And now, from the developers of space-sim Elite: Dangerous and the cartoony theme-park sim Planet Coaster, a colourful 2D platformer series about controlling the wind. Funny how diverse Frontier’s output is.
LostWinds [official site] and its sequel Winter of the Melodias came out in 2008 and 2009 for Wii. They found a positive reception, mostly thanks to their controls: players used gestures to manipulate the wind and almost push the flow of air in the direction they wanted. Both games have now appeared on Steam now, with a bit of a touch-up and the usual goodies like achievements and trading cards.
LostWinds is a short platformer, about 3 hours long, in which players guide a young boy, Toku, through combat, puzzles and jumps using the powers of the wind. The sequel mostly expanded on the concept, with the big back-of-the-digital-box feature of being able to change the seasons at any time to gain access to different abilities.
At first I was a bit worried: LostWinds was applauded for its innovative use of the Wii-Mote, and I was wondering how that’d translate to mouse and keyboard. But both games were also ported to iOS, and it already looked quite natural there. PC controls may not evoke the same joy as actually performing the motions, but they shouldn’t hold the game back either.
Frontier is apparently quite jealous of its PC release trailer, embedding it here seems to be impossible, so either head to the Steam pages (LostWinds and LostWinds 2) or enjoy this trailer from the 2012 iOS port of the second game. It’s worth it just to admire the visual style in motion.