A Ride Into The Mountains Review
- The archery and horse controls are neatly divided between tilt and touch interfaces.
- Low-fi pixel graphics are atmospheric and charming.
- Completing a section feels like a milestone.
- While the controls are well thought out, they are tricky to master, rendering sections rather frustrating as a result.
There's a tranquil beauty and charm to A Ride into the Mountains that is somewhat undercut by its troublesome controls.
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His family trusted with watching over an ancient relic, Zu notices a meteor smashing into the nearby mountain. He grabs his bow, mounts his trusty steed and goes to investigate.
A Ride into the Mountains is essentially a side-scroller. You control Zu's horse by tilting your iPhone or iPad left, right, up, and down. To ready your bow, you swipe back on the screen with one finger. The strength and direction of your shot depends on how far you've dragged your finger back, and which direction you've aimed in. Like archery itself, if you rushing to take your shot will more likey miss your target. The best course here is to take your time, and release your arrow when the opportunity presents itself.
You have additional assistance in the form of a focus bar, which when full, will slow down time and create a lined path towards the arrow's destination. That's the idea anyway. In our time with the game, we found the controls are rather unforgiving, the draw-back motion tricky to pull off while tilting, especially on the iPad.
But despite this frustration, A Ride in the Mountains is a surprisingly tranquil experience. It could be the simplistic yet beautiful pixelated landscapes, the engaging music, or the subtle changes and additions to gameplay whenever you encounter a trophy, but there's an appealing calm beneath the game's occasionally punishing surface. Sadly, it probably won't be enough to keep a large portion of the iOS audience playing, but we can easily see A Ride into the Mountains gaining a cult following.
DescriptionEvil force invaded the relic in the mountain. Darkness began to spread. A brave young man, equipped with his family’s unique mounted archery skills, rides into the mountains to battle against the mysterious demons.
"It’s downright elegant in its presentation and gameplay. Don’t miss this one." ~ Jim Squires (Gamezebo) - (5 / 5)
"This isn't a novelistic game. It's poetic. It doesn't say much, but it says it with quiet elegance." ~ David Clarke (Touch Arcade) - (4.5 / 5)
"A Ride Into the Mountains overcomes a few small rough spots to offer a challenging, intriguing, evocative, and memorable adventure of horseback archery with a stellar minimalist aesthetic." ~ Richard Moss (MacLife) - (4.5 / 5)
"As understated as just about every aspect of A Ride into the Mountains might be, everything comes together to craft a truly impressive experience." ~ Rob Rich (148Apps) - (4 / 5)
"'A Ride into the Mountains' is a beautiful, challenging adventure" ~ Andrew Webster (The Verge)
"Lovely visuals, a great soundtrack, and fun controls all go to pulling you into the story A Ride into the Mountains wants to tell you." ~ Hamza Aziz (Destructoid)
"A Ride into the Mountains is fairly unique and it is hard to compare it to other games in the genre." ~ Lory Gil (iDownloadBlog)
"Beautiful music, breathtaking scenery, a touching story, and some boss battles that are surprisingly intricate." ~ John Bardinelli (JayIsGames)
"A Ride into the Mountains is a picturesque, archery-based, epic adventure" ~ John Polson (IndieGames.com)
"There are no jaw-dropping graphics and not a single polygon to be found, but the washed-out look of the ultra-basic visuals fits the zen-minded nature of the game perfectly." ~ Mike Wehner (TUAW)