LostWinds ($3.99) by Frontier Developments Ltd is a visual delight for your iPhone and iPad.
Originally a WiiWare title, LostWinds is now available on your iOS device, and it couldn’t be a better fit. In this game, you must guide a young boy named Toku, who is the only one that can release a curse that was placed on the enchanted Mistralis and its people by an evil known as Balasar. A wind spirit by the name of Enril will help you throughout the world of Mistralis.
The visuals in the game are just some of the most beautiful that I’ve ever seen on the iPhone and iPad. With an iPhone 4S, the animations run smoothly, and I got no lag whatsoever. Toku and the environment just blend together so perfectly, you may hardly think that this is on your iPhone or iPad. In addition to the beautiful graphics, the game has a great soundtrack to go with it. The music is relaxing and never overpowering, and it changes appropriately, depending on your situation (for example, solving a puzzle or nearby enemies). The sound effects are also calming, and top off what is a graphical and musical treat.
The controls are pretty simple: tap on the screen to move Toku, or tap-and-hold on the left or right side of the screen to move him continuously (tap anywhere to make him stop). As you progress through the game, you will come across more wind abilities, which will allow you to get to places that you otherwise can’t reach, move objects, and even to attack enemies. To use your wind powers, simply swipe on the screen. Each different ability will have its own set of directions, and the game will make sure you know how to use it once you obtain it.
If you have any trouble, you can always access helpful guides on controls and gameplay by tapping on the book with the question mark on the title screen. This allows you to view tips that you have accumulated throughout your game.
Gameplay basically consists of platforming (using intuitive wind controls), puzzles, and combat (use your wind to buffet and smash enemies). When you combine these gaming elements with the amazing visuals found in LostWinds, you definitely have a winner.
There are other bonuses to LostWinds on iOS as well. You can access a large plethora of charming images with the Snapshot feature, which can be saved to your device, or shared to Twitter or Facebook. You can also place various LostWinds characters (unlock them by collecting the Melodia idols throughout the regions) on real photos that you snap or import from your device.
In addition to all this game has to offer already, there is also Game Center support for achievements. Who doesn’t like a game with achievements to earn?
For the most part, I am pretty satisfied with the controls for LostWinds. It’s mostly natural, and the game seems fitting for a touchscreen device. However, I did get a bit frustrated at times when moving Toku around. I don’t like the fact that he will continue to run if you hold down on either the left or right side, and only stopping if you tap somewhere on the screen. Instead, I think he should keep running if you have your finger on the screen, but once you lift your finger off, Toku should stop running. I think this would make it a lot smoother when controlling him. Maybe it’s just a personal thing, but it’s a thought.
LostWinds is truly a delight to play overall, and anyone with an iPhone or iPad should not miss out on this game. For $4, it’s one of the best experiences you can have on iOS.