have paid to unlock the wingsuit faster.

While I felt this way in Alto's Adventure to some extent, the problem is that Alto's Odyssey follows a lot of the same notes that the first game did. The new things it introduces are welcome, but I feel like this won't change anyone's opinion on the series, but it will make fans happy. There are still surprises to be had, but the idea that you can guess what's next, or feel familiarity at something new, is just a little disappointing.

Snowman gave Alto's Odyssey the full complement of iOS features, including iCloud support and Apple TV compatibility. The game works really well with the Siri Remote, and it's nice to just sit back on the couch and play the game that way, versus holding up an iPhone or iPad.

Still, I think Snowman knows how to make a fantastic backflipping endless runner. The atmosphere is second to none, the physics do require an acclimation period but they feel fantastic over time. And the way that the game progresses and introduces new elements makes it a compelling experience to play over time, even if I wish it went a bit faster, or was more generous with the coins. And hey, a premium game without in-app purchases is a unicorn on the App Store, I'm sure there's people wanting me to shut up about saying I'd spend money on coins.

If you liked Alto's Adventure and want more of it, pick up Alto's Odyssey. If you never played Alto's Adventure and want an incredibly beautiful endless runner with intriguing progression systems, get Alto's Odyssey. If you didn't feel great about Alto's Adventure, I doubt Alto's Odyssey does enough new things to change your mind.

TouchArcade Rating

  • SK_Gael

    You guys hand out "5 out of 5s" like candy, and then a game that actually deserves it doesn't get it? Kinda a whole lot of nonsense, no? Oh heh I get it now. Toucharcade met its quota of perfect scores for the quarter. It's not that you didn't want to give it 5 stars, it's that there are no more 5 stars to give. You wanted to, but you're fresh out. Understood.

    • Jared Nelson

      Huh. In 2018 we’ve given out ten 4.5 star ratings, ten 4 star ratings, and just three 5 star ratings. I guess people just see what they want to see.

    • Jason

      How is this a five star game? It's a total rehash of the first one, with a few slightly different elements. Feels far more like a 99 cent DLC for the original than a new game. Three or four stars is fair.

      • SK_Gael

        Idk, how is Reigns: her Majesty, or game dev tycoon, or the hundred other perfectly rated games 5 star games? I'd say 4.5 or less is fair on 90% of em. What was that super overrated game that Apple gushes over that lasts like an hour?.. Oh, monument valley 1, 2. Had to look that up

      • h4nd0fg0d

        C'mon bro, the truth or difference of opinion will get you banned from this circus. 🙌

      • Nathan Reinauer

        It's... it's almost as if game reviews are subjective things and each author has his or her own opinion.

    • Nathan Reinauer


      That's the number of characters you've wasted over three different comments complaining about half a star on a mobile game review.

      • David


  • Chris

    Good review. I was initially quite disappointed, as it felt identical to the first game. The new systems are great, and I hope the game doesn't lose folks before they get introduced.

  • Jason

    Sorry, but this is WAY too much like the first one to justify such a high score. The new mechanics are nice, but not nearly enough to justify the $5 price.

    • David

      I agree. I should have at least cost $10 for how amazing it is.

      • Jason

        And you've played the first one? I can imagine loving this game if it's your first Alto game, but if you've already played the hell out of the first one, this feels like more of a minor DLC than a new game.

      • David

        I never beat the first one. I got the Elder character, and called it quits soon after. So maybe Level 60 or so?

    • Saveria

      i think your criticism is fair, just not how harshly you apply it. this is a gorgeous sequel that maintains the same feeling of fluidity and sublime beauty as the first, which as others point out was almost a flawless game already. but doing something new would have been gutsier and more intriguing. I'd give four stars and a strong recommendation for this, but I don't balk at the 4.5 and carter's review as he lines up closely to my feelings

  • Realist82

    i dont know how to post games in forum,pls can anybody add PIGEON POP or/and KLANGWABEN 😀
    too good games to going down
    have a nice day
    ps:sry for post under this article

  • brianj22

    The most disappointing thing to me is not the game or review. It's that there are a lot of similarities to the first one, and this game was delayed a lot. If this wasn't such a rehash of the first game I'd get it, but upon release the delays just look like a PR stunt.

    I still bought it, and enjoy it.

  • Jared Nelson

    That link doesn't go anywhere. Anyway, the point being that you say we hand out 5 stars like candy, but out of the ~3,500 reviews we've ever written only 9.5% of them have been 5 stars. If we ranked score ratings based on how often we issued them, the 5 star ranking would be fifth out of eight potential scores. So you can see why what you're saying is nonsensical, don't you agree?

    The unique problem with mobile is that the volume of new games outpaces consoles and PC by many hundreds of games per month. We only have the bandwidth to focus on games that are at least average to good, and don't bother reviewing games that would typically be less than 3 stars, so overall our reviews trend higher than what you'd see on other platforms.

    And yes, three of the very best games did come out already this year: Final Fantasy 15 Pocket, The Room Old Sins, and Dandara. We gave all of those 5 stars because they deserve it. You're not going to find many people arguing that they're not great games. Comparing a $60 game on console to a 5 star rated game on mobile that costs not even a third of the price is apples and oranges.

    The other problem with your comments is that you seem to believe that our star rating is equal to a "level of perfection" rating, which has never been and will never be the case. It's simply an overall rating based on that particular writer's feeling toward the game, and should be viewed as a recommendation level. In this case the new Alto is as highly recommended as the original.

    Finally, SK Gael, I think the biggest thing you should focus on learning and something that will be an absolute revelation and should improve all facets of your life in addition to video game ratings, is that people have different opinions on different things. I know, it's shocking, but it's true. You obviously feel this is a 5 star game, and you're not wrong. It's your opinion. Carter felt it fell just shy of 5 stars. Other people feel it's nowhere near either score. All of these opinions are correct. So getting butt hurt over that half a star is a fool's errand, my friend. It's like convincing someone that doesn't like chocolate that they are incorrect and chocolate is in fact a 5 star taste. Not to them it's not!

    The quicker you're able to grasp this concept, SK Gael, my dear friend, the less likely it will be that you'll feel the need to blow up towards other people for their opinions in an online comments section, and subsequently, that should lead to an overall higher level of health and happiness in your everyday life.

    You really should consider taking my advice, and rather than waste energy huffing and puffing over a review score that doesn't jive with your own, instead celebrate the fact that we have so many excellent gaming experiences coming at us daily on our mobile devices and maybe spend that time playing and enjoying those games instead.

    • Rip73

      Gonna have to agree with all of that.
      I especially like the final two paragraphs.
      Not only do we get great mobile gaming coverage here but life lessons too.:)
      Oh, and by the way, chocolate tastes bloody great. A true five star eat. Don’t let anybody say otherwise.
      The sheer sacrilege of saying that others might think otherwise just is pure madness. Madness I tell you.

  • Jamesrooney27

    And I have to not comment about how people think this game should be just dlc, and that £4.99 is so much, phew and it’s kinda like altos and people wonder why we have free 2 play trash, rant over

    • Jason

      If it was "kinda like altos", I'd be OK with it. But it's almost exactly like Alto's, with a few very minor tweaks. Don't care about the money...I'm happy to support a company that makes good games...but that deosn't mean I can't be disappointed that they didn't do more with the sequel.

      • Jamesrooney27

        But most sequel don’t change massively

      • Jamesrooney27

        Like the room series of games really didn’t change, loads games don’t change formula of success as they risk failing and people will talk rubbish like now

      • Jason

        If one of The Room sequels had 80% of their puzzles identical from the previous game, you don't think anyone would complain?

      • Jamesrooney27

        Well they are, reasons to go of Mobile gaming your one

      • ErikVeland

        Alto’s Adventure was already perfection. Too much tweaking of that formula and people would complain. The new mechanics are subtle and doesn’t add too much difficulty in picking up. The game is even more gorgeous this time around. Literally what else do you want?

  • drunk_vader

    5/5 from me! And we'll worth the $5!

  • ErikVeland

    My main issue with the game was having to start off with Alto again who can’t backflip for shit. Wish GameCentre sync would open up unlocked characters from Alto’s Adventure from the start. Maya forever.

    • Saveria

      right?? when I unlocked Maya in the first game i never looked back lol.

    • paulkane

      She's a badass!

  • Clad In Shadows

    Fine review, and a damn fine game. I’m only on level 16 and so far my only two complaints are the wingsuit and compass. I got 4000 coins and had to decide wether to save up for the suit or get the cool compass that lets you swap between biomes so I got the compass. It didn’t tell you once you spent the hard-earned 4000 coins that you also have to pay an additional 1000 coins to swap between biomes. Coins are hard enough to earn a large amount of and why charge anything to swap? I thought once I got it I could swap at my will. I wish I would’ve saved those coins up for the suit....

    • ErikVeland

      Good to know beforehand. Thanks!

Alto's Odyssey Reviewed by Carter Dotson on . Rating: 4.5