LostWinds2: Winter of the Melodias ($3.99) by Frontier Developments Ltd is the sequel to the first LostWinds game, which was originally released in December of 2011.
In LostWinds2, you will rejoin the title character Toku as he goes on a journey through the snowy Summerfalls Village, the Chilling Peaks, and the deserted Melodia City to save his mother from a curse and defeat the evil Balasar.
As in the first LostWinds game, Toku is assisted by the Wind Spirit Enril, who allows him to harness the power of the wind to fly and to perform various puzzle solving tasks.
Toku will journey through the game to solve a series of quests, and on the way, you will have to help him figure out how to get through obstacles and defeat enemies, all of which is done by using the wind in different ways.
LostWinds2 uses the same control scheme as the original game, so moving forward is done with a tap and gusting through the air on the wind is done by swiping in the direction that you want to fly.
Manipulating the wind is also done with touch gestures. A double tap on enemies called glorbs will freeze them in their tracks (LostWinds2 adds elemental glorbs), curved lines create slipstreams that direct water, fire, and rocks, and a pinch creates snowballs and holds objects in the air. Each of these objects is used to solve puzzles.
While it takes a bit of time to get used to each of the gestures, the controls are intuitive and easy to use. Gestures to fly and manipulate objects are accurate for the most part, though it can be annoying to direct rocks and snowballs.
There are optional d-pad controls, but in my opinion, the d-pad is much harder to use than the gestures. The original game did have some problems with sensitivity when it first came out, but those issues have all been resolved in LostWinds2, so don’t let the control issues of the first version stop you from buying the sequel.
Since LostWinds2 takes place in the winter, the game has a freeze mechanic that will cause Toku to lose health and eventually die if he doesn’t stay close to the fire. This goes on for the first several levels, so you must run quickly between torches to stay alive. I’m not going to lie, it’s an annoying game mechanic.
Later in the game, you get a ridiculously cute snow monster outfit that negates the freezing weather, so it’s not something that you have to deal with for the entire game. Eventually, there’s also a summer/winter season switching ability that lets you toggle between seasons instantly, which gives you access to lakes and pools of water.
This is a puzzle based game, so you will use the gestures to activate switches, destroy barriers, and burn down gates to progress through each area. Puzzles are generally easy to solve, but LostWinds2 is an open ended game, meaning you can visit areas with puzzles you can’t solve yet.
At times, it can be difficult to distinguish between a puzzle and an area you can’t yet access, so I spent precious minutes trying to solve unsolvable puzzles. I think the rule is that if you can’t figure it out within a couple of minutes, move on, because you probably can’t access the area.
LostWinds2, like the original game, is visually stunning. The ice graphics are nothing short of amazing, and some of the new characters models that are introduced in this version are impressive, especially on the third generation iPad.
If you enjoyed the original LostWinds game, you will love LostWinds2 because it features more of the same great wind-manipulating puzzle-based gameplay. If you haven’t played the first game, I think you’ll still love LostWinds2, but I’d highly suggest picking them both up and playing them in sequence for the full effect of the series.