Another World Review
Another World is a game that won’t need an introduction for a lot of you. Created in 1991 by Eric Chahi, it was a cinematic platforming action game that made a lot of innovations in terms of graphics and animations which allowed for fluid, cinematic cut-scenes and character animations. The game was also unique for not having any spoken or written dialog, so characters communicated only through facial expressions, gestures and actions.
The game was originally created for the Amiga and Atari ST computers, the game was ported to most other popular computer and console systems, but in North America the game was retitled as Out of this World in order to avoid confusion with the soap opera titled Another World. In 2006, Eric released a 15th Anniversary Edition for Windows XP that featured increased resolution and improved audio.
This brings us to the 20th Anniversary Edition released this September for the iPhone and iPad. The game features all of the updated content of the 15th Anniversary Edition. It features the ability to switch between the original and high-res graphics, support for either d-pad or touch screen controls, and 3 difficulty settings. Beyond that, the game is pretty much the same – but what’s important is how the game plays…
First, I’ll start with the d-pad controls. I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of on-screen d-pad controls because I find my thumbs will frequently move out of the “hot” zone for the controls and if that doesn’t get me killed, then taking my attention off of the action on-screen to put my thumbs back usually does the trick. On top of that, trying to hold the iPad to use them is kinda awkward. Another World suffers from these same problems, as I would have expected. The saving grace is that many sections of the game are not twitchy, action-packed sequences that require trigger reflexes and precise control manipulation so it’s actually quite playable. However, I did find I had difficulty with certain sections of the game, having to replay a few times to squeak by. If I’d been using some sort of controller I probably could have made it through the whole game without a single death. I don’t know for sure if the experience would be improved using any of those stick-on button products as I don’t have any to test, but I’m sure it would be an improvement.
The touch-screen controls, however are far more pleasant to play with, and I have to admit I was quite surprised. They’re quite simple: Tap to walk, double-tap to run, swipe up to jump and swipe down to crouch. The gun controls are located in the bottom left and right corners: tap to shoot, hold to generate a shield, and hold longer for a charged shot.
Admittedly, as someone who has played many of the different versions of the original game, it did take a bit of getting used to with the new touch controls, but it is by far my preferred method of play on the iPad. The game is as unforgiving as always as well. Even with the difficulty settings, the game is still incredibly abstract by today’s standards, not giving you any clear indication of what to do or where to go and no dialog to help you either. People who have grown up with games that hold your hand by giving maps and definitive, concise instructions of where to go and what to do will probably find this game frustrating and consider it a deal breaker, but it really is part of the charm of the game – exploring and never knowing what’s just around the corner.
So, my final verdict? Another World 20th Anniversary Edition is a fantastic port of a classic game, and what I would consider to be the definitive version of the game. It’s a great way for fans of the original to experience the game, and for newcomers to enjoy a classic game by one of the industries most creative minds. This is definitely a must-have title.
This is a top-notch port of an excellent game. The gameplay can be a little abstract and unclear about how to proceed, which will probably frustrate some people, and occasionally controls can be a bit finicky when it comes to precise jumping but if you're a fan of the game already, you definitely need to get this. If you're just looking for something new and out of the ordinary to play, this game is also for you.