Another World Turns 20, Launches for iOS

Another World came before them all.

Developed by From Dust creator Eric Chahi in 1991, Another World stood out as a cinematic platform puzzler against much of the typical bop and hop gameplay of the time. Since its initial release, Another World has been brought to more than a dozen systems and now, thanks to BulkyPix, it has come out for the iOS.

I played this game in my youth and knew it by the name Out of This World.  The game was titled differently for the United States release, but the story was the same. It was told only through the actions on the screen. There was no subtext or reading; this was a time before voice acting in videogames.

Another World tells the story of a young scientist, Lester Knight Chaykin. Chaykin is a typical videogame scientist: there is an experiment and suddenly something unexpected happens. The tone is set and the story develops through a series of short cutscenes, which was actually somewhat new for the time.  Another World pushed limits and took risks, modeling 3D characters with 2D technology long before Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy 7 offered 3D cinematics.

The other world in which the game takes place is filled with strange environmental puzzles and an enslaved race of big thuggish goons. Early in the story you share a cage with one such hulk. This character doesn’t really have a name, though most of the information available on the game refers to this character as Buddy. As a young Chuck growing up in a world without the Internet, I had no way to connect with other people who played this game, let alone find a Wikipedia entry or a walk-through. My friend Elliott and I played the game pretty regularly until we finished it. We named that goon Otto, so let’s hear it for the creativity of the player.

Another World is challenging in that it requires a certain amount of trial and error.  You might complete all of the steps, but if they are done out of sequence you will not get the result needed to continue. This creates some toilsome, if not insultingly difficult moments, but overall the gameplay is fair. By no means is this Super Meat Boy or I Want To Be the Guy. It is more along that Demon Souls “and the challenge awaits” vibe.

It is now 20 years since Another World was released and the game is still brilliant. Another World is the equivalent of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 or H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, a sort of required reading for anyone that likes indie platformers. This is certainly a game for fans of Oddworld, Blackthrone and Flashback: Quest for Identity.

I played through Another World on the iPad2 and was pleasantly surprised by the very intuitive touch-based controls. The game has three difficulty modes, as well as the ability to switch between original graphics and the cleaned-up HD graphics. If you have an iOS device, I cannot recommend this game enough. Treat yourself to a classic.

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While searching for the heart of the alien, Chuck can be found .

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Charles Francis Moran VI, Commentary, Gaming, Review
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