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Another World – 20th Anniversary review (iOS / Universal)

September 28, 2011

“I think I’m on another world with you,
I’m on another planet with you”

Life was much simpler in 1991, and obvious game titles like "Another World" were still free for the taking

10 word description: Cult 1991 cross-platform action/adventure. Original/HD graphics. Game Center.

The intro cut-scene is still surprisingly effective and atmospheric, considering how old it is

10 word review: Obviously dated ‘classic’ survives transition to app store rather well.

Back in the day, for me anyway, they may as well have had "Game Over" permanently displayed on this screen

You will like this if you enjoy: Arcade adventures where perseverance is a necessity. Retro games. Revisiting classic games from gaming history on your touch-screen iOS device.

Note that I am using the D-pad and button control option. I've moved the controls around to where they feel most comfortable for me.

The good news: The configurable controls are hardly ever to blame for your countless deaths. It looks good, rather better on iPad than iPhone/iPod but that’s fairly predictable. The addition of a slightly easier “normal” difficulty setting makes areas beyond the first couple of screens accessible to most gamers.

The view from a high building shows a bizarre alien landscape, possibly influenced by the ALIEN landscape...

The bad news: The very retro “try, try and try again” gameplay style may alienate younger gamers or people who have been introduced to videogames via their iPhones. There are points in the game where exploration choices (such as rolling around in dark pipes not long after the start of the game) give you a 50/50 chance of an inescapable death. A lot of the ducking, shooting, running and jumping requires exact timing and pixel perfect precision. Fun, certainly, but also potentially frustrating.

It's cool how alien tunnels are just about the right height for a human to walk around in

Arcadelife verdict: This one is a lot harder to call than you’d think. I was rubbish at the original PC version and gave up after many, many failed attempts to get past the first few screens. So now, 20 years later on my iPad, I’m a lot further into the game and it’s all very new and enjoyable to me. However, I lived through the age of ferociously hard games and I can appreciate what this one is all about.  Those who played and loved it many years ago, and just want to relive the experience on their iOS devices, they’re all highly likely to love it all over again as it is a very impressive port, with a nice graphical overhaul and good controls. Complete newcomers to Another World could be in for a bit of a shock; it’s hard and proud of the fact, calmly displaying hints about what buttons to press in order to jump after you fall into a hidden pit full of spikes… for the 85th time.

Some of the 20 year old lighting effects and use of colour are quite gorgeous

I like this version of the game. It has brought me back to a title I gave up on many years ago, and it is a great iOS action adventure in its own right. For each person who runs screaming from the infinite “jump-fall-die-restart” loop, there will be many more who embrace the challenge like an ancient, unforgiving, yet somehow very welcome adversary.

Welcome the return of classic gaming hazard - "falling into a pit full of spikes"

Arcadelife rating: 91/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1
iTunes link

BulkyPix / Another World website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.5)
iPad (OS 4.3.5)
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