Sometimes, you just want to sit down with a cup of coffee and relax while playing a game on your iPad. Most games can’t really be described as “relaxing,” but On The Wind comes pretty close with its subtle, calming sound effects and attractive, flowing graphics. However, once the pace picks up, the game is anything but relaxing.
The game starts with a quick tutorial. Players tap and hold the screen and all of the leaves on a nearby tree are drawn to the touch. The level begins to auto scroll and players must collect leaves as they pass by. As they are collected, musical notes play in unison. The floating gathering of foliage will drift away, so it is important to collect more. If there are no more floating leaves, the game ends.
If leaves brush against the ground, flowers will spring up. The newly sprung flowers will give the floating congregation of leaves a push by creating a small gust of wind. The flowers help maneuver the leaves through the precarious courses.
The game takes players through all four seasons, starting with spring. The first season is fairly easy. The pacing is slow and there are not too many narrow gaps or obstacles in the way. As summer approaches, the speed that the background floats by increases and it becomes more difficult to avoid dragging leaves across the ground. By the time autumn hits, you’re heart is pounding, your fingertips are sweating and your eyes are burning as you try to weave your way through difficult terrain.
The help guide recommends touching the screen with the left thumb and the touch sensitivity on high. You will definitely want the sensitivity setting on high. I tried playing it on low and the leaves just sat under my thumb the whole time. The sensitivity can be fine-tuned in the options menu.
This is a beautiful game that is fun to play, but it is awkward to hold the iPad in the most beneficial way. You’ll want to play for hours, but I recommend multiple breaks. After playing for about a half hour, my wrist hurt and I was dizzy from the fast pace of the side-scrolling screen.
What I liked: The graphics are smooth and attractive. Although it is ultimately a face-paced game, it has a Zen-like quality throughout.
What I didn’t like: Unfortunately, this game takes a physical toll on players. Because it works best to use the left thumb, which is not necessarily a natural way to play a video game, it can cause cramping. Additionally, the speed of the side-scrolling background tends to leave one dizzy, as if you’ve been looking sideways out of a moving vehicle for a long time and when you turn your eyes to a stationary object, it seems to move.
To buy or not to buy: For $1.99, it teeters on the edge of too expensive, but it is really a fun and attractive game and worth the price of admission.
- App Name: On The Wind
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Games
- Developer: Don’t Step on the Cracks
- Price: $1.99