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Alto's Adventure Beginner’s Guide Tips And Tricks

This beautiful endless runner offers a few new twists on a classic formula. Your time will not be wasted.

For those of us old enough to have memories of computers that were considered “too grown up for kids,” the original Windows Entertainment Pack -- a free addition to Windows operating systems in the early ‘90s -- was a gift from God. Real classics made their first OS appearances in the Entertainment Pack (Minesweeper, ftw). The entire pack was outshone, however, by an addition to EP 3 -- the world’s first (or at least earliest notable) endless skier, SkiFree.

Adults still chasing that SkiFree high will find a good friend in Alto’s Adventure. Best of all, you don’t need to worry about that stupid, stinking Yeti ruining a perfectly good run.

Welcome to the Odyssey

Alto’s Adventure is a welcome addition to the endless runner genre. The titular Alto is a llama herder (or breeder? I don’t know llamas) who’s presumably stricken with panic after his llamas escape their pen and flee down the mountain. Alto responds by taking to his snowboard and pursuing his presumably beloved pets down the treacherous mountain face.

There’s really not a whole lot of what you’d call traditional plot structure before players are launched into the adventure, sliding, grinding and jumping their way down an endless mountain. When players hit a rock, smash into a campfire, or plummet down an endless chasm, they’re simply respawned at the top to relive the fun all over again.

If you really stop and think about it, Alto’s inevitable last moments on Earth are spent worrying about the fate of his llamas before he’s maimed in some excruciating way before being forced to relive the terror all over again … it doesn’t sound like Heaven …

At any rate, there’s a lot to love about Alto’s Adventure. The controls are easy to learn: tap the screen to jump, tap and hold to do a backflip. Done. The game is also freaking beautiful, with an alternating day and night cycle and plenty of eye-catching animations to keep even the most discerning visual snobs appeased.

Ways To Avoid An Agonizing Death

Before we begin, you should know that Alto’s Adventure revels in death. Your death. And it’s going to be a chore to avoid giving the game what it wants. It’s a super fun chore, though. Before we dive into a bunch of tips and whatnot for making sure you live as long as possible, you should know this: take chances.

You will be dying a whole lot, so you’ll need to get used to it and simply accept the fact that you will be starting over quite a bit. So, since you’ll be dying, you might as well live your short life to the fullest and take some chances while you still can.

Now, on to the tips!

Keep your eyes on the prize.

Here’s the thing about that last statement — the eye-catching animations one. Always keep your eyes on the hill in front of you. Alto’s Adventure is pretty unforgiving -- it will kill you gleefully at a moment’s notice and not feel one ounce of remorse. In other words, while it can be tempting to bask in the tranquil beauty whipping by, you should always keep your eyes on the next thing that’s waiting to kill you.

Danger is in the eye of the beholder.

Sometimes the game’s beauty can be kind of a detriment, making the most commonly annoying obstacles — things like campfires and rocks — a little more difficult to see. It’s usually just a matter of keeping alert to these perils, since avoiding them is relatively simple.

Relax about the level’s goals.

When the game begins, Alto slides past his cozy-looking ranch and hits a steep incline. Hovering in the open air above that initial drop is a set of goals — do three backflips, grind so far, reach this distance, that kind of thing. You should always keep these tasks in the back of your mind, of course, but don’t obsess over them.

Every time you start down the mountain, the path is procedurally generated -- in other words, Alto’s Adventure isn’t concerned about whatever arbitrary goals they’ve put before you. Take your opportunities when they present themselves, but keep your mind focused on survival.

Spend your coins wisely.

Okay, before we talk about the money, let’s just say this: unless you’re super into grinding — and I’m talking about replaying things over and over for the sake of a consistent, yet small reward, not sliding your board down a rail — then you should know now that coins may be plentiful, but stuff is expensive. Make sure you spend your coins wisely and consider keeping some in reserve for future unforeseen expenses.

Pay attention to the coins.

Okay, they’re really more like gears…or cogs. In any case, as he descends the mountain, Alto will find floating gold dealies standing in his path. These coins (for lack of a better word) are usually a good indication of the dangers that lie in waiting. If you’re flying down the mountainside and you see a quick arc in the gold coins, guess what? You’re going to need to jump. Coins usually serve as a good visual warning of Alto’s next hurdles.

Okay, that said …

Don’t get crazy about collecting coins.

The floating gold whatnots are all over the place, so you don’t need to worry a whole lot about trying to rack them up. Listen, Alto’s Adventure is a bit of a grind. Results won’t come quickly, so you’re going to need to derive your joy from zipping down an endlessly changing mountainside.

This goes for coin magnets and hover feathers, too. You’ll inevitably gather TONS of gold coins and other bonuses as you play, so it’s best to just work on achieving the single most important goal for success in Alto’s Adventure.

Survive.

Work on snowboarding for longer and longer distances. Don’t worry about gathering coins. Don’t worry about hitting backflips (though definitely try to knock them out when possible). Just worry about getting as far down the mountain as possible, because you will die. A lot. Opportunities for sweet tricks and excellent cash grabs will present themsleves. You just need to be alive to see it. Just survive.

Oh, and persevere.

If you manage to stay alive long enough, you can unlock some pretty neat stuff in your quest to wrangle some llamas. Actually, you can play as a freaking llama (starts around 15:50), as well as a few other characters once you progress. And that time is actually well spent. If you can somehow divorce yourself from the gamer’s desire to constantly level up, then Alto’s Adventure is a somewhat peaceful experience that offers a consistent challenge, an ever-changing route, and all the beautiful visuals your phone can handle.

Published Mar. 2nd 2016

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