Some of the best mobile games are often the most straightforward. By happy coincidence, this also means that they’re especially easy to port over to other systems. The Alto Collection takes two of mobile gaming’s most celebrated titles, Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey, and puts them together in one handy – albeit rather bare – package for the Switch.
The premise behind both games (which, aside from setting, are virtually identical) is simple: you slide down a never-ending mountain, accumulating points by collecting coins and performing tricks. The only button you’ll need to worry about is ‘A’; that’s it (well okay, you can also use the touch screen in handheld mode). This lets you hop over obstacles, grind onto buntings, and leap over chasms. If you hold ‘A’ down, you can also perform backflips, provided you get enough air time.
That’s really all there is to it. In terms of gameplay, there’s not a lot here that sets the Alto games apart from other titles in the genre, but the setting is what makes them truly unique. Each game boasts a beautiful backdrop, complete with full day/night cycles and changing weather patterns. The sunsets are particularly impressive, creating vibrant gradients of colour that really make the scenes come to life. This, in addition to the lovely, soothing soundtrack makes for an incredibly relaxing experience. If you don’t fancy keeping score or starting over when you bail, there’s even a Zen Mode if you just want to cruise down the mountain with no other distractions.
Aside from the main gameplay, there are items and collectables you can purchase with your coins. These include helmets, wingsuits, new boards, and more, all of which offer some sort of benefit, but none of which feel particularly essential. To aid in grabbing those sweet screenshots, the game also includes a photo mode via the pause menu, so you can set up and capture some really beautiful shots.
Ultimately, though, this all feels like extra baggage that isn’t necessary to the overall experience; there’s enough here to keep you entertained for a good while just in terms of pure gameplay, and although it’s not the kind of game that incentivises repeat playthroughs, there’s always that niggling feeling at the back of the mind to have ‘just one more go’. There are a couple of minor issues, such as the fact that some obstacles get obscured and really sneak up on you, and a distinct lack of extras that we’d like to have seen in a collection like this. But otherwise, the Alto games are well worth checking out if you’re after a breezy, relaxing experience.