iPhone App Video Review: LostWinds2: Winter of the Melodias

by Andrew Koziara

LostWinds was a solid port of a WiiWare title from Frontier Developments, but some lacking controls made it hard for everyone to get into despite the beautiful world and clever mechanics. Now, in the iOS port of the sequel, LostWinds2: Winter of the Melodias, everything has been upgraded.

The control fixes to the first game have carried over, the puzzles are more in-depth, and the beautifully rendered world feels more alive than ever. This is a great exploration-based adventure platformer, and people should check this series out.

Once again, you play as a wind spirit named Emril and a boy named Toku. Your mother disappeared on a recent voyage, and you set out to find her. It's not long before you learn that more evil spirits must be stopped with your power, and this time around you'll have to control the very seasons to do it. By using various gesture based wind powers, you'll platform, fight enemies, and solve puzzles, as in the last game. This time however, thanks to the help of a new nature spirit and his various statues, you'll have to switch between summer and winter at will, adding much more depth to the game. Rivers and lakes freeze over, blocking access to some areas, and opening the way to others, while snowfall and icicle walls also become new puzzle elements.

The updated controls are far less frustrating. There is a kind of slowing effect that makes precision platforming much easier, among many other small tweaks and improvements. You could also choose to use virtual D-pads and other controls options if necessary. There are still some frustrating parts of the game, but they are far and few between. Several little touches also make the game world feel more alive, such as the opening segment in which you platform alongside a massive earth titan climbing in the background or notice mysterious yeti-people watching you from the shadows.

The simple 3D visuals are bright, colorful, and more varied than ever. The music continues to be very soothing and relaxing, very befitting of the nature based themes of the game. It's exactly what a sequel should be, with old mechanics returning with new polish, and plenty of new mechanics and enemies adding a lot of extra depth. LostWinds2 is iOS Universal and available for four dollars at the time of this review. I highly recommended it.

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