Albert and Otto: The Adventure Begins
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 7

Albert and Otto offers stylish visuals, interesting puzzles and platforming sections that will leave even veterans with sweaty palms. The story is a little vague, but traversing the bleak, trap-filled gameworld is a lot of fun. The game is a little on the short side, but makes up for it with a low price and with three more episodes to come there is a lot to look forward to.

Gameplay: Quite challenging in places, but conquering the tricky parts is immensely satisfying.

Graphics: The bleak, monochrome art direction is nothing new, but still looks very stylish.

Sound: No speech, but features a suitably eerie soundtrack

Summary 7.7 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Albert and Otto: The Adventure Begins

Developer: Nikola Kostic | Publisher: KBros Games | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Indie / Platformer / Puzzle | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Armed with a gun and a stuffed bunny named Otto, Albert is a boy on a mission. His mission appears to be tracking down a mysterious girl with rabbit ears who has been kidnapped. To find the girl Albert must make his way across the bleak landscape of 1939 Germany while avoiding the myriad of pitfalls everywhere. Numerous puzzle based obstacles also bars his way, but thanks to the seemingly magical powers of his stuffed companion there is no stopping Albert. In fact, Albert is not above sacrificing a couple of sheep along the way if it helps him to get closer to his goal.

Based on looks alone it is easy to dismiss Albert and Otto as another Limbo clone, but despite the visual similarities it feels fresh enough to stand on its own. This is mostly thanks to Otto, the stuffed bunny that is a lot more useful than most of his kind. Albert finds Otto close to the start of his adventure and with the bunny in his possession is able to perform a nifty double-jump. Eventually Otto also grants Albert the ability to levitate small objects, but as soon as the bunny is dropped Albert loses all these powers. Obviously the game delights in forcing you to drop Otto in order to solve certain puzzles involving pressure plates and switches, causing you to feel very vulnerable until reunited with the bunny.

Albert and Otto features a healthy mix of platforming and puzzle solving thanks to its inhospitable gameworld. Pits filled with spikes are found everywhere and Albert also has to put his gun to good use to dispose of large, hostile birds. Since Albert cannot hang from platform ledges you need to be accurate with your jumping, something that can be tricky during the gauntlet sequences. For the most part the game has a slow, laid back feeling, but there are a couple of sections that throws a boatload of challenges at you in succession. Make one misstep and it is back to the nearest checkpoint, which is all too often right at the start of the challenge. This is undoubtedly frustrating, but immensely satisfying when eventually mastered. Players who are not very good at platformers will probably have a hard time with these sections as a bit of finger dexterity is required to survive. Albert doesn’t have a health bar or hit point, so touching water, fire or spikes means instant death.

When the game isn’t trying its best to kill you it also taxes the grey matter with some nifty puzzles. Although the switches and pressure plates are nothing we haven’t seen before in games there are still a couple of sections that inject some originality into the formula. Sheep in particular have a tough time in this game as you are frequently required to feed them to wolves and piranhas as distractions, and in one particularly cruel segment, set them on fire to be used a light source in a dark cave. If the thought of using a dead sheep as a floatation device to cross a river fills you with horror then this is probably not the game for you. Albert might be armed with a gun, but don’t think you’ll be able to blast your way past the two bosses you’ll encounter. Both of the mechanical monstrosities requires a more creative approach to defeat although trial-and-error also plays a big role.

The monochrome visuals of the game paints a very stark picture, which definitely adds to the creepy atmosphere. Dark forests soon give way to underground caverns and industrial backgrounds as you guide Albert and Otto across the landscape. Along with the black, white and shades of grey there are also occasional splashes of red, most noticeably the crimson hue used for Otto. The game doesn’t feature any voice acting or even text to advance the story, but instead you find childish drawings presumably left behind by the kidnapped girl. By the time the end credits rolled we were still somewhat confused about what exactly is happening, but three more games are planned to round out the story. The game ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so we are eager to see where Albert’s adventure will take him next.

Considering how unforgiving this title is the soundtrack is actually very mellow, but the tunes are a good match for the desolate atmosphere of the game. The sound effects are unremarkable, but decent although the bleats from the burning sheep will haunt our dreams. Controlling Albert is easy enough using either a keyboard and mouse or controller, but aiming the gun feels a bit sluggish.

Veteran platform fans should have no trouble completing Albert and Otto in an hour or two, but can expect plenty of deaths along the way. Players who are not very proficient with the genre are in for a tough time as certain segments leave very little room for error. This is made worse by the spacing of the check points in some areas. The fact that this is only the first part of a planned four part series also always comes with the risk that the story is never completed.

We would have liked a clearer picture of where the story was headed, but as the first title in the series Albert And Otto already makes a good impression. The puzzles won’t leave players stumped for too long, but the platforming sections can be very challenging. The game is also priced low enough to make it an impulse purchase.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 8 / 7
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz CPU (Dual Core recommended)
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: ATi Radeon HD 2400 or NVIDIA GeForce 7600 or better
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
  • Additional Notes: Although old machines will run the game they may cause considerable lag making progression through the game extremely difficult.
  • OS: OS X version Lion 10.7, or later.
  • Processor: Intel Mac
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8600M or better / ATi Radeon 2400 or better*
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Although old machines will run the game they may cause considerable lag making progression through the game extremely difficult.

Related posts

Assassin’s Creed® Revelations

Assassin's Creed® Revelations

While not quite the "revelation" that I was hoping for, this game does tie up the stories of Altair and Ezio. Not much has changed gameplay wise and the story is not the best in the series but the game is still very entertaining. It is definitely not for newcomers to the series as the story is a direction continuation of Brotherhood but it does fill the gap until Assassin's Creed 3. Gameplay: Pretty much the same as Brotherhood. Graphics: Not bad but the colours are a bit dull. Sound: Good voice acting and atmospheric music.

Legends of Solitaire: Curse of the Dragons

Legends of Solitaire: Curse of the Dragons

Legends of Solitaire: Curse of the Dragons is another game that retains all the addictive elements of Solitaire, but mixes in some other cool features as well. The fantasy setting is great as it allows for plenty of varied backgrounds, while the use of items and abilities during levels keeps things interesting. With 400 rounds to conquer this is a game that will keep players hooked for ages. Gameplay: The game is addictive and poses quite a challenge on the Hard difficulty setting. Graphics: The widescreen support is nice and the game features tons of backgrounds. Sound: The soundtrack is relaxing, if a little melancholic, and the voice acting is also quite good.

This War of Mine

This War of Mine

This War of Mine takes on a serious subject and manages to turn it into a great game without compromising the core message. War is hell and trying to survive it as a non-combatant is something that nobody should ever have to experience in real life. The game offers a glimpse into the trials and tribulations faced by ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. It is a dark experience that will probably not appeal to everyone, but once it sucks you into its bleak world it can be hard to leave until you have done all you could to save the people placed under your guidance. Gameplay: Simple to control, but hard to master, this game will challenge you in more ways than one. Graphics: The unique art style perfectly captures the bleak reality of being trapped in a hostile environment. Sound: Fitting audio and outstanding sound effects.

The Order of the Thorne – The King’s Challenge

The Order of the Thorne - The King's Challenge

The Order of the Thorne – The King’s Challenge offers a witty, entertaining and family friendly point and click adventure experience. The retro style visuals take a while to get used to, especially on larger monitors, but definitely captures the charm of the classics of the genre. As far as point and click adventures goes this one is rather straightforward, but definitely a lot of fun and well worth adding to your collection. Gameplay: The story and puzzles are relatively straightforward, but still very entertaining. Graphics: Looks like it was lifted straight from a nineties Sierra title. Sound: Great voice acting for all the characters and a nice orchestral soundtrack.

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta is absolutely the definitive edition of this great game and an essential purchase for fans of the raising sim/visual novel genre. The plot might not be very epic, but it makes up for it with wonderful characters and gameplay that is a bit more involved than simply clicking through lines of dialogue. With titles such as this and the equally superb Steins;Gate JAST USA is really on a roll. Gameplay: Some great scenes, characters and a very addictive dice mini-game. Graphics: Excellent artwork from the very talented Oyari Ashito. Sound: Great tunes, sound effects and the original Japanese voice acting.

Sonicomi

Sonicomi

Step into the shoes of a gravure photographer and help the adorable model Sonico to kick-start her career. Sonicomi is more than just a typical visual novel as it also places a camera in your hands and requires you to take photos of Sonico according to the briefs of clients. Thanks to 18 different endings, interesting characters and a multitude of clothing options for the shoots the game has more than enough replay value to keep players busy for ages. Gameplay: An interesting mix of visual novel and 3D photography scenes. Graphics: Sonico is the only 3D model in the game, but she looks great and has plenty of charm. Sound: Good music and sound effects along with two different voice actress options for Sonico.

Leave a comment

seventeen + 19 =