A Valley Without Wind 2 is a strategy role-playing game with action-platformer elements. If you love action-platformers, and appreciate a decent amount of strategy, then you will definitely enjoy this game. Gamers unfamiliar with the series will find this release a refreshing change from the current selection of strategy games. Like its predecessor, A Valley Without Wind 2 is simple to pick up, but very complex to play.
There are four survivors at the beginning of the game (your character included) for you to control. More survivors are added as you progress through the game. Just like other strategy games, it’s important to collect food, scraps and other materials in order to survive. The game ends if you lose all your survivors, so you have to manage your resources and survivors wisely if plan on outlasting the evil overlord.
Each one of your survivors can only have one turn per round. Once you move your survivors, they are done for the duration of that turn. Gathering resources, building structures and taking over factories early on is key to succeeding. You’re only given about five turns to accomplish as much as possible before the overlord Demonaica is released into the world. Demonaica will destroy everything on the world map, so again – figuring out techniques that work best for your group will ensure your survival.
Once you locate a section on the map to visit (only certain locations are available at first), you can simply ‘Embark’ to that location. The game then changes to an action based side-scroller. In this segment, you have complete control over your main character and everything is based on fast reflexes. You can jump to reach platforms and attack enemies like in any platformer. You can revisit previously unlocked locations as many times as needed during a single turn.
You can farm mercenary coins which are used for purchasing new equipment, special items and recruiting new survivors. Unlike other strategy games, the only way to end your turn is by purifying a new tile on the strategy overview menu. When you purify a new tile, you are sent back in to play the side-scrolling action portion of the game. The only way to truly purify a tile is to destroy the Windstorm generator found at the end of the stage.
After the Windstorm generator is destroyed, your turn on the Strategy Overview Map will end. You are then given a status report on the amount of resources gained during that turn. There is a small learning curve to A Valley Without Wind 2, but once you understand the basics, the rest will fall into place.
There are a handful of classes available with different abilities. As you play, you will unlock different abilities such as stronger attacks; these are accessible from the Strategy Overview Menu. You must change your abilities and skills before purifying a tile and entering combat.
The most exciting feature happens to be online co-op multiplayer. You can either play online cooperatively with friends or via a LAN based connection. There’s even an option to launch your own server if you prefer not to search for one online. Plus, online co-op plays like the single-player campaign, so there is no learning curve involved. The online co-op feature adds a distinct level of excitement that truly enhances the gameplay. Moreover, it’s a lot of fun battling the evil overlord Demonaica with someone else.
A Valley Without Wind 2 has stunning 2D graphics, especially during the platforming segments. The music is very tranquil, even soothing at times. The music does a good job of setting the mood for the entire game.
The game mechanics are the most original ever seen in a strategy game. And where else can you experience two different genres in a single game? The A Valley Without Wind series breaks new ground with its gameplay and it opens a new door to gamers who might not be interested in strategy games otherwise.
A Valley Without Wind 2 gives you the best of both worlds and it’s unlike anything I have ever played before. You will never look at strategy games the same way again once you experience this unique adventure.
James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: PC (Also available for Mac)
PC System Requirements
OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
Processor: 1.6Ghz CPU
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: 1024×768 or greater desktop screen resolution
Hard Drive: 1 GB HD space
Developer: Arcen Games, LLC
Publisher: Arcen Games
Price: $11.24 (Originally $14.99)