Last week I downloaded LostWinds as the only game to celebrate the release of WiiWare. I reached the end in just under three hours, which made the job of reviewing the game for the website I write for a lot easier, but it’s a shame the creators couldn’t have made the game a bit longer. Is it because of the policy that a WiiWare game has to be limited to a certain size? That could very well be, but truth is that it’s quite refreshing to play such a short game with the constant quality it maintained.
In LostWinds, you control a little guy with the analogue stick on the Nunchuck and the wind by making direct gestures with the Wiimote. Think Kirby’s Power Paintbrush (NDS) or using your brush in Okami (PS2/Wii) and you’re getting close to imagining using the wind in this game. It can make the main character jump, float for a bit and you can influence stuff like fire, rocks and water, as well as throwing around some minor enemies.
However, the game’s structure has much more in common with, say, Metroid. The game’s main area, a beautiful village with surrounding fields and waterfalls, has all these places that you can’t reach yet and by unlocking new abilities you’ll be able to backtrack to certain parts to get access to the previously blocked areas. Backtracking isn’t a problem, because toying around with the wind (making the 3D background move, for example) is fun enough and the whole game is compact enough to ensure you’re not backtracking for more than a few minutes.
The game is just a simple platformer with puzzle elements. While the puzzles never get tricky, the use of the wind feels so natural that you’ll always get a feeling of satisfaction when you ‘solve’ one. Furthermore, the use of graphics and sounds made me remind one of the best 2D platformers ever, the very first Rayman. If you want to impress me with your game, just make something that reminds me of the glory days of the limbless Ubisoft mascot and I’m sold.
Again, the game is short, but it’s well worth the thousand Wii Points it costs (over here anyway), and thankfully the sequel is already in the works. I cannot wait to see what the developers of Frontier (yes, the people behind the addicting Rollercoaster Tycoon series) will think up next.