Another (Well Maintained) World
Another World is a 1991 cinematic platformer which has developed quite a fan following over the years. Recently the game has been released in its remastered 20th anniversary form on Steam, and having never played the game in the past it seemed like a good chance to see just how good this classic adventure really was. Little did I expect the puzzling and rage-inducing playtime that would turn out to follow that decision…
By way of the story, it is hard to tell exactly what is going on because there is no explanation as you play, only a few simple cinematic to give you a little something to go on. As far as it is possible to gather, you play as a professor who is trying to carry out a late-night particle experiment. As he fires up his equipment to start a test however, his laboratory is struck by lightning, transporting him to this other world in which the game is based. From here you are left to figure out your situation and the way to progress for yourself. It does not take long to realise that most of the inhabitants in this world are out to kill you, and that the landscape is not necessarily on your side either… Running, jumping and eventually an alien weapon are the only tools, aside from your own quick thinking and fingers, which might help you escape what fate may otherwise await you in this unfamiliar land.
Playing the game is for the most part an enjoyable experience. The controls are few, simple and therefore easy to learn. The full controller support that the Steam version of the game allows also makes it easier and more comfortable still to play. The premise is simple too; you have to identify the threats and puzzles which the game is posing and then find your way around them. Sometimes this can be simpler than it can at others, especially given that there are no instructions as you play. You will have to be prepared for a little bit of trial and error to find your way around the game before you can succeed; it is unlikely to be a first time solution every time. The only time that the game does not seem to be fun is when your rage overcomes your enjoyment for brief moments, and it almost certainly will on occasions. If you can keep a cool head you will eventually succeed, but never be fooled into expecting your circumstances to be kind or easy.
Fans of the very original game will not be disappointed by this new release, as they have quite clearly been thought of too. At the press of a button the player can switch the graphics from the remastered look back to the original and vice versa, so nostalgic gamers will feel like a little something has been done just for them. As far as the mechanics of the game go they feel as though it is a retro game as well, with nothing looking as though it might have been too far tweaked from how the original may have been. Even the sounds of the game sound as though they have been left alone, so it is possible that it is only the graphics that have been played with, and only to the extent that they are now easier on the eye. The game still maintains its almost “drawn” style, with a quirky, imperfect edginess to it which makes it look unique.
As someone who had never touched this game before now and was unsure what to expect from reading up on it a little before I got on and played, I must say I am thoroughly pleased with my decision to take up the chance of playing it now. There are a lot of old platformers which come from “back in the day”, some of which are better than others and have lasted the test of time because of it. This game really stands out above similar titles, with a sense of uniquity, quirkiness, fun, challenge and testing which is a difficult but beautiful combination to come by in any game even on the modern market. It is good to see that the developers have recognised that only very few mechanics and aesthetics changes have been needed to keep this game alive and fun, and that they have not gone overboard trying to bring a game up to date when it doesn’t have a problem to be fixed. The key change which has been made, that of the graphics, has been done very well with a recognition for the fact again that only minor work was needed to smoothen things up. The choice to also keep the original graphics was a fan-friendly one which will surely please many people too.
Another World is a game from the past which has been eased caringly back into the modern market and is certainly worth playing whether you are an old fan of the game or an interested and open minded gamer looking for some good old-fashioned fun.
The Good – The greatness of an old classic has been kept alive, with only a few changes having been made where necessary ensuring that nostalgia levels will be high and the game remains itself, while also appealing to new players.
The Bad – Anyone who picks up this game will have to be prepared to make their way around a few frustrating situations and puzzles along the way.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.