The original LostWinds, an enchanting little WiiWare adventure game, was knocked up by Frontier Developments in a matter of months - and it showed. It was inventive and a treat to explore, but it was painfully short and it ran out of new ideas quite quickly.
This sequel is bigger in just about every way. Some things are the same, sure: you control the wind to buoy pintsize protagonist Toku across gaps, trap gloopy enemies in vortexes, and guide columns of fire between torches.
But Toku gets lots of new toys to play with, like the cyclone, which can drill down into the dirt and hoist pools of water up into a cloud so that you can move liquid about the environment. You can also turn snowflakes into snowballs, and encase enemies in ice.Winter wonderland
Later in the game you can swap between two seasons. In summer you can swim through lakes, but waterfalls seal off caves. In winter those rivers are now blocks of ice, but you can shatter frozen waterfalls to get past.
Frontier juggles all these different ideas to offer an impressive variety of smart and imaginative puzzles. They're well-constructed, and so you feel rather brainy when you figure out the solutions - like the brainteasers in Zelda and Metroid.
Previously, we complained about LostWind's disappointing controls. Thankfully, they were fixed in a patch, and the fixed controls are present in the sequel. Time helpfully slows down when you manipulate the wind, and a virtual D-pad is an optional extra. There are still some frustrations, but the controls are generally successful.Summer solstice
Like before, LostWinds offers a whimsical, fairytale-like world to explore, packed with places to discover and, this time, an actual story to follow. The frigid mountain range of Melodius looks even better than the cherry blossom grove of its predecessor, and it's a truly wonderful place to spend a few hours.
If LostWinds felt a bit too breezy, Winter of the Melodias is a much more complete package. It's bigger and longer and has many more ideas, and all without losing what worked best: the elegance of the controls and the serenity of the world.