The App Store is filled with games. Most of them are cute little puzzle games that, while fun, do not offer the depth of a “real” game. However, every so often a game comes along that reminds us why we love the iPhone as a gaming platform so much. Lost Winds 2: Winter of the Melodias (Universal App, $3.99) is one of those games.
The sequel to the critically acclaimed platformer takes everything that was good about the original and makes it better. It not only reminds us that an iPhone game can be more than a cheesy puzzler, it also shows us that a game can be brought to the iPhone from another platform and not suck.
The first issue whenever you are talking about complicated iPhone games will always be the controls. After all, it does not matter how good your game looks, how great your story is or how innovative your gameplay mechanics are if the game does not control well. Fear not, because the controls in Lost Winds 2 are magnificent.
The game offers two control options. The first sees the player tapping the screen in the direction they want Toku to travel. The other option is an on-screen joystick. Either method will have you swiping the screen to create wind gusts that make Toku jump and help you manipulate objects in the world.
Personally, I preferred the joystick control method, but both methods worked great. It comes down to preference, and the fact that Frontier Developments gave us a choice is awesome.
Lost Winds 2 is a mix of a platformer and puzzler, with a little RPG thrown in for good measure. You play as young Toku, who is on a mission to rescue his mother. To accomplish this, you must use the Wind Spirit’s powers to navigate though the world.
You can switch between winter and summer, and this requires some serious thought on which season will help you get through the level.
The cold levels bring an awesome mechanic where not only must you worry about solving the puzzle and figuring out where to go, you need to keep Toku warm. Fear not, because there is plenty of fire throughout the level, although you may have to get creative to light it.
Speaking of fire, you will have to use your wind powers and fire to advance through the world and this will require some creative thinking on your part. If an icy wall is blocking your path, you can drag a wind gust through the fire and use it to melt the ice to advance in your quest. This is just another example of the fun mechanics that are all over Lost Winds 2.
Overall, the gameplay is just plain fun. Whether pinching to create a snowball or traversing the beautiful environments, Lost Winds 2 is just a thoroughly enjoyable experience from a gameplay perspective.
I mentioned those beautiful environments a moment ago, and they really are something to behold. It is not just the environments though; the characters also look awesome. Playing this game on the Retina Display is a true reminder of just how good an iPhone game can look when the developers put forth the effort to do it right.
Visually, it seems like every detail of the game was done with care. While it does not feature the realistic graphics of a game like Modern Combat, the style of the game is perfectly suited for the device. It is easily one of the best-looking iOS games.
The only drawback to the presentation is the story. The story is actually very good, but it is also easy to miss because much of it comes from reading things found in the world. It is a shame that many gamers will breeze right through this and miss one of the better-done stories on iOS.
It is hard to offer any suggestions for a game this close to perfect. Instead, I will just say the things I like about it again in a concise list: it looks amazing, it is fun, it has a decent level of challenge while still being easy enough for casual gamers, the story is good, the sound is among the best on the platform and the list just goes on and on.
Seriously, you need to play this game. I did not play the first one, and I can honestly say it did not detract from my enjoyment of Lost Winds 2 at all. It is one of the best games on iOS, and every iOS gamer needs to experience it. 10/10