On The Wind tells a story of the changing of the seasons through the notions of leaves.
Leaves are perhaps most affected by this change, as they fall, mulch and give new energy to the trees. In On The Wind the leaves can never fall, but has to continue flowing in the wind gathering more leaves, as the spring turns to summer and summer to autumn. Leaves keep falling from the small gathering, and new have to be picked up to have the power of forward momentum.
On The Wind is a combination of PSN title Flower turned 2D, and endless runners like Canabalt. There is a sense of tranquillity to the flow of leaves, and the movement is truly great. 2012 seems to be the year where movement is truly important, and Journey is perhaps the best example of that. On The Wind nails that free sensation, but also the sense of urgency as leaves get caught up and lost. So far this sounds like a really great game doesn’t it?
The most important thing in a game about reactions, and responses to immediate treats is that you can actually see the obstacles. The controls in On The Wind are direct, and that means that your finger gets in the way of the action. On the small screen I found it more or less impossible to play without getting annoyed. On the iPad I managed to score quite well using a stylus that is thinner than my fat finger. I would have liked some sort of relative controls where I could make the movements in another corner of the screen.
The presentation is spot on with lush movements, nice backdrops and a sense of change in the scenery. I have mentioned both Flower, and Journey as games I can see as inspirations both to the movement and the feeling.
Game Center achievements are perhaps the only reason to play On The Wind after you have realised how annoying the controls can be. There are quite a few achievements, and reaching all seasons is a great goal in itself.
On The Wind tangles up the controls, which is a shame considering how great it looks in motion. There is definitely an audience for this kind of endless runner set in more mellow scenery.
On The Wind $1.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: David Buttress