Alt254 – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Developer: Rename Studio
Publisher: Rename Studio
Platform: PC
Tested On: PC

Alt254 – Review

Site Score
Good: Good music
Bad: Very tedious
User Score
(3 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Adventure games have always been a staple in gaming. Every generation several new developers try their hand at the genre, innovating and exploring new ideas. One such game, this time around, is Alt254, which attempts to spin the formula on its head with a minimalistic 21 by 26 pixels aesthetic.


Alt254 doesn’t have much of a story to talk about. A few snippets can be found here and there talking with NPCs, but these are quite disconnected and only hint at a narrative. From what can be guessed, the world of Alt254 was ravaged by a pandemic and its inhabitants holed up within the temple the player is in.

It should be mentioned this could also just be a joke about the current world situation, seeing as there are several fourth wall breaks referencing the developers or how all NPCs are identical.


As mentioned during the introduction, Alt254’s aesthetic is a minimalistic 21 by 26 pixels view. This means there is absolutely no detail to look at or anything besides color coding to differentiate things. While it is a valiant effort to try something new, the graphics don’t do much for the game, being rather dull to look at.

It is also worth mentioning that while the game manages to convey what everything is supposed to be, there are certain things that are still confusing. Certain blocks don’t read well enough to let players know their effect until after it has happened once, and even then certain colors can look very similar.


The game’s sound is definitely a highlight for it, since it features a great soundtrack with a good variety of tracks. As with both other categories, there is not much mention though, since the game doesn’t have voice acting or a great amount of SFX, although those included are well made, fitting the style quite well.


Alt254’s gameplay is arguably its main focus, although that says nothing about its quality. Organized as a puzzle adventure game a la old Zelda games, Alt254 has the player run around a gigantic map solving challenges in order to unlock doors and progress through areas.

Along the way, several types of collectibles can be found, mainly divided into upgrades for the player’s health and stamina and pieces of a broken mirror. There are also other items that can be found, but these are required for progression, such as keys to open doors.

Most puzzles are quite simple, requiring dragging and pushing blocks onto buttons to keep them pressed or baiting enemies into them to open areas. That said, there are certain puzzles that can become impossible to solve, such as in the case of a required block being destroyed or lost. These cases sadly happen far too often, blocking away shortcuts and in some cases even progress.

Another issue with the game is how it handles death. Every time the player dies, they appear in a white room where they can go back to one of the save points. Sadly, these are few and far between, often surrounded by enemies which respawn with every save or death.

There is little to no point in bothering to defeat enemies, seeing as the combat is rather lacking and the rewards nonexistent. Damaging enemies requires players to dash into them, consuming stamina and placing them in danger upon missing. While it is not difficult to become used to this combat, it is still more than tedious, often bogging the game down.

Combined with poorly-handled combat and death systems, the exploration mechanics just add fuel to the fire. With samey environments and a map that indicates next to nothing, the player is limited to their memory to progress, which quickly becomes an issue when deaths can reset long stretches of traversal. This is only made worse by certain “platforming” areas (for lack of a better word) which can often lead the player into lower layers of the map when not straight-up killing them, making everything that much more confusing.


While Alt254 has some certain good ideas, the execution doesn’t follow suit. Exploring and finding new things while solving the underwhelming puzzles is by no means satisfying enough to justify backtracking progress on every death. The little expressiveness of the game, while being arguably its selling point, also plays against it in making rewards so much less interesting. Overall, Alt 254’s $/€9.99/£7.19 sale price is rather questionable, making it one of those games you should only decide to pick up when heavily discounted.

Personal Opinion

“I wouldn’t say Alt254 is a bad game, but it definitely is a boring one: Traversing through gigantic areas with no indication of what to do, without save points and surrounded by enemies is not particularly fun with its execution. While a game like Dark Souls, which tells a story through its gameplay, may be able to make this system work, a game like Alt254, with its incredibly shallow combat and mechanics in general, doesn’t. Having minimalistic graphics only makes everything much more underwhelming as well; beating hordes of identical red squares or talking to blue tetrahedrons does nothing for the player’s imagination.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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Alt254 - Review, 4.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.

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