Lost Winds

Lost Winds is a side-scrolling, WiiWare title by Frontier Arts. You might recognize them as the guys behind the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise. This game has garnered numerous awards and favorable reviews.

Genre: Adventure/Puzzle/Platformer
Players: 1
ESRB: Everyone (Mild Fantasy Violence)
Platform: Wii (WiiWare)                        

You play as a young, adventerous boy named Toku. Immediately after selecting a save file, you are awoken by a wind spirit named Enril. Enril was trapped in a spirit stone which was supposed to trap an evil spirit, Balasar. Balasar has now escaped, and Enril needs your help to stop him. Throughout the course of the game you gain wind-based powers used to fight off enemy glorbs and solve puzzles.

This game is very pretty, especially when it only costs 1000 Wii Points, the equivalent of 10 dollars, or, I am told, 7 British pounds. The colors are vivid, and though the characters are cartoonesque, it fits the style

The games background music is pretty plain and won’t blow you away. It’s a single looped folkish sounding thing with environmental noises over the top of it. Luckily, it’s opaque enough that it doesn’t get annoying. The glorbs sound as though their saying “Allah” on occasion (?) and citizens respond when swept with gusts of wind. Not exactly impressive, but not poor, either.

The controls are simple enough, making frequent use of the A, B, and Z buttons without having to reach back for the relatively inconvenient plus and minus buttons. The cursor responds pretty well to the motion-sensitivity, and movement is with the classic analog stick (you need a nunchuck).

Once again, being a ten dollar game, this download is pretty sweet. The plot is good, and the concept is fun if not a bit repetitive. Replay value does not exist. There are some totems for you to collect, but they don’t unlock anything. It’s a linear game, no exploration to be had. You could beat this in under four hours, maybe three if you’re really moving. But, for the one playthrough, the plot is good and you’re entertained. Take it for what it is and don’t try to compare it to disc-based titles, because that’s not what anyone set out to do.

Bottom Line: 7/10

Sequel released in 2009: Winter of the Melodias. Also available on the WiiShop Channel for 1000 points.

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