Alto’s Adventure is now available on Android [Update]

Patrick O'Rourke

February 3, 2016 2:35pm

Update 02/11/16: Alto’s Adventure, one of the best iOS games of last year, is finally available on Android. The game is free to download but comes with in-app purchases at a hefty $5.55 per item. It’s worth pointing out, though, they these microtransactions aren’t necessary to progress in the game.

Original story

Toronto-developed Alto’s Adventure, one of 2015’s best mobile titles, is finally making its way to Android next week on February 11th, for free.

In a recent blog postBuilt by Snowman’s Ryan Cash discusses why it took so long for his small independent studio to bring the critically acclaimed game to Android devices.

“We know many of you have been waiting patiently for Alto to make his debut on Android – we wish it could have come sooner, but the reality is, as a small indie shop, we’ve been a little overwhelmed with things,” writes Cash.

Cash expands on his initial statement, explaining that his studio wanted to make sure the Android version of Alto’s Adventure offered the same quality gaming experience as its iOS counterpart.

Rampant Android piracy, a rarely discussed issue with Google’s mobile operating system, is also a significant reason why Cash, and Saskatchewan-based Noodlecake, the studio handling Alto’s Adventure’s Android port, opted to release the game for free with minor opt-in only free-to-play bonuses.

“After careful consideration, we decided to take the plunge and launch Alto’s Adventure for free, adding a variety of opt-in bonuses for players who might need a little extra help, or otherwise want to show their support. The most important thing to say is that we’ve kept the core gameplay experience intact – it can be enjoyed start to finish, exactly as it can be on iOS,” says Cash.

So while Alto’s Adventure will include microtransactions, according to Cash, the game is not adopting a Clash of Clans style pay-to-win model.

Cash’s title is also far from the first game to go free on Android. Popular puzzle game Threes, for example, made its way to Android for free roughly a year after it launched on iOS.

Alto’s Adventure is available on Apple TV and iOS for $3.99 and Android for free.

Related reading: Alto’s Adventure review: Mobile gaming at its best

  • FlamesFan89

    This is completely anecdotal, and so, not worth much, but I have seen much talk over the years about piracy on Android, but I have yet to meet a single person who has ever pirated a single app.

    Now, I’m not so naive as to think that it doesn’t happen, or that it isn’t an issue, I just more get the impression that it is perhaps a small minority that does the bulk of the pirating, while the majority of users simply couldn’t be bothered.

    • Comrade Yeti

      There’s also the fact that Android shows installs differently than Apple does. The monument valley developer got called out that a lot of their “high piracy” statistic was actually valid reinstalls but because they were used to the Apple way of doing things they thought was piracy

    • Vito R.

      That’s not it at all. Developers can find out how many installs vs App Store downloads quite easily.

    • Yea, despite how much I read about Android piracy, I don’t know anyone who does it either. Statistics show it’s a huge issue though.

    • Vito R.

      Well, as an example, the number of android users that buy high end flagship phones are also in the “minority” yet everyone I know has a what would be considered a “flagship” phone.

      It’s not a small minority. The developers of Monument Valley reported just 5% of Android installs were paid for (vs 40% for iOS). Android’s “openness” is clearly a factor here and a reason why many developers give it a go on iOS first.

    • FlamesFan89

      I got monument valley through the humble bundle, which means I downloaded the apk from humble bundle and not from the app store. Would that have been counted as a non-play store install and am assumed piracy? I’m not implying anything here, it’s an honest question.

    • Vito R.

      Well, he would know how many sales he got from Humble Bundle. This isn’t a one off scenario. The developers of Dead Trigger started selling the game for $0.99 but then gave it away for free (with ads and IAP) for Android because of issues with piracy. This isn’t an isolated case – many reports of 90-95% piracy – it’s a real issue.

    • FlamesFan89

      I said in my first comment that it is an issue. I don’t know why you think that I think it isn’t.

    • Vito R.

      I never said you didn’t think it was an issue.

      That said, you made a point to say that you don’t know anybody that pirates and that it’s probably a small minority and even questioned whether the developer took into account sales outside of the play store. So while you did at one point say you weren’t so naive as to think it wasn’t an issue, the gist of your opinion (as it comes across to anyone reading your comments) is that the issue is overblown. That might not be what you intended, but that’s how it comes across.

    • FlamesFan89

      I worded my first comment the way I did for a reason. Look more closely. I didn’t say that pirating wasn’t happening, and I wasn’t implying that it is a small issue. I specifically said that it was a small minority doing the bulk of the pirating. An analogy would be that Facebook is the location for the bulk of social networking. That does not mean that there is very little social networking (pirating), but that it is handled predominately by one website (a minority of users).

      I hope that clears things up.

      As for questioning sales outside of the play store, I went out of my way to make it clear that my intention was not to imply any wrongdoing/misleading information on the part of the developer, and that it was an honest question, as in, I did not know the answer and was hoping someone with more knowledge on the subject could answer the question, hence my words “honest question”.

      You made an assumption as to my opinion and stance, an incorrect one, and have run with it, despite my attempts to correct you. Perhaps you should try re-reading my posts, knowing that my intentions are not what you assumed, and you might see that it is you who is in error here.

      You might also note that the author of the article essentially agreed completely with my first comment, and expressed the same opinion.

    • Vito R.

      It might be different than what you intended, but I’m telling you how you came across.

    • FlamesFan89

      how I came across to you. The author of the article seems to agree with me.

      Like I said, try re-reading without your assumptions. I know you seem to get upset when people defend Android for whatever reason, and perhaps that’s where your assumption started from, but let me be VERY CLEAR. I am NOT defending Android here. I am NOT implying malice/misinformation on the part of developers, I am NOT saying piracy isn’t a problem.

      I’m saying that I think/wonder if, the bulk of pirating is done by a small minority, where as the bulk of Android users simply don’t care to pirate, or even more likely, don’t even know how. Think about the average consumer for a moment. Not the techie people like us who are on sites like this. I’m talking soccer moms, and teens listening to Justin Beiber. These people barely know how to open up the calendar app and enter an appointment without their techie family member walking them through it. You think that 95% of these people are also pirating software? I hardly think so, and make no mistake, these people, like it or not, are the MAJORITY. So, again, I’m not saying piracy isn’t a problem, it clearly is, but it is NOT performed by the majority of users.

      Crystal?

    • Vito R.

      He simply agreed that he didn’t know anybody that pirates software but that it was a real problem. You came across how you came across haha. You should re-read what you said.

    • FlamesFan89

      I have. You assumed. You were wrong.

      On the topic of piracy though, I came across an interesting tidbit of information. And I can provide the quote from the developer himself.

      So, they have two pieces of information. One, the number of purchases, and two, the number of installs. However, if I have a tablet, and a phone, which I do, and have it installed on both, that counts as two installs, one purchase. Furthermore, I have a profile for my kids on my tablet, and it’s installed there two. So for me, as one person, I count as 1 purchase, but 3 installs.

      The developer himself admits that he has no way of knowing how many of the installs are paid for in this manner, he can only guess. So that 95% piracy rate, isn’t actual 95% piracy. There’s really no way of knowing whether it is 1%, 94%, or somewhere in the middle.

      Quote from Monument Valley Producer Dan Gray:

      “It’s impossible for us to track that data. The only thing we can do is, two bits of data: One, how many purchases we have and, two, how many installs we’ve got. And we just leave people to draw conclusions from that as they wish, because we can’t clarify any further than that.”

    • Vito R.

      I didn’t assume, I read what you said. If you had worded your comments different I would have interpreted it differently. Even now, you’re trying to discredit the report that Android piracy is rampant.

      The Google Play developer console indicates the number of installs by user (the account that purchased the app) and by downloads from the play store. So they should know how many were obtained by legit means. This might be new and perhaps different from how it was before.

      Either way, I agree the majority of Android users themselves aren’t pirates, but I think these numbers seem to indicate that that majority of Android users (maybe not in North America) use pirate software.

    • FlamesFan89

      I’m not trying to discredit anyone. I’m showing you the developer’s own words, and demonstrating that it is impossible for them to know how much of it is piracy, and how much is legitimate.

      Again, that doesn’t mean piracy isn’t a problem. It means no one knows exactly how big of a problem.

    • Vito R.

      You’re splitting hairs.

      How many Android users have more than one device that they install on? Shall we guestimate that on average Android users have two devices? I think that’s generous, but lets go with that.
      That gives us a still huge 90% piracy rate. On iOS the same number’s are measured – installs vs. paid. iOS data of 40% paid downloads does not include users that installed on multiple devices. So we assume iOS users also have two devices each then their piracy rate drops to 20%.

      No matter how you slice it, it’s a huge problem for Android developers.

    • FlamesFan89

      That doesn’t include customers like myself who bought the title through the humble bundle and have since installed it on 3, oops, make that 4 devices, as it is still on my old phone that I don’t use any more.

      And again, you are completely missing my entire point. I am AGAIN, not saying that piracy isn’t a problem, I’m saying that it is likely committed by the minority, not the majority.

      You seem far more concerned about it than the actual developers who have gone on record as saying they aren’t concerned about it.

      Again, a quote from Monument Valley Producer Dan Gray:

      The best way I like to think about it is, the majority of those users probably wouldn’t have bought the game anyway. So it’s not like we’re losing revenue. And, of course, I’m sure some of those users have recommended the game to friends who maybe aren’t as tech-savvy as they are. It’s essentially free marketing.

    • Vito R.

      It include customers like yourself who got it from other promos – but presumably not who then went and installed it on multiple devices.

      I’m not concerned, simply stating that is a challenge developers face. You say it is a problem but keep arguing it’s not a problem haha. Developers are the ones that are concerned – that’s why they release stuff on iOS first in order to get paid and then figure out a strategy to release on Android and still make some money.

    • FlamesFan89

      No, I keep saying it is a problem, and it is impossible to properly characterize exactly how big of a problem, and that it is likely committed by a minority instead of a majority.

      And hey, if you don’t want to take the actual developers at their word, that’s your prerogative.

    • Vito R.

      I am taking the devs at their word. They said it’s significant enough of a problem that they develop for Android only AFTER having success on iOS and that they need to change the revenue model in order to mitigate loss of revenue from piracy.

    • That’s actually a really good question. I imagine it wouldn’t be since I assume Android piracy is tracked via Torrent downloads/seeders, though, I’m not totally certain.

    • Garrett Cooper

      Oddly enough, the main reason I used iPhone back in the day was because I could get all the free apps I wanted with JB and some mod/hack. Can’t remember what it is because it’s been so long, and I think it hasn’t been available for years. But I had an iPhone and iPad that were filled with apps. Yet I’ve never pirated an app on Android.

    • FlamesFan89

      Since the Play Store isn’t available in China, I wouldn’t be surprised if the vast majority of piracy takes place there (and other locations where the Play Store is not available). I think it adds validity to the idea that, especially here in North America, the majority of people aren’t pirating things, and that it is a minority of users doing the bulk of pirating.

  • TouchMyBox

    I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing Denuvo-esque encryption DRM for Android games.

    I dislike DRM but it’s sad that developers feel like releasing a traditional paid game is completely out of the question.

  • Vito R.

    I really enjoy playing this game.

  • Lukeiphone

    This is so sad when apps come to Android this late. It is usually iOS that is first. It is more reliable, better on battery, better collection of apps….everything is just better there. Oh and also, faster updates.

  • GPman

    I always buy coin doublers or other basic items on free games I enjoy. Good to show support for their work. I have no problem with spending a bit on games.

    I just hate the iaps that have “$99 for 1000 gems” type crap. If that is even an option I don’t play because clearly the game is built around heavy monetization.

    Maybe it’s me but I find it hilarious when I see top free games are also top grossing games.