Albert & Otto: The Adventure Begins is the first in a Noir 2D puzzle platformer game series set in 1939 Germany. Albert & Otto is published by KBros Games and developed by Nikola Kostic. This is Nikola Kostics first ever title and is the product of a successful Greenlight Campaign.
“You are in search of a mysterious girl with bunny ears. You must use both Albert and Otto (magical bunny) in creative ways to traverse a haunting world. At the beginning of the story, Albert can shoot and jump, while Otto can fit through tight gaps and hold down/activate power switches. But together, they unlock new skills such as a double jump, levitation, control of electrical currents, and more as the story unfolds.”
Albert & Otto: The Adventure Begins: Windows [Reviewed]
Developer: Nikola Kostics
Release Date: 28 October 2015
Price: £3.99 [Disclosure Game Copy provided by Developer/Publisher]
Albert & Otto shares similarities with LIMBO both in art style and gameplay, but there are different mechanics (which I will come to later) that set it apart. As with all platformers, the idea is to transverse the various different levels avoiding the various traps etcetera. However, you are not just simply traversing the levels as a number of various puzzles are thrown in your way that you must figure out how to get around. Where Albert & Otto sets itself apart from the LIMBO comparison is the introduction of various different mechanics.
The character has a single-shot shotgun that is used to both protect you from various creatures and is also used in various puzzle scenarios sometimes in combination with other abilities. For example, one of the abilities the player acquires is the levitate ability which the player can also combine with a shotgun blast to reach what would otherwise be a difficult target. The use of the other abilities and their interaction with puzzles are also very interesting. The major issue I encountered was that full-screen appears to be borderless windowed mode as the mouse cursor was able to move into my second monitor, this is easily fixable by at least giving an option to constrain to window.There were one or two other issues that I will cover later.
With a grey-scale and red colour palette, graphics are not going to be a major feature. However, they are highly stylised and very artistic and give the sense of foreboding that I believe is worthy of the setting. The art style is why most of the comparisons with LIMBO are made. The soundtrack is very dynamic and changes with the different levels to suit their unique tone, for the most part, it is quite chilled and relaxing. The sound assets, on the other hand, are used to great effect and many of them are extremely creepy and very much help set the tone. The thing I really enjoyed about Albert & Otto is the fact that they clearly have taken some inspiration from LIMBO, it’s nice to see a developer take such inspiration and produce something that is unique in its own right which Albert & Otto definitely is.
Many of the puzzles have to be done in a specific way which I don’t like but that’s not the games fault. The problem is that the last two levels kind of throw a lot of things at the player all at once as well as requiring quick reactions. That is fine but when the rest the game has been for the most part “done at your own pace” it feels like an unnecessary difficulty spike. These sequences also have quite long time between checkpoints, which becomes a little frustrating. These sequences also require certain things to be done and punish you for not knowing what they are, even though it wasn’t necessarily clear.
That would be fine, but having to restart the entire sequence because you didn’t realise you needed that crate for a second action (for example) increases frustration, but that being said could just be that I have a particular distaste for that. Personally the next in the series, if it uses similar sequences, should perhaps use more lenient checkpoints than usual. As always a series of games this is rather short, I completed it in about 3 hours and could be done much faster (if you have the skill). Also as always, the series is only as good as its latest instalment and so it will be interesting to see if any of my suggestions make a difference.