App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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I was a young lad of but nine or so when Chahi's mind-blowing (for the time) masterwork was released. Of course I didn't have an Amiga, so I was a young lad of but ten or so when I finally had the chance to play it on my Super Nintendo. I may have been too young to appreciate its finer points, but it captured my imagination something fierce.
Another World for the iPhone is an incredibly faithful port; providing a near-perfect representation of the original classic, as well as a slightly updated rendition with HD graphics and two new difficulty levels. The inclusion of enhanced visuals and remastered audio made me a little dubious, but they've both been handled excellently. The audio is more-or-less exactly as it was, only "clearer," the backgrounds have been sharpened with added fine details and the character graphics have been smoothed as opposed to flat-out replaced. I was expecting to swap between the two styles a couple of times before settling on the classic look, but the HD visuals strike such a balance between "better" and "nostalgic" that I decided to stick with the updated graphics.
Aside from being an exceedingly excellent game that still holds up quite well 20 years later, it also makes for a great iOS title. Checkpoints are liberally sprinkled throughout and can be revisited from the title screen at any time, allowing players to continue their game or replay their favorite sequences with ease. They're also handy because Lester will die. A lot. Not due to the controls, thankfully, which offer a "HUD-less" gesture option as well as a more typical digital scheme. Both work quite well, although the digital pad is more useful during more hectic moments.
One of Another World's largest shortcomings, which is really a product of its original design, is that it's more of an exercise in repetition than actual skill. It's not uncommon for new players (or even rusty veterans) to travel a couple of screen over, die, restart, make it a screen or two farther, die again, etc... Checkpoints help, but they don't fix the issue. It's also a pretty short game. A start-to-finish play-through could take less than an hour if done by a practiced devotee, although rookies will probably take a bit longer. What with all the gruesome death and all.
The original Another World was, and still is, one of The best and most influential action/adventure games out there. Those brought up on more modern titles might balk at the visuals or the simplicity of the presentation, but I'd still encourage them to acquaint themselves with this special piece of history. And of course, there is absolutely no reason for fans of the original to miss this.