Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/19/igamer_review_another_world/

Another World 20th Anniversary Edition

Poly gone?

By Andrew Bailey

Posted in Games, 19th October 2011 09:00 GMT

iGamer It's one of gaming's longest enduring and most profound existential questions. Twenty years and as many platforms later, Another World - aka Out of this World in the US -remains as enigmatic as ever, surviving even creator Eric Chahi's own fascinating personal deconstruction of his work at this year's Game Developers Conference.

With only minor graphical improvements and some niggling control issues, the 20th Anniversary iOS edition might not rank as the definitive version – that accolade still rests with the 15th Anniversary PC edition.

Another World 20th Anniversary Edition iOS game icon

Wot no polygon textures?

But thanks to its distinctive visuals, idiosyncratic gameplay and hauntingly evocative fiction, Another World feels as visionary today on iPhone or iPad as it did on the Amiga way back in 1991.

Even when considered alongside the advancements of the past 20 years, the platform puzzler still ranks up there as one of gaming's most innovative titles. Its ability to charm and infuriate in equal measure is as potent in its first playthrough as in its one hundredth.

Another World 20th Anniversary Edition iOS game icon

AW's animation was painstakingly rotoscoped

Thanks largely to its reticence, the story feels timeless too. You play Lester, the flame-haired, Ferrari-driving physicist teleported to a hostile alien world when his particle accelerator is hit by lightning.

To help you survive, you must rely on your wits, a blaster and occasional help from a friendly alien called Buddy. But with no further exposition or interface to guide you, your truest friend here is gaming's most conventional foe: death.

Another World 20th Anniversary Edition iOS game icon

The fuzziness of touch control doesn't sit well with AW's pixel-precise death detection

Like its spiritual successors Limbo and Demon's Souls, Another World reveals itself through failure. Twitch platforming is the only skill required to survive its pitfalls, trial and error the only logic to solve its esoteric puzzles.

Another World, another era

Unfortunately, the port onto the iDevices only exacerbates the already exacting challenge. There's little to choose between new touchscreen controls and the optional on-screen gamepad configuration - both lacking the responsiveness required by the game's 20-year-old pixel-width collision system.

Another World 20th Anniversary Edition iOS game icon

The graphics have been tweaked a little, 20 year on

So while it's theoretically possible to complete the game in around an hour, even seasoned players familiar with its puzzles will find themselves dying at least a dozen times.

New players may also be deterred by the game's arbitrary checkpointing, which often compounds the difficulty by forcing you to replay several sections leading up to the point of death. It's a system that betrays Another World as a game of yesteryear, one whose punitive gameplay will be alien to many younger gamers mollycoddled by today's more forgiving, casual fare.

Another World 20th Anniversary Edition iOS game icon

Your blaster is your friend. Most of the time. Some of the time.

The game may also struggle to attract a new audience through its visuals. It remains striking, thanks to its minimalist palette and rotoscope animations, but it's a shame the developers opted for minor tweaks rather than a complete graphical overhaul.

A few additions to background planes, brighter visuals and a dash of anti-aliasing mean Another World has never looked as good as it does on a "retina" screen, but it still looks decidedly geriatric beside modern iOS titles, such as Infinity Blade and Dead Space.

Another World 20th Anniversary Edition iOS game icon

Can I have my face back, please?

And the graphical tweaks do little to justify the £3 price tag, especially given that most retro gamers will already have access to the original through emulators.

But whether you're visiting Another World for the first or one hundredth time, Eric Chahi's classic platform-puzzler remains a truly beguiling experience. ®

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Another World 20th Anniversary Edition iOS game iconReg Rating 70%
Price £2.99
Download iPad/iPhone