Living in the arctic is no easy task, and it’s made infinitely worse when an ancient demon appears. That’s the case in Last Inua, where you play as a father, and son who have to adventure through the frozen world in an attempt to find three spirits to battle back the demon. The game offers a platformer adventure style where you get to control two unique characters with the son offering magical abilities, and the father offering great strength. You will need to consistently switch between the two to get past various scenarios that appeal to each character’s unique abilities.
It’s a relatively lengthy adventure for iOS with multiple levels to play through to reach each one of the three spirits. As you advance, the son’s powers become more pronounced whether it’s transporting between specific zones, creating snow bridges out of thin air, and more. The father needs to keep up, and usually has to take different paths that include breaking through ice walls, pushing huge ice blocks, or climbing up walls. The entire experience is delicately crafted for each character to work together, and it’s all delivered through skillful craftsmanship. The art design is exquisite combined with ornate character animations, and there’s an authentic arctic soundtrack as well. One really neat feature is that the screen starts to freeze over, and the sound becomes muffled as the characters travel through the snow storms, and you can warm them up to restore things when you reach fires.
There’s a whole lot of detail to appreciate, and immerse yourself in, but the gameplay is where the game comes up a bit short. There’s an extremely methodic set-up with slow character movement, and drawn out sequences, which would make sense for a challenging puzzle platformer. The problem is that Last Inua seems overly simplistic to the point that you’re just going through the motions, and never really have to think once about what to do. The difficulty increases for the last third of the game, but it’s tough to get to that point, because it’s a real drag until then. The son’s motions are shown up ahead to make it super obvious, and there’s simply not many complexities, so you’re just slowly moving to the exit with practically no challenge at all. The overarching storyline, and the promise of what lies ahead does keep you going a bit, but you can’t shake the meandering nature.
Last Inua ($3.99, Universal) is exceptionally designed, but the gameplay leaves quite a bit to be desired. It’s a game that you want to like, but it just misses that engaging factor making it worth considering depending on your patience.