Federico Viticci, from his review of Alto's Adventure for MacStories:
"I've been playing Alto's Adventure for the past couple of months and I haven't grown tired of it. Maybe I'm too much of a fan of endless runners – they lend themselves so well to quick sessions as well as “just one more” hour-long playthroughs – but I still discover something new every time and I'm having fun trying to beat my high scores and looking at the scenery. In most endless runners I've played over the years, I never considered looking at stages as an active part of the experience; in Alto's Adventure, occassionally to my own detriment, my attention wanders off to animations and colors, llamas who stumble and lantern formations taking off to the sky."
Federico's review was basically the first thing that I read upon waking up this morning. On another early weekday, this might have been a quick read inbetween my classes, but this week through a combination of national hoidays and raw freezing temperatures, I've gotten a whole week off from school where I was supposed to get 3 days. This allowed my little reading session this morning to go from a quick read to an almost hour-long play session, as basically right after finishing Federico's piece I opened the App Store and bought the game for myself.
The game is as described in the MacStories review; that being absolutely gorgeous. The subtlety of the 3d effects, all the details of each piece that whizzes by you in the foreground or the background and the absolutely stunning lighting effects all make this game a joy to look at and play. The style does remind me of last year's Monument Valley in some ways, but not in a way that comes across as a carbon copy. Rather, Alto's Adventure manages to evoke the same style while still adding in bits of its own character in the details which make it stand apart. While not the most graphically intensive, I'd easily put Alto's Adventure towards the top of the best looking games on iOS.
The other thing that I've come to enjoy over the past couple hours of on-and-off playing the game is the gradual but satisfying progression. It's not a sense of progression in that every time you beat your high score you unlock something new, but rather that as you play the game more you're able to better utilize the same simple controls to pull off more snowboard tricks and stack up higher combos. The same patch of snow you might've just shredded over idly a few runs ago suddenly becomes a prime place to attempt a backflip, and if you pull that off it might just benefit you with your next attempt a slope or two further. Gaining skill and attempting more and more outgoing stunts makes the game feel fulfilling even once you've gotten used to the basic format and layout of an average run, and I'm excited to get back to playing and see how much better I can get in the coming days and weeks.
I could easily see Alto's Adventure going on to be another App Store darling like Monument Valley has, and I'm hoping that before long we'll start to see more quality games like these becoming popular in the App Store, and not the Kim Kardashians of Flappy Birds of the world. The game is definitely made with quality and has been thought through by it's developers with a loving touch. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys visually stunning games or engaging games which you build skill in as you go. At $1.99, it's a must-have on my list.