I am super excited to finally see Albert & Otto make it on Xbox One. This game was my first entry into the world of video game development, so the mechanics and puzzles evolved over time rather than being designed from the start by an experienced developer, which I think gives it a unique feel. Originally a filmmaker, I was always fond of telling stories and I continue to be surprised at how similarly powerful the two mediums are when it comes to storytelling.
Albert & Otto is a puzzle platformer that is mechanically quite simple: run, jump, shoot, solve puzzles, burn sheep (more on that later), but has a complex and deep underlying story. It takes a lot of inspiration from films such as “Schindler’s List” and some of Tim Burton’s early black and white animated shorts.
The player must use both Albert and his magical bunny Otto in creative ways to solve puzzles and defeat scary monsters with the goal of finding his abducted sister, Anna, and discovering that not all is as it first seems. When the game begins the player can only jump and shoot, but this all changes when you find Otto who grants the player the ability to double jump and levitate objects. Furthermore, players can throw Otto into tight gaps and activate power switches to access previously unreachable areas.
The overall relaxed mood of the game and puzzles are punctuated by the occasional enemy and the larger than life boss battles that require the player to use all the skills they have learnt until that point.
Set in Nazi Germany, Albert & Otto deals with rather dark subject matter as you can imagine. I tried to offset that by adding funny moments into the game, such as when you throw a sheep around and use it as wolf bait or use it to set things on fire (some would argue that this had quite the opposite effect).
Since its original launch on PC, the game has been improved and streamlined based on community feedback, and it features some sweet collectible art that was not available previously, so it’s safe to say that this is a definitive version of the game and I am excited that it is finally coming to console, the place I feel that all platformers belong.
Making Albert & Otto was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life and I look forward to a whole new audience experiencing the game on Xbox One.