Albert & Otto: The Adventure Begins (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 19.11.2015

Review for Albert & Otto: The Adventure Begins on PC

Indie platformers are, for all their charm, a dime a dozen these days. Throw puzzles into that platforming and it's guaranteed the music will be drowned out by the sound of eyes rolling. This doesn't mean there aren't good ones, and this doesn't mean every one of them should be dismissed just because of their genre of choice. Albert & Otto, despite falling into the puzzle-platforming category, adds some minor twists to the formula to keep gamers on their toes.

Albert & Otto has Limbo written all over it. Despite the colour swap, with the protagonist Albert being white and the background being black, this game will almost immediately draw comparisons to the grandfather of black and white platforming. The platforming is tough, and several things that could never have been seen coming will kill even the most cautious player. Couple this with fairly infrequent checkpoints, and it's easy to see someone getting very frustrated very quickly.

It also adds in the bonus of being a twin stick shooter, which is almost enough to separate it from its brothers in the indie platforming field. Unfortunately, the shooting is sluggish, meaning players will need to remember where they need to shoot after inevitably dying in that spot in order to progress. When aiming, it feels like Albert may be making a fashion statement by wearing sandbags as bracelets, as moving the gun is incredibly cumbersome. However, when attempting to compensate for this, the aiming has a tendency to suddenly move quickly, leaving the feeling that getting the hang of the aiming system is something that simply isn't meant to be done.

Screenshot for Albert & Otto: The Adventure Begins on PC

The puzzles in a puzzle-platformer need to be derivative of the player mechanics, and should constantly ask users to build upon their past experiences. Here, again, Albert & Otto falters. The puzzles feel completely uninspired and unoriginal, and usually just require a rudimentary understanding of the game. Although, to its credit, the earlier puzzles do a good job of teaching what the player is capable of, they all feel like broken canvases waiting for a more thorough touch.

The artwork, is, however, really lovely. While it's definitely on the minimal side, and it is derivative of Limbo, it still manages to really peak as its own distinct style. Everything has rough, jagged edges, which manage to convey just how dangerous the world is around the player.

Beyond this, there is a story, but it's pretty good, so no need to delve too deeply into it. It's a rough sell, considering the weirdness of the game's controls, but it's worth pushing through for the interesting story. That's really all that can be said, though. The issue here is that while everything falls into place how it does, Albert & Otto isn't a bad game, nor is it a good game. It's brutally hard, difficult to control, not the best with puzzles, and has an atmosphere, art style, and story that make up for these things. That's all that can be said. Albert & Otto, for lack of a better word, is an average game.

Screenshot for Albert & Otto: The Adventure Begins on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

For all its crooked edges, Albert & Otto is still worth venturing into, if not for the great atmosphere alone. It is a rewarding romp, as many difficult platformers are, but the lacklustre puzzles and cumbersome shooting, both of which are definitely a priority in this game, drag it away from greatness, and leave it grasping for any semblance of stability. Hopefully, further down the line, Albert & Otto will come into its own, but this is a rocky beginning for the episodic puzzle-platformer.

Developer

Nikola Kostic

Publisher

KBros Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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