Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition - PC

Release Date:

December 12, 2012

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.


Another World is a pioneer action/platformer that released across more than a dozen platforms since its debut in 1991. Along the years, Another World has attained cult status among critics and sophisticated gamers alike. Another World chronicles the story of Lester Knight Chaykin a young scientist hurtled through space and time by a nuclear experiment that goes wrong. Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition is a remastered presentation: a joint effort between visionary game-designer Eric Chahi and developer Martial Hesse Dreville.

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Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition was developed by The Digital Lounge for release on numerous consoles including the next generation consoles. We picked up a copy of Another World in order to see If this cult hit 2D platformer lived up to the hype, 20 years later. While there were definitely some moments of head shaking, we definitely found that Another World held up and the re-release did a lot to make it palatable for a new generation of gamers. While this is definitely a dated title there was something interesting about it that we couldn’t put our fingers on initially. Keep reading to see if Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition appeals to you!

Another World first made its way to the Amiga back in the early 90's. 20 years after its release we saw the game ported over to iOS apps with updated graphics and a new remastered soundtrack. Now we are finally getting to see the re-mastered version of the game on a traditional console. For those of us that played the game way back then, you’ll be happy to find that it survived the transition and still plays just like we remember it.

The game seeks to emulate cinema in the best kind of way: with artistic decision making and beautiful artwork that appears to be sold in an understated manner. There isn’t a depth of texture on the screen, rarely ever, but each sequence still feels beautiful and peacefully made. This game is full of screenshots from a different time and somehow the dated details look just as good as we remember them.

The game starts with a car flying into view, barely braking and coming to a stop in front of a small looking building that looks like a trailer. Out of this building comes a professor who is working on a dangerous particle accelerator. His work is progressing well, almost too well, and when a lightning bolt hits the facility the machine kicks into gear. The physicist ends up being teleported to a whole different world and that begins what will be an unforgettable, if slower paced, journey through a different time in video games.

Back when the title was first released the graphics in the game were considered to be almost revolutionary. None of you probably remember the Amiga, it was an old home computer, but the thing seemed like it was top of the line at the time. In any case, looking at the graphics now we sort of have to laugh. Though the hand drawn artwork is definitely still alluring, it is far from a graphical juggernaut. Straight line artwork is used to create depths in sequences and colors are expertly swapped to convey mood and tone. Really, the game is quite cinematic even without much juice behind its appearance. Still, this is the 20th Anniversary Edition and you can toggle on upgraded HD graphics if you want to look flashier. If you want the dated look, that’s just fine too.

Influenced by the 8bit Prince of Persia, Another World tells a story by way of simple sequences - relying on action over clumsy dialogue. Imagine Grim Fandango without the dialogue. Everything about the story is told through movement and clever setpieces that help to set up exactly how the characters are feeling and how they are progressing through the narrative. In fact, there isn’t a single word of spoken dialogue in this entire game. This lack of spoken word makes for an ambient and almost spooky experience, but one that is so completely cool and science fiction-y that we couldn’t help but fall in love all over again.

Even if Another World is a simple looking game, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some moments of genuine awe inside of it. Much like when Luke Skywalker looked over the vista of Tattooine at the two suns in the sky, Another World has those moments of character and world building. The first time you see this Other World is special, especially if you played the game as a kid. The first time you see the aliens that live on this world is also very special. The very first time you break away from your captor, steal his gun, and blast him in one move, is also special. Simply put Another World is rife with 'moments' and perhaps that is why the title is so capable. You aren’t being dragged along through filler details. Instead you are being shown a sequence of events, all important, which help to sculpt a gorgeous story. The ending even brought a little haze to our eyes.

We haven’t really touched on what this game is outside of it being a platformer, so we should do that. The traditional gameplay element that you will identify comes in the form of platforming sequences. You will have to run, jump, climb, and crawl through twisting levels while occasionally coming into contact with violent enemies and confusing puzzles. Death comes quick and harsh and you are punished severely for taking risks. With that being said, you need to take risks in order to excel in this game. Trial and error rules the day so get used to pushing ahead no matter what the consequences. The logic based puzzles are nice and the laser gun that you get to use is a great way to break up some of the more somber tone of the game.

Perhaps the biggest complaint we can lob at Another World is that it is a short experience merely five or six hours if you don’t get too caught up on the puzzles. But the game is cheap and the experience almost seminal for some of us. So if you don’t mind investing in a title with a short shelf life then you will find a whole lot to like here.

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The Digital Lounge

Release Date:

December 12, 2012

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