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LostWinds review (iOS/Universal)

January 10, 2012

“Just a fool to believe
I have anything she needs
She’s like the wind”

10 word description: Wii port; platform adventure. Guide and protect Toku. Exploration, puzzles.

10 word review: So pretty! Fall in love with everything but the controls.

You will like this if you enjoy: Relaxed exploration type platform adventures. It shares similarities with Aquaria, Limbo (a non-disturbing version), possibly even Castlevania if you can imagine that game chilled right out into a special Zen garden of gently swaying plants and benevolent wind spirits.

The weird little totem poles are checkpoints where your progress is saved

The good news: It’s a decent port of a good game. Graphics are very attractive, although not “the best ever”, but then it’s a Wii port so the graphics were never going to be that brilliant. Nice story (although you don’t need to pay much attention to it). Calm, not-at-all-annoying music and restrained, suitable sound effects. Great game elements, imaginative puzzles. Regular introduction of new baddies, protagonist abilities and puzzle elements.

The bad news: The swipe controls are … swipe controls. Some areas require some nifty jumping/swiping and at times the control method doesn’t quite feel like the most reliable or friendly method that they could have implemented. With some perseverance, it begins to feel more natural. Once you get the Slipstream ability, it does seem to be less frustrating. After saying all that, if you really fancy the look of this game, I wouldn’t let the slightly less than perfect controls put you off. I love to rant about bad controls but, in this case, I don’t feel the need to.

Swiping the waterfall onto the seedling will make it grow

Arcadelife verdict: First of all, I played this a lot more on my iPad than on my iPod Touch. The control issues are rather more noticeable on the smaller screen, as you might have suspected. The game itself is really rather cool; swiping flames from a burning brazier to an unlit one, then using that one to burn away an obstacle in a corridor is a good example of the kind of puzzle built around the wind-spirit game element.

The wind can also be used to redirect flowing water, for example to cause a helpful plant to grow. The pace of the game is fairly relaxed and the puzzles shouldn’t cause anyone too many problems. I don’t mind the swipe controls, although I was prepared to violently dislike them. Overall, it’s a compelling platform exploration experience and it generally works very well on the iPad size touch screen.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8.5/10
Audio – 9/10
Controls – 7/10
Content – 8/10
Fun – 8.5/10
Final rating – 82/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Frontier / LostWinds website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.0.1)
iPad (OS 5.0.1)
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