I may be the last person to discover Alto’s Adventure which blew away the gaming world when it launched a few months back. Even my eight-year-old is like, Mom! You finally got it? But I admit that when I hear “snowboarding app,” I don’t feel the need to race to the app store to download it. But after looking at the beautiful, almost zen-like graphics and the remarkably fluid movements and responsive gameplay, I downloaded it.  Now I see that it’s a perfect option should you need to freshen up your weary iPhone game collection or take a break from Words with Friends.

Plus, it’s on sale right now as part of the App Store’s Happy Canada Day Promotion. Perfect!

Related: The Monument Valley app is a stunner. And a stumper.


Alto’s Adventures reminds me of Tiny Wings in that you careen the main character up and down slopes that evolve from day to night, while advancing through levels as you knock off increasingly difficult challenges. But it’s far less cartoony in feel and more like an artful, elegant graphic novel.

Despite it being a game which, like any good game, can be frustrating when you’re stuck on a level, I find the whole experience to be really calming to look at and hear (if you choose to keep the sounds on, which I tend not to). I also appreciate that it’s not the same board with the same challenges in the same order every single run; the course is randomly generated which keeps it fun.

Alto's Adventures: A stunning snowboard app that is as lovely to look at as  it's fun to play

180 challenges range from simpler tasks like herding llamas or making it through a rainstorm, to mastering tricks like flips over a chasm, grinding across strings of banners, or outrunning the village elders who don’t like you tearing up their villages. (Ooh, I’ve come to hate those guys.)

To keep things interesting, you can also trade in points for additional skills or a coveted Wingsuit, or to unlock players like Maya, who kicks some butt, by the way. But no in-app purchases, yay! Which means it’s great for kids too. I’d say kids about 6+ can do it, though by about 8 they can master it a little easier.

Plus the friendly notes of encouragement make me happy. More like better luck next time! or almost made it! as opposed to simply PLAY AGAIN. Frankly, they don’t need to tell me to PLAY AGAIN. After finally figuring out how to land a backflip, I’m hooked.

Download Alto’s Adventure on iTunes, now just $.99 (normally $1.99 but still worth it) for a limited time as part of the App Store’s Happy Canada Day promotion. Thanks, Canada!