Another World 15th Anniversary Edition PC Review
Peter Donnell / 5 years ago
When it first hit our screens way back in 1991 Another World shifted a staggering 1 million copies, although it would be near impossible to work out how many it’s sold since. Its cult status and solid game play have kept the fires burning for this title for a little over two decades now, with ports and releases across a number of platforms from the Amiga, Snes, Mega Drive and all the way up to iOS and Android, although the version I’ll be paying attention to in this review is the 20th Anniversary HD edition for Windows.
I first got my hands on this game for the Sega Mega drive when I was 8 years old, the game was hard as anything and I could barely get past the first level, even when I did manage to get to level two I would only get stuck, but the game had a big impact on me, for some reason I would always go back and keep trying, wouldn’t get anywhere, but I just enjoyed the challenge and the peculiar game play.
It wasn’t until about 2005 that I managed to pick up a copy of the game again and made it all the way to the fourth level, obviously this wasn’t going to be a game I could complete in a hurry, now don’t get me wrong, this game isn’t big, far from it, once you know how to complete it, memorise what you’re supposed to do and when, then you could complete it in around an hour, the fun and hard part though is working out that whole “how” part.
From the start of the game, you take the roll of Lester Knight Chaykin, a young physicist who is working in his lab during a thunderstorm, tinkering away with his particle accelerator, at least that is until lightning strikes the building, screws with his equipment and tears a hole in time and space, sending you quite literally to Another World, now if that isn’t a simple yet effective setup for a sci-fi story, nothing is.
When it comes to play time, this game isn’t exactly intuitive, there is only one way to complete each section of the game and it will leave you scratching your head more often than not, make a mistake and death is instant, meaning your put right back to the start of the section to try and die again. With its tricky puzzles and only run, jump and attack at your disposal, it’s all about working out the right combination to make your escape, althought I can’t help but think this game would have made an excellent movie.
Old school platform games we’re for the most part difficult anyway, but Another World can be purely cryptic as far as solutions to its puzzles go, which in my opinion is what makes it so entertaining to play, even playing it over 20 years after its release there is still something refreshing about its play style, I would love to dive more into the level details, but with this being such a short game, there would be a couple of puzzle spoilers, but with superbly thought our cave sections, a tricky prison escape with one of your fellow prisoners and a deadly run through a city, its got all the best scenarios covered.
The graphics have been given an overhaul in the edition I played, while they aren’t anything to rave about it still cleans up the screen nicely, giving you a more a simple filled polygon look opposed to a jagged pixel blur, although both old and new graphics options are available to switch between should you feel the need. Even with its simplistic graphics, you can help but think the game looks “right”, I just don’t think it would be the same with completely new graphics and sprites, for fear it would lose some of its cool.
So there we have it, a blast from the past that just refuses to die, a gaming legend and a fine example of quality gameplay and simple story telling, we don’t have a retro reward on eTeknix but I can award Another word our Gamers Choice Award, all in the hope that more people get to see and play one of gaming finest historical moments for years to come.