148Apps Network Post
Developer: Frontier Developments
Price: $3.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I’ll admit that I kinda missed the boat on the original LostWinds. Long story short, I just never got around to playing much of it. LostWinds2: Winter of the Melodias, on the other hand, has a firm grip on my attention and refuses to let go. It’s everything that the first game was lauded for and more. Not just more abilities but a whole new set of rules that make the puzzles much more devious and, dare I say it, even more interesting.

Winter of the Melodias begins with Toku’s mother in need of a rescue. It’s an adventure that will lead the young boy and his windy deity friend, Enril, through arctic mountain ranges, long forgotten ruins, and beyond. It’s not just the story and the environments that are new here. Enril (and by extension Toku) has a whole new bag of tricks this time around. Many of the puzzles players have become accustomed to from the original are still here – such as blowing fire around to light torches – but it isn’t long before stuff like freezing enemies with arctic winds or even switching the very seasons comes into play.

As interesting as I found Lost Winds, the puzzles didn’t do much for me. However once Winter of the Melodias got going and started to overlap elements I was hooked. Simply traversing one room could require switching to summer to unfreeze a body of water, sucking up the pool in a vortex, moving the resulting cloud with a small gust, redistributing the water in a new location, switching back to winter, then conjuring a snowball with a cyclone to trigger a switch to open a locked door. It gets pretty crazy to say the least. In a good way.

There were some issues with the original regarding the somewhat unorthodox touch controls, so they implemented a virtual stick option. Both sets of controls are still available in Winter of the Melodias, but I honestly found the default touch controls to be more than adequate. One or two slips ups occurred every now and then, but overall it works really well. A bigger problem for me was the map. It gives a decent idea of what direction to head but it’s still incredibly vague. What irritated me most about this was trying to find save points. They don’t show up on the map at all. It makes trying to quickly save a session before turning off the game for various reasons a huge hassle.

I can’t stress enough just how intriguing the puzzles in Winter of the Melodias can be. It’s a thoroughly enthralling and totally gorgeous adventure. It’s not perfect, but it’s absolutely worth it for fans of the original and the genre in general.


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