#201 Another World

Posted: 17th December 2013 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

293th played so far

another_000

Genre: Platform
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 1991
Developer: Delphine Software
Publisher: Delphine Software

I’ll be honest – before this blog, I hadn’t really heard of this game, but its legacy had interested for me a lot longer. Another World (Out of this World in the US) is the brainchild of Éric Chahi, who went on to create Heart of Darkness, a game I had read up quite a bit about in the past, enjoyed the demo of, but never really got to do much with.

Heart of Darkness, of course, didn’t make it into the book (as could be expected), but its predecessor did. A cinematic platformer…

Our Thoughts

Despite all that, this isn’t entirely new, of course. The main thing I was reminded of playing this game was Prince of Persia (how have we not covered you yet), with its fluid animation and jumping controls. Its story, however, is simpler than what you see in Another World, even though here the general gist might not be as strange (escape an alien planet), the many other bits added add to the interest, and make it a true story rather than something that drives game design.

To give an example of this, early in the game – the ‘boss’ of the first ‘level’ starts showing up in the background the moment you leave the first screen, clearly following you as you move along to meet him.

What makes this a bit more of an interesting platformer is how you deal with it. It’s not a battle, instead you run back and swing away on a vine. True, not the most difficult or creative, but it makes a change from dropping them into lava.

The whole adventure continues taking you, for lack of a better word, through an actual adventure. Cut scenes are few and in-game, with far more defined by your actions. Prescribed by the game, of course, but still more integrated than you often find in these games. And it works, making it feel much more immersive.

The other side of the game, though, is its difficulty. If you are anything like me (and please tell me you are, if only to make me feel better), the first level will take you a few goes to get right and get past. It’s not difficult, it’s just sudden to be dumped into this much danger (and this often). Even later on you may have to try the earlier screens a few times before getting through them. And that’s sort of indicative for the entire game – death is easy and while you never go back far, catching up can still take a lot of time.

Graphically, the game looks quite good for its age. The main player’s graphics look fairly realistic, similar to Prince of Persia‘s titular prince. The environments are stranger though, at times a bit too cave-like, but effective – as atmospheric as the entire game.

Final Thoughts

This is an enticing game, both because of its puzzles – manageable and just as much reliant on reflexes – and the story it aims to tell. Its difficulty is a bit higher than what we’ve got patience for now (but we found ways around that), but on the whole the game stays absolutely enjoyable.