Alto’s Adventure is one of the best games available on iOS. Not only has it been our App of the Week, but it pretty much serves as the high water mark for us when looking for other top-quality games on mobile. And now, Alto’s Adventure is coming to Android and Amazon Fire devices, and it’ll be free.
The downhill skiing, llama-filled side scroller’s Android development has been in the works since September, but we didn’t know it’d be free until today. That news may come as a bit of a surprise, since the game seems to have done well at the $2.99 price point on iOS. But the Android market is different.
As Snowball, the developers of the game, told The Verge, piracy is a huge issue in the Android community. A year ago, another premium game that debuted on iOS, Monument Valley, divulged that only 5 percent of Android installs were paid, compared to 40 percent on iOS.
That’s something Snowball hopes to avoid. Instead, Android users will get a slightly different version of Alto’s Adventure, one that may be a little bit harder, with a bit fewer coins, but comes with in-app purchases that unlock some helpful advantages that bring it closer to the iOS version.
But it’s not just piracy that Snowball is trying to avoid; it’s also a move to enter a market dominated by free-to-play games. That’s especially true in China and Japan, where Alto’s Adventure could prove to be a hit.
Alto’s Adventure will be available on the Google Play and Amazon Appstore for free on Feb. 11.