DotEmu and Bulkypix Games have partnered up to bring the classic sci-fi adventure game, Another World, to the iPhone and iPad in celebration of its 20 year anniversary.
When the original game was released, it revolutionized games as a story telling medium by creating an immersive and atmospheric world with fluid moment-to-moment game play. Now the game has been given a massive spit shine and plenty of modern features, but does it still hold up after all these years?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is absolutely. With some beefed up graphics and sound effects, this looks and sounds like a modern masterpiece. The game tells the tale of a scientist who gets transported to a deadly alien world through a nuclear accident. Everything in this game is out to kill you, from the strange inhabitants of the planet to the planet itself. Danger literally lurks around every corner, and you can expect death to be a constant companion on your journey.
You can choose to play the game with modern swipe and gesture controls, or with a classic D-pad and action button. The swipe controls feel fine most of the time, but when you need to pull of moves with tricky timing, the D-pad is definitely the way to go. It helps immensely when you, say, have to outrun a wall of water and jump over some pits. The controls in general can be very unresponsive at times. This is the only area in which the true age of the game shows through, and will likely be the biggest complaint for newcomers. The game is all about trial and error, and it can prove to be extremely frustrating. A good amount of patience is probably required to thoroughly enjoy this game.
This game is an amazing example of how to create tension and atmosphere in a virtual world, and it's something that modern game studios with dozens of people and millions of dollars rarely pull off. One of my favorite features in this game is the ability to switch back and forth from classic to modern graphics with a simple two finger swipe. The same epic feature has been added to Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary as well as several other retro revivals over the years, and I always abuse the heck out of it. It's really cool to see how far we've come in gaming's short lifespan.
The normal difficulty setting is still very punishing, but the game is nice enough to save at several different checkpoints, allowing you to access any of them at any time. Game Center achievements have also been added to the mix. The game is actually quite short when you take out all the trial and error, but I still recommend it, even for the five dollar price tag. This is an iOS universal app and a classic, and everyone should give it a try. If you can't stand challenging old school games and somewhat unresponsive controls, you should likely stay away. Though, I wish you'd reconsider.