Lost Winds 2: Winter of the Melodias (and its predecessor, Lost Winds) was originally developed for the Nintendo Wii, and was a perfect match for the Wii Remote’s motion control and for the system’s inherent charm. The game is now available for iOS devices, and although control isn’t as tightly integrated, the visuals are more charming than ever and the gameplay is a perfect match for iDevice gamers.
What is it?
Lost Winds 2: Winter of the Melodias tells the story of a young boy named Toku who is on a quest to rescue his mother. This quest takes him on a journey through serene, picturesque lands that have been frozen in a permanent winter. The point early on is stay near (and create) heat as you make your way towards your goal.
Eventually, Toku acquires the ability to change the seasons, allowing him to switch the environment from winter to summer at will. He will need to do so frequently in order to explore the lands, solve puzzles and ultimately discover the truth of what happened to the people of Melodia.
How does it work?
On the Wii, you controlled Toku with the Nunchuck d-pad, and flicked the Wii Remote to blow gusts of wind to lift Toku into the air. Wind (from gentle gusts to cyclones), fire and water control is easily switched to touchscreen swipe gestures in iOS, but moving the character didn’t transition quite as well. You have to the option of setting a d-pad on the left or right hand side of the screen, or you can use a touch scheme that sets Toku in constant movement until you tap to stop him or change his direction. I preferred the control of the d-pad, but the need to swipe with your other hand means you’ll be holding your iDevice with the same hand you’re using to control movement. Not a problem on the iPhone, but it did cause thumb fatigue on the iPad. In order to play the game with my Fling, I had to rest the iPad on my lap or an iPad stand.
But the control issues are worth getting past because the same is so great. The puzzles develop nicely and are, for the most part, more about using your brain that your control skills; what can you burn, freeze, toss, etc. to reach that ledge or grab that collectable. There are certainly enemies scattered about that you’ll need to fight, but even the combat is about using the elements to your advantage.
Is it contagious?
I wouldn’t say contagious, in this case; I’d just say wonderful. Lost Winds 2: Winter of the Melodias is a gentle but challenging game that will quickly win you over with its aesthetic charm and unique gameplay. A couple of the puzzles are frustrating and the controls will sometimes make you mad, but it’s hard to stay angry at a game like this. The characters are endearing, the visuals are gorgeous (the graphics look much better on the iPad than they did on the Wii, but the effects are pulled back on the other compatible iDevices) and the progression of both the story and gameplay mechanics are expertly handled.
Although a sequel in name, you don’t need to have played the original Lost Winds in order to understand and have fun with Lost Winds 2. But if you want to play both, Lost Winds (also a universal app), is only $1.99, and has recently been updated with the Lost Winds 2 control options and support for full resolution on the new iPad.
No matter which one you try out first, I can’t imagine you won’t then want to play the other.