This weekend at PAX East we had the chance to play A Valley Without Wind. This game was developed by Acren Games and is schedule to release on April 16, 2012. We spent some time with the main developer as he gave us some incite on the game while we were able to play the demo that was setup. At the first look of the game you kinda think the graphics aren’t up to par as opposed to other things out there but then you will notice how the gameplay really engulfs your mind. The only thing that I can compare this to is Castlevania on NES. It has that feel of how a RPG should be, with a Zelda style of gameplay with hidden items and puzzle-like zones and the ability to gain different spells by venturing out in the world. I played about 15 minutes of this game and was pretty hooked. The zone I played put me in a tight spot up against a red blob which was sure to kill me. The developer then lead me to an area where I was able to locate a new spell that allowed me to fight from a ranged position. Things like this kept the game interesting. You had to pay attention to detail and look through every door and every hidden location to help you advance.
The beta is currently out for this game and you can download it from Arcen’s website http://www.arcengames.com/w/index.php/games/avww-features and runs on both Windows and MAC OSX.
I am not typically into PC games but this game has got me very excited. This 2D Platformer/RPG is right up my alley. I would prefer to play it with a controller but because there is so much of it relying on the keyboard and mouse, I do not think it will work very well. It was really cool talking with Chris Park, founder and lead developer at Arcen Games, about this title. With ever little mis-step and death we had he was chuckling and you could see he was really having fun watching us play. I had never had an opportunity to play someone’s game right in front of them while they were looking on and commenting. Chris really must love what he does because he looked like he was having a blast explaining as much as he could about the game in the 20 minutes we spent playing.
A Valley Without Wind is not an easy game. An example Chris gave us was if you die during a boss fight, you start up and not only have to fight the boss that just killed you but the ghost of your former hero. Each death is the conclusion of that characters involvement in your game. All of your stats stay intact but the name and appearance changes and the game gets slightly harder until you pass what killed you.
We have not gotten our hands on a review copy yet to really dive in and give an in-depth opinion but from what we saw at PAX, we are pretty much sold. Do yourself a favor, if you are interested in the game try out the beta.