ALBERT AND OTTO
Developed and Published by K Bros Games
Albert and Otto is a 2D platformer game that has drawn comparisons from smash hit LIMBO and you only need to take one look at the game to know why.
The game is set in Nazi Germany where a young boy named Albert is in search of his lost sister, Anna, who’s been abducted. Joined by her magical red bunny toy named Otto, Albert must wade through frightening landscapes to find his sister and bring her home. With Otto’s help, they’ll have to solve puzzles and defeat monsters they encounter in order to safely find Anna.
Shot in black and white with a splash of red for our magical bunny, ALBERT AND OTTO is a charming little game that is harder than it first looks. With various puzzles round each and every bend, the game becomes more than just a jump and shoot and actually makes you use those grey cells (or at least cheat with a walkthrough). Challenging puzzles will keep you on your toes whilst the story unfolds about what has happened to Anna. Envelopes addressed to Albert are dotted around the game at post boxes and each reveal a hand drawn picture depicting Anna and what she seems to have witnessed or gone through and some of it appears to be quite traumatic for a youngster to experience. By having Otto at his side, he has the power to find her and stop the evil that took her.
Why Otto the bunny, I hear you cry? On his own, Albert is your normal boy armed with a pistol to shoot pesky crows and hanging objects. Otto, however, has something about him. He can make Albert jump twice as high (double jump) and even has the power of electricity which comes in useful for moving large objects around that are out of touching distance and for activating remote switches and weight-activated scales. Albert cannot make the journey alone and must utilise Otto’s skills and abilities to be able to get through the ominous environments.
ALBERT AND OTTO is not an easy game and I’ve had to refer to a walkthrough on more than one occasion where the puzzle has left me stumped. There is a great satisfaction to the game though when you manage to complete a task and progress using your own brain without searching for help. Its dark subject matter and difficulty makes it one that isn’t particularly suitable for young kids but teenagers and older gamers will certainly get a buzz out of it even if they’re a little frustrated at times.
The visuals is where the game really comes into its own. It’s stunning to look at with the monochrome used conveying the harsh reality in which Albert and his sister live. Traversing through prison camps and having to defeat an intimidating mechanical robot are just some of the scary scenarios you’ll encounter. It’s all presented in a fairly simplistic way but it sure does hit home and makes the game somewhat an endurance test to play rather than enjoyable – though is still entertaining in its own right. The simplistic game mechanics of jump, shoot, drop/pick up Otto and activating electrical power abilities goes hand in hand with the basic style of the visuals but mark my words, the game is anything but simple and requires you to constantly think outside the box.
Apart from dying a million times over, the game itself is pretty spot on… until the cliffhanger of an ending which teases a second episode. Unfortunately, the second episode has yet to materialise almost 2 years on so it can feel as though all the slog, pain and frustration has been for nothing. For a single player game like this, the lack of an ending is a little soul destroying.
As a game, ALBERT AND OTTO has enough challenge to warrant the price tag but with an incomplete narrative coupled with the strain of a journey, this is definitely one for the masochists.