The first thing I noticed about Lost Winds 2 were the amazing visuals, characters are well defined with smooth animations, there are no overlapping pixels and backgrounds are elegant and vibrant. Interactive elements are clear and there’s clear distinction between background and play field. The music is an enchanting melody so relaxing that you don’t really realize its there until you turn the sound off, it’s incredibly immersive and I think it adds to the addictive nature of the gameplay.
Game controls are brilliantly simple, a lot of thought has gone into utilizing the touch screen. The default movement settings are tap movements, tapping on a position will make you move there and holding for a second will make you walk that way until you stop yourself or reach an obstacle that is too high to climb normally. Alternatively, you can visit the options and switch to a virtual d-pad, you can also position it too your taste. Personally, I found the tap settings far superior mainly because it allows you to play one handed and I’m a lazy gamer at heart. A quick swipe creates a wind gust which you can use to jump and push items, a slower swipe will create a slipstream which you can use to lift objects or carry fire to where it’s needed. Pinching your fingers creates a vortex which you can use to hold objects and enemies in place and this is probably the most important mechanic you’ll use, it’s essential for defeating enemies and comes into play in puzzles as well.
As you progress through the story, you gain access to new powers and items that make your progress easier or open new paths for you. Level design is simply brilliant, you’ll need to utilize your powers to their utmost. The puzzles are incredibly challenging but not frustrating. The actual game world is fairly small but requires a lot of backtracking to gain items and powers. There is no quick travel so you have to go everywhere the hard way, it’s not so bad due to the compartmented level design and it adds a much needed longevity to the title. I completed Lost Winds 2 in about 10 hours, not bad for an iOS title but it leaves your appetite unsated. I was wanting more to do after finishing but there is practically no replay value, you can try to find all the hidden collectibles but trying to play through again offers no new challenges, that though, is the only negative I have.
Lost Winds 2 is a very stable app, I never had any force closes, but be aware that you can’t just switch it off anywhere. The game saves at checkpoints marked with a totem pole, saving is automatic and when you start playing again, you start from the last statue visited. If you don’t want to replay sections again, you need to visit one before shutting the app.
As a little aside, finding the hidden tiki statues unlocks different characters for the photo mode where you can place characters from the game onto your own pictures. If you choose to, share them on social media or save them to your device. Personally, this didn’t really appeal to me but fans of the series may get a kick out of making their own photos with game characters.
Lost Winds 2 is amazing to play, it’s just unfortunate that it’s so short. It’s challenging however and the touch gestures are intuitive and innovative. You’ll occasionally gust when you want a slipstream but it’s never a big problem due to great level design. This title is most definitely worth a look and is suitable for all ages and tastes, easily 4 stars, the only letdown being the limited length.