Windrose: Origin ($0.99) by Baris Araci is a sliding block style puzzle game that anyone can play, but only the skilled can master. If you liked games such as Slayaway Camp and Red's Kingdom, then you'll enjoy Windrose: Origin as well.
My life has been rather hectic lately, so I relish every moment I have where I can just sit down and relax by doing nothing. During these times, I like to bust my iPhone out and just get some bite-size gaming sessions in, and one of my favorite genres for these moments are puzzles. No matter what kind of puzzle it is, I'm bound to enjoy it. When I was perusing through the new releases last week, I stumbled on Windrose: Origin, and it looked like the kind of thing I needed right now, so I had to check it out. Honestly, I'm not disappointed by it and happy I picked it up.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, Windrose has a minimalistic aesthetic that is sure to please. I'm a fan of simple and clean graphics, and Windrose has just that. The game features mostly flat visuals, though there are some shadows that appear to give the tiles some depth, so it's pseudo-3D. Other graphical elements include basic geometric shapes, such as circles and squares, and there's a touch of particle effects that are displayed in the trail the "windrose" leaves behind as it moves. The color palette is lovely, as it features a dark steel gray background with vibrant hues that contrast nicely against it. The typography is modern and wraps it all together nicely. Animations are smooth and fluid, with no issues of lag on my iPhone 8 Plus. The soundtrack is rather atmospheric, but I have to admit that it does get a bit repetitive after a while, as there isn't much variety. Still, Windrose is a nice overall package in terms of visual and audio design.
Like many other puzzle games, Windrose is level-based. At the moment, there are four chapters with about 16 stages each. In order to unlock the other chapters, you need to obtain a certain number of stars. Each level must also be cleared before you can move on to the next one. There's no way to skip a puzzle, but there are hints that you can use to reveal the solution to a puzzle. Up to three stars can be earned on each stage, which is dependent on the number of moves it takes you to solve it. The fewer, the better of course. However, there are no move restrictions, so technically you can play the game at your own pace as well, but those stars are important.
Controls in Windrose are a simple affair. To move your windrose, just swipe in the direction you want to go in. It continues to slide across the board until it hits a square tile or wall. You must collect all of the orange dots before the end portal opens up, and then getting to the portal completes the puzzle so you can move forward. Since the windrose does not stop moving until it hits an obstacle, you must think strategically to get the circles and then to the end portal in as few moves as possible.
While Windrose: Origin is not a new gameplay concept, it's still fun and enjoyable to play. It encourages problem solving, and the fact that you don't need to purchase more hints make the game so much better. If you're stuck, then just get the solution without worrying about wasting them.
Windrose: Origin is a delightfully simple but challenging puzzle that anyone can enjoy.
Windrose: Origin follows a tried-and-true formula that any puzzle lover will appreciate. The minimalistic visuals are easy on the eyes while looking great. The music, though a tad repetitive, is done well for the most part. Controls are intuitive and easy enough for anyone to pick up and play, and the puzzles have a nice range of difficulty to them. But with the solution system in place, this game is great for the entire family to pick up and enjoy whenever there's some downtime.
While I'm enjoying Windrose: Origin so far, it can still be improved. Again, while the music is nice, it does get repetitive after a while. Adding some variation in the tunes would help prevent it from getting stale. And even though I like the current colors, I think having the option of unlocking more color themes via stars would be a nice addition and keep things fresh.
Windrose: Origin is a relaxing and challenging puzzle game that anyone can enjoy. As a fan of puzzles, this is definitely one I can turn to whenever I'm waiting around somewhere, or just want to unwind. The controls work well, the gameplay is challenging, and access to all solutions without annoying in-app purchases is a winner. I just hope to see more variation with colors and music in the future. And more levels are coming, according to the developer.