A Ride into the Mountains is, well, exactly that. After an ancient relic is stolen by mystery evil forces, a brave young man goes after it equipped with only his family’s archery skills and a trusty steed.
A strong narrative focus gives this the feel of an adventure game, but A Ride into the Mountains is actually more of a skill test. As your horse comes under attack by a set of shadowy, pixelated creatures, you must fling arrows at them using an Angry Birds-style control system – pull your finger back to generate power, aim at your target, and release to fire.
While this in itself can prove a challenge against increasingly evasive enemies, you then to have contend with being fired upon. This is where your coordination really gets put to the test – tilting your device from side to side to avoid the line of fire, while also trying to aim your bow and fighting against the windy conditions. At times, it has the feel of riding a bucking bronco, as you get caught out lining up your shot – only to be knocked onto your backside by one coming the other way.
There is only one game mode to play with here so once it’s done, it’s done – but this is a beautifully designed app set to a serene 8-bit score. Yes, the graphics are clunky and nostalgic, but this isn’t a game that’s dining out on its retro charms. A Ride into the Mountains is a loveable, challenging and meditative indie adventure, and a bargain at just 65p.
THE BOTTOM LINE
A Ride into the Mountains is gorgeous to look at, but there’s also a very good adventure game under the sheen of its giant square pixels. Highly recommended.