The Farmers Life Is the Life For Me.
Evergreen Island, home to the simplistic, humble farmer family. The Angephoel’s. It’s a wonderful day and Ida’s soul is aching for adventure away from routine life. The smallest of tasks could turn anyone into a hero, if they truly have the heart for it.
Windscape is a first person adventure game; enriched by pastel colours, expansive landscapes and dungeon delving. This debut title from developer Magic Sandbox originally released on Steam. Then ported to the Xbox and Nintendo Switch. It shares inspiration from Zelda though, this homage lacked the appropriate tribute with poorly programmed AI, overly long, uneventful sequences and a uninspired, unimaginative crafting selection, which left Windscape starting the race for recognition with its shoes untied and rocks under the soles.
There are many troubles that come to mind when I play this. Starting with with main menu. The untuned PC port of having a cursor to navigate the screen always informs me that corners were inevitably cut. The design plan for dungeons having 3 linear paths to go down. The bugged AI stuck in their spawns or moonwalking around towns. The necessity for Coins, relevant for only the first 10 minutes of gameplay; then subsequently becoming another meaningless resource that clogs up the inventory that’ll rival Midas himself. There’s obnoxious resource gathering that’ll take far too long to chop down a bloody tree.
My biggest of gripes coming into play late game. Having obtained the best spells, best armour and weapons. The critical path is littered with enemies with disrespectfully long health bars, being locked into a button-mash-mambo with those pissing dragons. A 5 minute battle of swing, swing, block. For another 2 on the same path like their big brothers were hiding around the corner. The soft locking autosave on the finale boss that’ll dick over anyone unsuspecting, unprepared or thinking they can run to the end and cheese it. Finally, the incredibly linear path that begrudgingly passes for a “open world experience”.
Windscape is not all gloom, it does have its charms. The sound design being of the highest note. Pipe based music for the woodland areas, individual pieces for each landscape really stuck out to me. The simplicity of auto save landmarks, the overall low polygon design gave the sense of a small team making the most of the time and budget they had. I had no frame rate issues or crashes. Even movement was clean once I found out I could jump and sprint. Issues aside, I actually liked Windscape, I just didn’t feel it was a good game that went beyond the lines of an exaggerated delivery simulator that lost my interest for it’s story pretty quick.
A relaxed low polygon Zelda like, reminiscent of Shoppe Keep styling with a linear story that begrudgingly passes for an open world experience, containing craft-em-up, hoard-em-up, grind-em-up aspects with wonky AI, horrible user interfaces that can be tolerated by ambient sound design, colourful environments and relatively low difficulty.
- £16.74/$19.99 an irrational price.
- 2.55GB download
- Estimated 6-8 hour completion with a written walkthrough available on TA.
- 1.2 Ratio with all 16 Achievements being Story Related and being unmissable.