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Alto’s Adventure gets even more chill with new zen mode

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Plus: a new photo mode to capture those chill moments

The slopes of Alto’s Adventure will soon be even more serene. Later this week the mobile snowboarding game is getting an update that introduces a new mode, which lets you play without worrying about making a mistake — you can just sit back and enjoy the beautiful landscape instead.

The zen mode essentially takes the challenge out of the game; when you crash, you can simply pick up where you left off, and you can do new things like bounce off of rocks. It’s great for practice or for younger players (my three-year-old loves making Alto jump, but gets frustrated when she crashes). But it's also fun just for chilling out. There are no scores to worry about, and the interface is even removed, so that you can view the world unobstructed. The mode also has a new song, a much more laid-back track compared to the main Alto’s Adventure theme.

Joining the zen mode in the update is a new photo tool, that lets you pause the action to snap a pic of your surroundings. It’s relatively simple, but it's a more flexible way to show off the game compared to just taking a screenshot. You can zoom in and out of a scene, and pan the camera around a bit before settling on a shot. And because Alto's visuals feature a layered effect, you can also use the mode to see behind obstacles like trees that might be in the way. Much like Monument Valley, which similarly featured a photo mode, a lot of Alto’s Adventure’s appeal lies in its wonderful sense of style. So being able to quickly share key moments — when the sun sets, or when you pull off a huge jump in the middle of a rainstorm — is a welcome addition.

The free update (which also introduces language support for Polish, Arabic, and Turkish) will be available for the iOS version of the game tomorrow, and will be coming to Android "soon," according to the developers.