LostWinds Review

By , on December 21, 2011

Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Completely at home on iDevices; its clever Wii controls translate perfectly to touch interfaces.
  • Thoughtfully paced gameplay; Metroidvania exploration without padding things out.
  • Beautiful aesthetics lose none of their charm on smaller screens.


  • Short gameplay time makes it hard for the game to define itself uniquely; feels like 'Okami-meets-Metroidvania' rather than 'LostWinds'.


LostWinds, one of WiiWare's launch titles finds a home on the iOS platform, bringing its beautiful charm and tightly drawn story to a new audience.

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It almost goes without saying, but there's a lot of overlap when it comes to Nintendo's touch and waggle interfaces on the DS and Wii, and Apple's iDevices - essentially anything that focuses primarily on the ability to swipe as a control system is ripe for recreation on touch devices. English developer Frontier Developments introduced themselves on the Wii platform with LostWinds and thanks to its simple, yet clever style of control, iOS gamers can also experience this charming title as well.

You play as Toku, a boy chosen by the wind spirit Enril as its chosen champion - cue a backstory involving elemental spirits, a rogue spirit who is captured (but not destroyed) and now it's up to Toku and Enril to set things right. On your quest you'll need to find shrines to 'awaken' Enril, gaining new abilities and in turn unlocking access to new areas. I won't spoil the plot (as it's a rather short one), but the game is part of a series and as such the ending leaves itself open.

What makes LostWinds so incredibly engaging is its use of touch-controls to manipulate the wind, activating special powers and providing Toku with mobility via 'gusts' to boost his jump. However Toku isn't the only one that can be manipulated, with most of the game's environments reacting naturally to the strong breeze. This leads to some interesting, if simple puzzles, such as directing fire to wooden barriers or carrying boulders to hold down switches.

Although short (anywhere up to four hours depending on how much you sidetrack), LostWinds makes up for it by not trying to pad the game with time-wasters and handing you plot almost as fast as you can handle it. The iOS version also boasts a collectable side-mission that unlocks 3D models, which can subsequently be used as an overlay for pictures in your library; it's not much, but at least it acknowledges the platform's social features.

If you've already completed LostWinds then you may not have as much incentive to come back to the game again, however those who haven't played it yet should do themselves a favor and spend an afternoon enjoying what the game has to offer.


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