Originally a duo of mobile games, The Alto Collection brings two beautiful endless runners to PlayStation 4. There are more words in this game's title than there are buttons to learn; press X to jump, hold it to backflip, and that's it. These ultra-simple controls will see you shredding snow or surfing sand as you slide forever downhill, racking up points, collecting coins, and pushing for a new distance record.
Frankly, that's about it, but this is a game as much about mood as anything else. Whether you're moving down the mountain in Alto's Adventure or descending the dunes in Alto's Odyssey, the games evoke a real sense of calm. The serene music and smooth art style aid this, of course, but there's not even any rush to beat the basic objectives, and there's little danger aside from jumpable rocks and chasms. Completing said objectives unlocks new characters with different stats, but there's no real need to go after these. Likewise, items and upgrades you can buy with the aforementioned coins aren't really a requirement. This is one easy-going game, even going so far as to include a Zen Mode that allows you to keep going to your heart's content.
The main difference between Adventure and Odyssey is the setting; gameplay is essentially identical. There's something to be said for a collection as chilled out as this one, but the appeal may not last too long given how simple the gameplay is. While the presentation is lovely, there are occasions where rocks can be frustratingly obscured from view. Also, for how seamless the game's performance is, some menu screens freeze for several seconds. These aren't deal-breaking issues, but noticeable in a game so clean and minimalist as this. If you're after something relaxing, we can easily recommend The Alto Collection.