Like its older brother, LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias began life as a WiiWare title. Now it’s on iOS, and that’s a good thing. Winter of the Melodias is a charming platformer that’s full of life and is well-suited for the touchscreen. It’s no secret that sidescrollers sometimes fall short on iOS, but Winter of the Melodias is a champion.
Winter of the Melodias brings back Toku, the wind-riding protagonist from Lost Winds. While on a quest to find his missing mother, Toku quickly finds himself in a village at the base of Summerfalls Mountain. Despite its balmy name, Summerfalls is actually frozen stiff thanks to what appears to be an eternal winter.
Toku is reunited with his mother and sets out on a long quest to find the spirit who can bring an end to the eternal winter. That’s just a start. The story for Winter of the Melodias unravels slowly through journal pages that you find scattered around the game’s levels. Though you might be confused at first (especially if you haven’t played Lost Winds), cheer up: all is eventually revealed.
Besides, your main job is to sit back and enjoy playing through Winter of the Melodias. As was the case in the first game, Toku’s primary power is to manipulate the wind to do his bidding. He can use it to carry him upwards, blow away enemies, and slam objects down onto the ground in order to trigger switches. The wind can also carry flames from torches out onto ice and vegetation, which shatters barriers and lets Toku proceed.
Swiping the screen summons the drafts that carry Toku, whereas actually moving him from left to right is accomplished by tapping on the screen. You also have the option of using a virtual joystick. Controlling Toku accurately takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, going from place to place is (wait for it) a breeze.
The graphics and animation in Winter of the Melodias is stellar, though a little more enemy variety would have been nice. The game’s environments are unmatched, however, from temples to the frozen mountains to the summery lands that alternate with them. The various villagers that you encounter through the game are also personable and fun to interact with.
“I’m cold, and there are wolves after me.”
If Winter of the Melodias has a flaw, it’s the frequent fetch quests that come your way, which, more often than not, require some backtracking to complete. Said quests are annoying, as you get the clear impression that they were included to artificially extend the game’s length. Meanwhile, you just want to get on with the main storyline.
But Winter of the Melodias is a spirited platformer that shouldn’t be missed by fans of the genre. Fire it up, lean back, and let yourself drift.