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Pay-to-Play: Why space-age thrill ride ALONE is a steal at $1.99

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Pay-to-Play: Why space-age thrill ride ALONE is a steal at $1.99

If there’s one truth in the mobile industry it's that free-to-play games will steal the spotlight.

But we also love paid games, so under the label of Pay-to-Play, we're going to be regularly putting a premium game under the microscope in an attempt to seperate the best from the rest.

This week we're taking a look at Laser Dog Games' ALONE, a $1.99 space-age procedural runner that ticks all of the right boxes from beginning to end. 

As soon as you've finished - and by 'finished' I mean hurtled into floating space debris at an ungodly speed - your first 'solitary journey', you'll realise that the Laser Dog team know exactly what it takes to craft an engaging mobile experience.

Built around a core concept of 'less is more', ALONE  keeps things simple, with the game's pick up and play nature making it a perfect fit for mobile.

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The ultimate goal in ALONE  is to repeatedly set and beat your own personal high scores.

However, each of the game's difficulty modes can only be unlocked by smashing four pre-set high scores: a big ask that will ensure even those with ninja-like reflexes won't sweep the game aside.

Again and again

ALONE's challenge isn't an unfair one, mind. The game's pinpoint inverted controls, which see you steer your ship by simply swiping up and down on the touchscreen, are tight, responsive, and a breeze to master.

So, when you do inevitably crash and burn upon an asteroid, you'll have nothing, and one-one to blame but yourself.

Addictive gameplay and pitch-perfect controls aren't the only thing ALONE has going for it though.

Visually stunning, ALONE's crisp design, subdued colours, and rich sound effects imbue the game with identity and purpose: giving birth to a universe that's simultaneously cold, dangerous, and etherial.

Try not to get too distracted by ALONE's gorgeous universe
Try not to get too distracted by ALONE's gorgeous universe

Those design features are helped along by a melancholic thrill ride of a soundtrack that brings a sense of desolation and electric urgency to proceedings.

At times ALONE  will be a game you love to hate, and while there might be a handful of gamers who'll grow tired of its challenging nature, if you're after a premium mobile experience that does exactly what it says on the tin, then look no further.

Pay-to-Play? ALONE is a simple, minimalist, and strangely personal experience that's cheaper than a cup of coffee. What've you got to lose?