Snowman, the mobile game studio behind Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey, has launched its latest title called Laya’s Horizon exclusively with Netflix. The wingsuit game sees players mastering the art of flying, diving off mountains, weaving across forests and gliding over rivers to unlock new abilities as they explore a vast and peaceful world. Laya’s Horizon is now available on iOS and Android via Netflix Games.
Snowman CEO and founder Ryan Cash told TechCrunch in an interview that the studio began working on Laya’s Horizon in May 2018. Cash said Snowman is passionate about making games that let players escape somewhere beautiful, typically in nature, where they can get into a zen zone.
"The idea for the game was something we had been thinking about for a long time," Cash said. "I think everyone on the team has their own inspiration that they bring to the game, but for me, I grew up fascinated with airplanes. Flying has always been a big part of my life, but also I've always dreamt of flying as almost every kid does. If we've done our job right, we've given people the ability to get the sense of what it might be like to fly. We wanted to make something that was accessible and available to people at all times."
The studio sees Laya's Horizon as its most ambitious game yet. Snowman's previous games, including Alto's Adventure, were procedurally generated, while Laya's Horizon is handcrafted. Cash noted that every tree you see in the game was placed by a person on the studio's team.
Jason Medeiros, the studio's lead designer and developer, told TechCrunch that players will notice a difference in action gameplay when comparing Laya's Horizon with Snowman's other titles, as it takes players into the third dimension. Players have to make decisions in terms of figuring out whether they're going to be able to squeeze between tight spaces or weave around trees. Medeiros said players will notice that they have nuanced control of their character in Laya's Horizon.
Image Credits: Snowman
"I hope players get the same kind of fun that they had when they were young and riding their bikes with their friends around their neighborhood," Medeiros said. "We've captured that adventure and free spirit feeling you had when you were young. It's a little more extreme, as you're flying, but it's a friendly world that we've built. There are lot of secrets to discover and lots to do, just like there hopefully was in your neighborhood when growing up."
Today's launch doesn't mark the first time that Snowman has released a game exclusively with Netflix. Last September, the studio debuted a vertical scrolling platformer called Lucky Luna via Netflix Games. When asked about Snowman's ongoing collaboration with Netflix, Cash said Snowman is excited about working with the streaming giant for "many years to come."
Netflix recently revealed that it has 40 games slated for launch this year and has 70 in development with its partners. The streaming service also has 16 games currently being developed by its in-house game studios. The streaming service announced earlier this year that it will be bringing Ustwo’s Monument Valley franchise to its platform, starting with Monument Valley 1 and Monument Valley 2, with more to come. Netflix launched games in November 2021 and has released more than 55 titles since then.