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Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition – Xbox One review

On Sunday I predicted that Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition would arrive on Xbox One this week. And what do you know? The Another World Anniversary Edition has just been released as part of Microsoft's ID@Xbox program. It comes from French publisher The Digital Lounge and is available to download for the low price of $7.99.

Another World is a classic sci-fi adventure game/platformer set on a perilous alien world. Players will forge a friendship with a kindly alien while doing their best to escape from the planet's more hostile residents. The 20th Anniversary Edition brings the story to life with new high resolution graphics, multiple soundtracks, and easy Achievements. Adventure fans and Achievement hunters won't want to miss it.

See on the Xbox Store (opens in new tab)

Would you like to swing on a star?

American gamers might know Another World as "Out of This World," as the title was originally changed here in order to avoid confusion with the Another World soap opera. Another World started its life on the Amiga and Atari ST computers before making its way to the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis/Mega Drive – and many platforms since.

The original game is special for so many reasons. It was created by a single programmer - Éric Chahi, who went on to create Ubisoft Montpelier's From Dust many years later. The graphics and animation were totally amazing at release, especially for the 16-bit consoles.

The game creates a harsh but believable alien world, with a distinct alien language and absolutely no English dialogue or text to guide players. The lack of guidance creates a genuine sense of discovery in this platform/adventure game.

Stranger in a strange land

Another World stars Lester Knight Chaykin, a physicist whose late-night experiment goes terribly awry. Lester awakens in a strange and hostile alien world where he is beset by tentacled monsters, slugs, and other carnivorous creatures. Soon the planet's sentient aliens capture and imprison Lester along with another alien known as "Buddy." Lester and Buddy must work together to escape the prison complex and their pursuers.

Technically Another World is a platformer. Tapping the A button kicks wile unarmed; hold it to run. Pick up a gun and you can fire single blasts with A. Charging the shot briefly creates a shield, and if you hold it long enough you'll fire a powerful charged blast. The B button jumps, but don't expect much emphasis on platforming. Solving puzzles and figuring out how to survive dangerous enemy encounters are the real meat of the game.

The 20th Anniversary Edition should have allowed some customization of the controls, though. Jumping with B is never intuitive. I get that Another World was originally designed for platforms whose controllers only offered one or two buttons, but there's no reason we shouldn't be able to run with a separate button in this day and age.

Anniversary Enhancements

The 20th Anniversary Edition of Another World comes with some welcome enhancements to make it more enjoyable for Xbox One players. First and foremost, users can toggle between the original "Low Resolution" graphics and retouched "High Resolution" graphics at any time by pressing the Y button. The new visuals from Chahi himself retain the original flavor while looking much smoother and nicer.

The new version sounds beautiful as well. Players can choose between both Original and Remastered soundtracks. Even better, you can pick the unique Sega CD/Mega CD soundtrack too! Other improvements include three selectable difficulty levels and level select. No need to write down passwords any more.

Achievements

Finally, Another World offers 12 Achievements worth 1,000 GamerScore. Three of those are secret, but you can find the full list at TrueAchievements. You'll get nearly all for completing normal actions throughout the adventure (including dying 50 times), with a few requiring special actions like discovering the hidden UFO. The chapter select makes it easy to go back for anything you miss.

It will take several hours for first-time players to beat the game, but experienced players (or guide users) can probably knock all 12 Achievements out in less than two hours. So this one's worth a buy even if you just want the GamerScore.

Overall Impression

The 20th Anniversary Edition of Another World is a wonderful version of a classic adventure game. I always love it when remakes allow us to toggle between the new and old graphics at will. Another World has always been a beautiful game, and the new HD visuals and sound faithfully enhance that beauty.

Although the length is short compared to other games, it's actually perfect for a game with this level of discovery and challenge. Unless you ruin things with a guide, you'll get plenty of time from solving the various puzzles and battling the threats that stand in your way.

The only thing I could wish for is a true sequel (the Sega CD sequel scarcely counts), but it seems the creator wants to leave the story's conclusion to players' minds. It really is an awe-inspiring adventure.

See on the Xbox Store (opens in new tab)

Xbox One review copy provided by the publisher.

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

39 Comments
  • Ugly game, like my termite ridden peg leg. I'm just waitin for it to crack in half with my lunch tray in me hand as I hobble to my table at lunch. Just picture that..lolrotf
  • ... the game is beautiful. I guess you can't see properly out of your one eye
  • I freaking loved this game! Awesome
  • Me and my peg leg beat you by a second for first post - ha :)
  • Grow up. No one cares if you are first.
  • It is a joke and you are just jealous of my termite ridden peg leg snapping in half
  • Just wait till the 20th anniversary of Monkey Island!
  • I own this game on SNES. I'm not sure I ever beat it as a kid.
  • Yeah I think I first played it on a old 386 pc and beat it either. Wasn't quite the level of walkthroughs then like there is now ;)
  • Just played through this on Vita. Diffculty gets a bit frustrating at times when you are not sure what do. Still a beautiful, atmospheric game that feels just about right lengthwise. Unique gem if a game.
  • Didn't this game have a sequel called flashback?
  • I'm not sure it was a sequel but it was certainly by the same people and was very similar stylistically.
  • There is also another sequel in 3rd person view called Fade to Black ;)
  • No, Flashback was nice, but many mistaken it as the sequel. Just it takes some of the gameplay of Another World, but actually it isn't. A kind of "real" sequel, is "Heart Of The Alien", It starts from the same point were Another World finished, but the main character the player uses is the alien-buddy seen in the first chapter.
    Only for Sega-CD. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_of_the_Alien
  • No, Flashback was nice, but many mistaken it as the sequel. Just it takes some of the gameplay of Another World, but actually it isn't. A kind of "real" sequel, is "Heart Of The Alien", It starts from the same point where Another World finished, but the main character the player uses is the alien-buddy seen in the first chapter.
    Only for Sega-CD. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_of_the_Alien
  • I'm pretty sure this was out well over 20 years ago. I remember playing it on the Atart ST in about 1992. Either way, it's scary that it's so long ago. It was jaw-droppingly impressive at the time.
  • Andy! That's why its the 20th anniversary edition.
  • Ahh, the Atari ST, my favourite computer, after my Surface Pro of course.
  • Yeah, it came out in 1991. The 20th Anniversary edition was released in 2011. It's taken 3 years to port across to Xbox (and other consoles) -_-
  • Ah!  An explanation, thank you.  My finger and the pulse are not in alignment.
  • Looks nice. It is cheap and has 12 achievements for 1000G.. I will be all over this.
  • This game looks intriguing, for sure. Embarrassed to say I'd never heard of it before. But, yeah, jump is now A and they should've re-mapped that.
  • Played this game on my Amiga 500. Loved it then. Perhaps I'll pick this up.
  • Yes! And I can't find the floppy. :(
  • Did you have the 512kb expansion card for your A500. Damn I loved that machine, played this game alot back in the day. That and Carrier Command, and Elite... Good times!
  • Oh lord, I have long hoped to see this game again. This is the first game I played following the purchase of some phono leads for my hi-fi. It allowed me to run my Amiga sound through my stereo. I had the stereo below the computer, in a desk type thing, and the speakers mounted at head height facing inwards and under 3ft from my ears. Closed the curtains and started playing. The experience was jaw dropping (for a 14yr old or whatever I was). I jumped out of my skin in the first few scenes as there is a scary moment. I had the ram upgrade too.... Rocking 1MB. The expansion cost my £60. Can't wait for Wings and Supercars to come out. Possibly even Mean Streets or Panzer Kickboxing.
  • Ah yeah, I had the stereo hookup too. It's still amusing to me that I had full stereo output in the late 80's and early 90's, while it took PC's several years to catch up with expensive soundcards. TV-out & stereo-out were all standard. I used to have an Amiga 1000 but sold it for the Amiga 2000 with a whopping 3MB memory. I still have the Amiga 2000 and it still works - it's sitting behind me right now, although I haven't used it for a few years :\
  • Awesome game!! Please release it on w8 PC!!!
  • And wp8 has well would be cool
  • I was hoping that this would be for windows phone, of well I love the game so I will buy it.
  • Recentyl I was thinking about this game and how it would be very nice to see it for WP. It is one of the best platformers ever.
  • we sure do have a shit load of wikipedia champions here.
  • Research is good for people, dude.
  • Wanting a sequel but not counting Heart of the Alien as one makes no sense to me since HotA pretty much does conclude the story (which Eric dislikes). I'm actually rather fond of HotA, it does a good job of driving forward, telling us more of the world and characters. It's interesting and different enough to be worth playing. If what you want is more of the same as AW it would make more sense to me with a new IP rather than putting Lester in yet another strange world.
  • If Eric had actually been involved with Heart of the Alien, then I'd consider it a true sequel. Heart takes the story in a disappointing direction IMO and is frustratingly hard compared to Another World. It's a good game but clearly not the game the creator would have made. The sequel I always imagined would have Lester actually find his way from the first game's alien planet. That said, The Digital Lounge could legitimize Heart of the Alien by actually rereleasing it and keeping it alive in gamers' minds instead of pretending that it doesn't exist.
  • This game head a very special place in my collection years ago. I still remember just about every encounter and how chillingly terrifying it was at times. Can't wait to try it on my X1.
  • I loved this game on my PC, hoping for a 360 live arcade release but I'll probably pick up an XBOXone soon enough.
  • This game and Flashback +16bit
  • Flashback was an evolution from this one.. This one was in a 1,4MB disk, flashback was 6 disks :D They are both very awsome.