Albert and Otto is the newest title from Kbros, a one-man development team as part of a two-man game development and publishing studio. Looking at their previous titles one of which being “There’s poop in my soup”, Albert and Otto is a significantly more serious game. It is a 2.5D (we’ll come back to this later) puzzle platformer, where the main protagonist is accompanied by a somewhat magical teddy bear on a mission to save their sister.
From the get go it would be incredibly easy to draw parallels with that of Limbo, small boy protagonist, cutesy but dark visuals and a collection of gruesome deaths. I would say the visual style of Albert and Otto does differ, the entire game has this absolutely gorgeous backdrop of a deep forest and some of the more important features pop out because of the 2.5D nature. Every so often these 3D items appear in a clean but low poly style, despite the world being 2D it draws the eye and the main character’s animations are quite smooth.
The core gameplay mostly consists of pressure pad puzzles where the player needs to search for weights to put on a bunch of different pads, in order to move onto the next puzzle. Over time more mechanics are introduced, such as Otto having telekinesis or the ability to turn on power switches. One complaint I would have with some of the puzzles is there are times where you can put Otto down and not be able to get back to him, forcing you to restart the entire puzzle.
When you have Otto, you can double jump and use telekinesis, but if you put him down you lose those abilities. Meaning if you do put him down somewhere where you needed to double jump up to, you’re screwed. Another small complaint would be the amount of backtracking needed to solve some puzzles, but honestly, it’s more of a personal gripe.
The player is also equipped with that of a gun hand, which honestly isn’t used as much as I thought I would need it. From the start, there are very few bird enemies that swoop down and beyond a few boss fights, you spend more time shooting ropes you get additional platforms more than anything else. Speaking of boss fights! The first one is quite the ball ache, well until you get his pattern down completely. Following the classic unspoken rule of three, each cycle of moves getting increasingly difficult, before smacking the boss for the third and final time to win. I got in the habit of using Otto as essentially a brick to hold down a pressure bad, but whenever this boss’s lasers hit Otto you instantly lose. Angry at first, but then when you think about it, it makes sense. Otto is a magic bear, kinda makes sense to try and keep it alive you’d be screwed without it.
Throughout the game there are quite a few nice set pieces, having the player deal with a caged wolf, passing through a deserted war base and riding a box down some river rapids. The total game experience is quite a short one, I manage to complete the game in two different sittings but I enjoyed my time with the game. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t break any new ground in puzzle platformers but what it does it does it well. Some parts of the visuals alone could be enough for me to return for another playthrough.
So, in conclusion should you grab Albert and Otto? Well, currently you can pick it up on Steam for around £5 which isn’t that bad at all. If you want to try a solid puzzle platformer, then definitely grab it while you can other than that I would take a look into grabbing it during a sale! Solid game, great visuals if not a platformer by the colours.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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