BulkyPix brings back an old classic with Another World: 20th Anniversary of iOS devices. For those of you who may not be as familiar with the action-adventure classic, it gathered quite a bit of attention for its (then) revolutionary rotoscoped visuals and strange, minimalistic context-based gameplay that rewarded careful and quick decisions. It was also ported to pretty much every console and computer imaginable, and now it’s hitting Apple’s platform with gusto. While the game is as difficult as it ever was (and made even more so with touchscreen controls), those looking for a tough game that rewards you with awesome cinematic-style gameplay will enjoy their stay in this strange, other world.
You play the role of Lester, a young scientist that drives to work in a sports car and dabbles in physics experiments. When lightning strikes his particle acceleration experiment, he gets teleported to an alien world where he has to fight and think his way to freedom. There’s two ways to control Lester, which is either full-on touching and swiping, or by using a virtual pad to make him run, jump, and shoot his way to escaping the alien planet. Fans who prefer their otherworldly adventures more old school can even switch between the old 16-bit pixel look of the original game, while remastered visuals are available by simply swiping two fingers across the screen.
Speaking of the game’s remastered visuals, they’re fantastic no mater what iOS device you play this universal app on, as the original game’s blocky roto-scoped graphics have been smoothed with a crispness that really gets you into the action, and the backgrounds now feature superb layers that add considerable depth to this strange ‘other world’. They’re actually come from the PC version of the 15th Anniversary Edition and do a great job of bringing a two-decade old game into the modern era. There’s also Game Center support with 13 achievements for you to unlock, provided you live long enough to actually get them.
Those who played this game twenty years ago when it was called “Out of this World” already know how tough the game is, with its logic puzzles and endless supply of one-hit deaths. You’ll endure ‘trial and error’ deaths often and not know what to do next while playing through, sometimes to the point of frustration. But as long as you pay attention to your surroundings, you’ll eventually find your way through. One of the only gripes I have with it being on iOS, is that the touchscreen adds even more frustration to the game that doesn’t help. Some split-second decisions, like turning around to run away, or having to make a quick jump or shot, are hampered when the touch controls just don’t have the precision that you need most times. Not to say the controls are bad, it’s just the touchscreen gets in the way of what could’ve been near perfection.
Another World: 20th Anniversary isn’t just a fun and challenging game on its own, but it’s also one of the best examples of a classic re-released for a new generation to enjoy. The remastered visuals are gorgeous to behold, and while you’re able to turn them off with a finger flick (and then on again), I’d recommend keeping enabled on to enjoy this strangeness of this world to its fullest. But keep in mind that it’s difficult, and made even more so by the game’s finicky new touch controls that aren’t as precise as they could be, which mean even more instant-deaths and frustration await those brave enough to take the game on. Yet it remains a rewarding experience overall, and despite whatever issues you may have with the game’s controls or difficulty, one that’s still as out of this world as ever.
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