Game Review: Albert and Otto

This puzzle platformer turns out to be short and sweet. reviews

Albert and Otto (6)Rating: ★★★★☆
Platform: PC, Mac
Release Date: 28 October 2015
Developer: K Bros Games

It’s like LIMBO, with guns. This is a comparison that I’ve seen a couple of times, and immediately thought of myself. In truth that’s a pretty encapsulating statement. The gameplay of Albert and Otto is almost exactly the same as LIMBO but with more intricate mechanics, i.e. a gun. I’d like to try and avoid the comparison to LIMBO but it’s such a strong resemblance in feel and theme that I had to double check to make sure it wasn’t some kind of sequel.

For the few of you who haven’t played LIMBO or at least don’t know anything about it, Albert and Otto is a puzzle platformer. Set in a mostly black and white world you play as a child with a ‘large head’. You move through the creepy landscape going after some abstract goal that you don’t necessarily understand and along the way, you die. Brutally.

The controls are for the most part very tight and easy to control and even in the places where time is short you rarely mess up a jump. You push and pull boxes, press switches and try and avoid falling on spiky things. So far, so standard. The way the Albert and Otto stands out is through the use of the titular Otto. Otto is a stuffed rabbit that you find fairly early on. Whilst you hold him you gain the ability to double jump and move objects telekinetically. However you can drop him which will allow him to be used as a long distance switch operator or as a weight on pressure pads. It’s these added mechanics which really allow for a varied puzzle experience that in my opinion surpasses that of LIMBO’s.

The game also features a couple of boss battles and both of these feel great, perhaps not as memorable as LIMBO’s infamous spider but still great. And what’s great is that neither of these rely on the gun you have. The game understands that it is a platformer and that your gun is just a tool rather than a weapon.

The game has a story, that much is clear. But as this is the first in what seems like will be a series nothing much is explained, and all you find are scattered across the world are hints and clues. It’s incredibly creepy and something bad is happening but you feel like you’ve only just scratched the surface. Wartime Germany is about the only thing I managed to figure out and I look forward to the next game so that I may find out more!

So where does it stand? If you enjoyed LIMBO you’ll love this game, it’s better in every just about every aspect and is about the same length (just under two hours). Thanks to the addition of more intricate mechanics there are far more options for the puzzles and despite the difficulty spike at the end I enjoyed it a lot and eagerly await the next game. I should point out that the review key for this product was provided by the developer free of charge.