Team Alto, the collaboration between studios Land & Sea and Snowman, announced today that it’s returning to Alto’s Odyssey with a new, Apple Arcade-exclusive edition called Alto’s Odyssey: The Lost City, coming out on July 16.
The Lost City consists of the full game of Alto’s Odyssey, plus brand new content that designer Harry Nesbitt tells IGN is comparable to an enhanced edition. Though he and Snowman’s Ryan Cash didn’t give too many specific clues about what the new content would entail, Nesbitt says it’s “woven in” with the existing Alto experience. “There’s a thread there you can pull on and it will lead you down a different path.”
More specifically, the new content includes the titular Lost City as a brand new biome, but it’s more than just a fancy new backdrop for sandboarding shenanigans. There’s some new flavor added to the music track by returning composer Todd Baker, and other new mystery content as well. Much of which is connected to ideas the teams had for the original Alto’s Odyssey that they didn’t get to realize for its initial launch.
“The Lost City itself is a new biome,” Nesbitt said. “It’s not immediately available, it’s something you have to work towards and uncover, but once you do have the Lost City, what’s going to stand out to players is that it’s very different tonally to what we’ve done with the games in the past. The Lost City itself is a living, breathing city, it’s very much alive and vibrant in a way we’ve not really done before. It’s not like an old ruin or an empty wilderness.
“We want to try to explore some different feelings with the game, and with the events of the last year and the pandemic and people feeling isolated from friends and family, not being able to travel as easily, this was an opportunity for us to infuse the game with some of that excitement of experiencing a new place and traveling somewhere new. That’s reflected in the things you’ll see and experience.”
This marks the first Alto content in over three years, and the first official project from developers Land & Sea under their new studio name. Cash and Nesbitt indicated that for the time being, they have nothing to announce regarding bringing this new, updated Alto content to any other platforms.
Rather, Cash said that because Alto’s Adventure had originally been released on iOS before anything else, the team wanted to focus on doing something special for Apple Arcade. Even though it’s a service that came out after both Adventure and Odyssey were already released on other platforms.
Plus, as a subscription service, Apple Arcade affords Team Alto the ability to focus more on designing the game they want to make, rather than worrying about business model integration. He mentions another Snowman-published game, Where Cards Fall, which was an Apple Arcade launch title. It was in development for over ten years, he said, and to recoup that labor the team would’ve wanted to price it around $20. But, as Cash said, “No one’s going to pay $20 for a mobile game.” Arcade enabled them to avoid a price tag people might balk at without cheapening the perception of its value.
“When you go free to play on Android, you can reach many, many people,” he said. “We have over 100 million downloads [for Alto games because of that. And we never would have gotten those numbers being a paid game. But when you’re a paid game, you don’t have to worry about the business model. You just charge upfront, and you don’t have to tack things on to make a business out of it. So with Apple Arcade, it’s an opportunity to get the best of both worlds.”
Alto’s Odyssey: The Lost City is planned to release on Apple Arcade on July 16, 2021, and Team Alto has promised even more post-launch updates in the following months. The base game of Alto’s Odyssey sans Lost City is currently out on iOS, Android, PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.