Over the Alps from Stave Studios is a WWII narrative thriller that is now out on Nintendo Switch. Learn more about it in our Over the Alps review!
Over the Alps from London-based indie Stave Studios is described by the team as a game that feels like 80 Days meets The Grand Budapest Hotel, and I do have to say I agree with them! You find a set of postcards that have been written with invisible ink, transporting you to Switzerland in the year 1939. The game plays as a visual novel with a healthy dose of mystery, presenting to players a set of branching scenarios that will lead to different endings depending on the actions and decisions taken along the way.
You will be in charge of weaving the particular tale you’ll play through, as you decide what to say and what to do at every sequence you experience. Will you remain in silence as to not give too much away to a new acquaintance during your train ride? Or will you make the most of this chance encounter and act like the sly gentleman you’ve set out to be for this particular mission? As you play, you’ll unlock a series of stamps for your stampbook, that will mark the different milestones of your journey. This adds some extra replay value to the whole thing, since if you want to 100% the game, you’ll have to take on a new run and make a different set of choices that will hopefully lead you down a new road.
You can take this one either with the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen when playing the console in Portable or Tabletop mode – or if you’re to play the game on a Nintendo Switch console – or you can use the joysticks, D-Pad and buttons on your Nintendo Switch Joy-Con or Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. With Over the Alps being of a visual novel nature, you’ll be doing a lot of reading as you travel around each area. This includes the newspapers you will get along the way, the story told on each postcard, and the sidenotes from each path you decide to take when faced with more than one option.
Over the Alps has a colorful minimalist look to it, but that doesn’t mean there’s not some nice attention to detail in each image that represents a different moment in the game’s story. You will go through picturesque settings that do good by the whole “postcards” motif for the game. There will be lots of mountains in your future! These vignettes will have some moving elements to bring each location to life – a moving train, a car that rushes onward, a boat floating on the water, or a plane flying through the blue sky.
As a fan of adventure games – with a dash of boardgame gameplay mechanics – I was very much looking forward to playing the game for our Over the Alps review, and I’m happy to report that the game does not disappoint. It’s not the type of experience that will appeal to everyone since it’s a slow one with a lot of reading to do and different branching paths in the story here and there for each chapter you’ll take on, but if you give Over the Alps a chance, you’ll find a fun game with solid writing that will keep you coming back for more. Over the Alps is out now on Nintendo Switch with a $12.99 asking price.
This Over the Alps review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Stave Studios.