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Another World – 20th Anniversary Review
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Another World – 20th Anniversary, a port of a popular adventure game from a couple of decades ago, has been released by DotEmu and BulkyPix and is now available from the app store. Featuring cleaned up graphics and mysterious gameplay, Another World retains appeal for gamers even after all these years.

Another World -- 20th Anniversary Pros:

  • Beautifully updated retro graphics
  • Atmospheric soundtrack
  • Gesture-based controls, as well as d-pad option
  • Brutally challenging puzzles
  • GameCenter integration for an achievement system

Another World -- 20th Anniversary Cons:

  • Steep difficulty can be turn off for some players
  • Touchscreen controls can be a bit wonky at times

You experience the game through a young scientist whose fateful visit to the lab one stormy night results in a lightning strike to a particle accelerator that instantly transports our hero to an alien world. The deliberate lack of information regarding what to do or how to play, save for some vague images of the control options, allows the gamer to identify wholeheartedly with the predicament of the main character. Trial and error is a hallmark of the gameplay, as you’ll experience death again and again without warning due to your lack of familiarity with your surroundings. We watched the protagonist slowly drown when he arrives in a pool in his new location, as we didn’t realize that the cutscene had ended and it was our turn to take over. Our next attempt resulted in swimming upward via swipes to the safety of dry land. Moving back and forth simply requires holding the left or right side of the screen. Double-tapping either side causes you to run until you tap the screen to stop. Of course, death found us quickly again, as we stepped on a slug-like black creature that apparently poisoned us. A few more attempts (and deaths) finally revealed that touching the bottom screen corners allows us to stomp on the creatures. That settled, we moved to the next screen where we were mauled by a large beast. Some puzzles are fairly clear, while others may leave you scratching your head for a while. Ultimately, discovering the correct response to a situation is extremely satisfying.

Fortunately, deaths simply send you back to the last checkpoint, which are usually pretty close to where you actually died. There are many instances where precise timing is of the utmost importance, and discovering the proper sequence of movements and moments to perform them is critical. The graphics still feel straight out of the ‘90s, though they are decidedly less pixilated and smoother. The color palette creates a dreary bluish-blackish look that uses silhouettes for a lot of creatures that aids to shroud them in mystery. A cool feature allows you to swipe down on-screen at any time to switch between the old-school graphics and the updated look. The soundtrack is atmospheric, complementing the sparse detail and unfamiliarity of the new world. Controls are fairly well-implemented, but there are times that they don’t respond too well. This occurred most notably when double-tapping to run wouldn’t work properly, leading to slight frustrations but nothing too egregious. A alternative d-pad option is available, too.

Replay value is low, as once you understand how to control the game and you’ve played through the story, there is little reason to go back and do it again. However, the initial playthrough for someone new to the game or a gamer who enjoys the nostalgia factor is enjoyable and worth the effort. GameCenter integration does provide over a dozen achievements to earn. A universal app for $4.99, Another World – 20th Anniversary is 4-Dimple fun.

Another World - 20th Anniversary Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-09-27T23:01:38+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

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