One of my favorite puzzle platformers available for the iOS is LostWinds. Beautiful graphics, nice controls, fantastic gameplay and an immersive world with great music and effects make it an easy game to love, and I’m incredibly grateful Frontier Developments ported it over to the iDevice from the Wii. It’s also been one of the few games my entire family, wife, 3 kids, nephews, nieces, have all enjoyed playing together. Now that LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias has been ported over as well, my whole family has been excited to get into Toku’s world once again.
LostWinds2, like the first, has you controlling Toku with the help of Enril and the power of wind. This time around, you’re on a mission to rescue your mother, and you’ve got help from quite a few characters, including some that you helped out in the previous title.
The most notable difference between the two games is the season changing mechanic. Once you reach a certain area in the game where a special bear can be found, you’re able to switch between Winter and Summer by using statues of the bear. This definitely adds to the difficulty of the puzzles, but also adds an entirely new, and unique level to the game.
Like LostWinds, there are enemies scattered throughout the world which you’ll need to avoid, or get rid of with the power of wind. There’s also various puzzles which will require you to carry objects from one area to another, or figure out how to reach a lever, opening another section. But unlike the original, Winter of the Melodias also has sections where you’ll need to do quests for townsfolk in order to progress through the game, like collecting a certain amount of items, putting out fires, or defeating x number of creatures.
The puzzles found throughout the game can be kind of challenging, especially once the Winter/Summer mechanics are added, but they never reach a frustrating level, and making your way throughout the game can be considered more of an experience than anything else.
LostWinds2 has the same control schemes as the original as well; tap+swipe controls, and a d-pad coupled with swipe controls. Personally, I got through the first LostWinds by using the tap and swipe control scheme that was originally the only option. It felt perfect, and even more precise than when playing with the controller on the Wii. After lots of gamers said that it didn’t feel natural, a D-Pad was added for movement, and swipe sensitivity options were added. This did tighten up the swiping and wind mechanics, which was great. LostWinds2 has been released with both of these control options, so players can choose which scheme feels the most comfortable, but both take a little getting use to, especially using the wind swipes to move Toku around. Once you are familiar with the controls, the game plays perfectly, with basically no issues with the controls what-so-ever.
LostWinds is also graphically amazing, with vibrant environments, loads of detail, and exceptional polish. The animations, music, and effects all aid in creating one of the most immersive gameplay experiences available within the AppStore. There hasn’t been one spot where the camera, animations, or control scheme brought me out of the game, and while playing, it feels like you’re sucked into the world of Toku, going through the adventure right next to him. Priced at $3.99, being Universal and including GameCenter support with 16 achievements, it’s a game that you might not feel driven to replay after you complete it, but is incredibly easy to recommend. The Journal Pages and collectibles do help add to the gameplay, and might even push you towards replaying the game. But at it’s current price point, and with the fabulous gameplay, it’s one adventure game that we’re very lucky to have available to us on the iOS.