A Valley Without Wind is truly a unique and different experience. It's an endless world filled with exploration under the constant threat of death. In a few minutes, we will either discover an empty valley, or see just how far the wind can blow.
When the game starts you create a world and set a platforming, citybuild, and combat difficulty. I left mine set to default and found it adequately difficult. The game tells you right away, not to get attached to your character cause it's not a question of "If you will die", but when. When your character dies it is permanently lost, but you keep all you items, skills, and game progression.
The character screen is pretty straightforward. You roll characters with random stats and pick the one with the best buffs. I was only able to select characters from the Ice Age period. When the game starts, you are alone in the middle of a large world generated algorithmically. This is my world and no one else's. There was something appealing about that.
If you'd rather travel with someone, there are options for local and online multiplayer. If you have trouble joining the servers, you might have to open ports to get connection. While in multiplayer, the game doesn't change at all. You just have another person to keep you company and help in battle.
The graphics are charming to say the least, and I thought they worked well with the gameplay. The entire game is based off exploration, so it's important to have something nice to look at. My only complaint, were that most of the enemies were floating elementals or effects, and some of the characters are repetitive and kind of stiff.
Your mission is to defeat the continents evil overlord. You can go to him right away, but unless you want your head served to him on a silver platter, I'd recommend leveling up first. The grinding is not as bad as final fantasy, but you need to defeat waves of enemies to level skills, find items, and unlock special treasures & rewards.
There were little problems with the Ai, except for some times when they'd get stuck and made for an easy defeat. There also wasn't to big a variety of different ways you could get attacked. The enemy either shoots you, walks into you, or floats above you casting spells. But hey, this is a platform game, and that's what platform enemies do best.
Your character obtains spells of different strengths and element types. To level up these skills, you will need crafting items obtained from enemies or the environment. Some spells can demolish trees and rocks and you can pick up their residual drops.
The best crafting materials and spells come from completing missions spread across the map. They are mostly no more interesting then exploring the map on your own, but the reward is enticing enough to want to complete it. They include: assassinating a certain enemy, rescuing a town member, or falling down a long, long corridor.
With all that, I haven't even mentioned the games settlement building, command elements (like sending survivors off to do your bidding), and gem crafting. The soundtrack had me cringing at times, but now considering, it might be perfect for this type of game it is.
A Valley Without Wind has some elements that can draw you in long term but you've got to play it a long time to let it grow on you. The game ran smoothly at all times and never even fluttered even while recording. It can get a little repetitive at times and some of the missions were not exciting to undertake. I also wasn't to impressed with boss battles and puzzle solving.
With all this, I'm still tempted to jump back into my world and explore a little further. The game hasn't ended yet, and the overlord awaits.
Rating | Description
6 - Presentation
It's not a good first impression, but grows on you the more you explore. It's possible that many will overlook it's depth.
8 - Graphics
I'm satisfied with the visuals and liked to look at the different landscape representing grass, desert, and snow.
7 - Sound
The opening menu song was not that great, but it's a varied soundrack and works with the type of game it is.
7 - Gameplay
There are many things to do and much to craft. The game has elements of rpg, action, as well as platform. Combat relies completely on spell casting and can get repetitive
7 - Lasting Appeal
Content updates and mods will help. The world is large and you can spend dozens of hours exploring This won't be a game that keeps me up at night.
6.9 - Overall
The overall score is not an average, but it does reflect how much we enjoyed the game. Games between the score of 7 - 9 are favorable. Games that get a rating of 9.0 are a must buy.