reviews\ Sep 29, 2011 at 8:57 am

Another World Review


It’s a great time in the gaming industry.  Along with being introduced to several new experiences that will hook up for months at a time, we’re also seeing the return of many older favorites, “gussied” up for high definition standards.  Beyond Good & Evil HD is one primary example of this, as well as the upcoming Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath.

That being said, there’s something spectacular about Out of This World.  This old-school adventure wowed us on the old-school platforms, with its mix of challenging action and worthy thrills that we only saw so often back in “the day”.  That game has now returned under the name Another World (though we’re not sure why the name change had to happen) for iPad.  Hey, it could’ve been called “Run From Aliens” and we would play it.  It’s just as remarkable as it was two decades ago.

You play Lester.  He’s a somewhat spoiled physicist performing experiments in a lab, when he’s not busy freewheeling around in his sports car.  One night, one of his experiments get out of hand, and the next thing you know, he finds himself on a distant alien world where everything can kill him if he’s not careful.  Case in point – when he arrives, he finds himself in deep water, and if he doesn’t swim out quickly, a group of tentacles rising to the surface will drag him in.  That’s just the beginning of Lester’s problems.

He’s soon captured by aliens; from there, he begins a remarkable escape through the facility, looking for a way to get back to his world.  He finds an unlikely ally in a fellow prisoner who doesn’t speak his language but still forms some kind of bond with him – one that will last throughout the game.  How the journey unfolds depends on how you react.  You’ll die multiple times, but it’s worth returning to, just for the sake of seeing how each puzzle you run across unfolds.

Lester isn’t entirely defenseless, but it really depends on the circumstances.  Lethal slugs, for instance, can be kicked into muck piles with a simple tap on the corners of the iPad screen.  Eventually, he also gains access to a limited-fire gun, which can not only be used to fire shots at enemies, but also form a temporary shield when it’s needed the most, such as when you’re keeping your alien friend safe while he deactivates doors.

The gameplay is timeless.  Eric Chaci, the creator of the original game, has worked closely with BulkyPix to assure that everything works just right with Another World when it comes to touch-screen functionality.  You merely swipe across the screen to make Lester run, while tapping the corners to perform his actions.  It couldn’t work any better if we tried, not even with an on-screen D-pad.  It would take away from the presentation.

And what a presentation it is.  BulkyPix has done an amazing job transferring Another World into the HD era, keeping the “classic” look intact while touching up things to make it really shine on the iPad.  The animation is as stellar as ever, especially the cinemas.  The first time the lion-like alien pops up on the screen and roars at you, you might be in so much awe that you forget to run from him.

The audio is equally impressive for an iPad game.  The sound effects are wonderfully remastered, and the music couldn’t get any more epic.  It kicks in at just the right times, making you feel like you’re part of the experience, rather than detracting from it.  That’s when you know you have something right with a game.

However, it’s the aura that makes Another World still feel as good as ever.  You really feel like a nobody embroiled in a thrilling adventure, even though you’re not entirely defenseless.  Also, the ending leaves the door wide open for a true follow-up…not that Heart of the Alien business.

Our only question now…can we have an XBLA/PSN version?  As great as Another World is on the iPad, this seems like a game that’s just begging for a console release, where we can see the HD really do wonders.  Think about it, BulkyPix.

For a $5 purchase, Another World is a must.  Old-school players will remember all the challenges and easily adapt to the touch-screen controls, and newcomers will come to enjoy the atmosphere of a classic game done right.  Don’t miss your chance to visit this World.


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