Indie Game of The Week: A Valley Without Wind
by 28 April, 2012 4:57 pm0
The Indie game scene is in. We completely agree that the scene is hip, trendy and magnificent. No, we’re not trying to sound pretentious here, but the truth is that a lot of budget friendly independent games have skyrocketed to the top of everyone’s most wanted list, including ours.
Sure the big budget titles like the next Call of Duty, Diablo 3, and Resident Evil 6 are still happening. But it’s the indie game scene that’s the most exciting. Thanks to the rapid success of Kickstarter campaigns which aim to help fund creative projects, a lot of indie game companies have earned their much-deserved time in the spotlight.
We’re not taking a pot-shot at blockbuster games, nor are we saying that every indie game is worth purchasing – because there are a lot of indie game titles that are just as much a waste of money as some of the sixty dollar titles. What’s downright exciting about the indie game scene is that consumers can now purchase $10-20 titles that include a substantial amount of content, equal to and sometimes even more than the blockbuster titles. In fact, there are many occasions were indie developers continue to support their title longer than any of the leading development companies- some examples include Mojang with their title Minecraft, and Trendy with their title Dungeon Defenders.
In honor of the booming indie game scene, we’re going to start a weekly piece titled “Indie Game of the Week”. Every week, at the end of the week we’re going to outline one indie title we’re genuinely excited for; it may be a finished title or one that’s currently in development (it doesn’t matter). The general focus is to grow a collective community of supporting players for each indie game we suggest, and help boost the success of the developers.
We love the indie community, and we support the idea of a small business gaining the success they deserve for their hard work. We’d also just like to celebrate an excellent indie game.
So, without further ado, lets game on folks!
Indie Game of The Week – A Valley Without Wind
Remember the old school 2D side-scrolling adventures that also included a hint of RPG goodness? Well, we do (Zelda II was one of them).
Most of the older 2D sidescrollers forced players to follow a linear path. At the time those types of games were around linear gameplay was accepted. These days, 2D sidescrollers would prove to be too static for most gamers’ tastes – we’ve been spoiled rotten as a community therefore, one feature that’s practically expected in every game is a changing and dynamic world.
A Valley Without Wind is a 2D style platformer and action shooter that includes non-linear gameplay. The game procedurally-generates a game world around the player which means there’s a new experience for each playthrough. The game also includes extensive character customization options which works to create an RPG-type feel.
The custom art style and visual effects are well polished, and Valley looks fantastic even on low-end machines (the system requirements aren’t demanding either).
The developer’s were kind enough to include a bulleted list of features in the game:
- Travel alone or with friends across an ever-expanding world of dangerous creatures, powerful magic, high technology, and mysteries.
- You have choice. The world of Environ is procedurally generated, and lets you go anywhere you see – including right into the overlord’s keep at any time. (Good luck with that.)
- Environ is endless. When you save one continent from an overlord, a larger and more complex continent appears.
- The game adapts to how you play: as you demonstrate your proficiency, monsters upgrade accordingly. Killed 100 bats? Okay, time for… bats on fire!
- Crazy amounts of character customization. Combine a multitude of spells, enchants, and equipment to create specialized character builds.
- Play as a long line of brave adventurers. It’s not a question of IF your character is going to die, but WHEN. Any character that dies is permanently lost, but you keep all your inventory, enchants, and general progress in the game.
- Become a community leader. Rescue NPCs, have them join your settlement, and construct buildings for them – they may return the favor and help you.
- Be a clever problem-solver. Challenges have more than one solution, each with its own pros and cons. You get to figure things out rather than just jumping through a set of hoops.
- Difficulty levels give exactly the challenge you want, from casual to hardcore on both platforming and combat independently.
- New updates are arriving all the time packed with additional content, improvements, and more.
What Type of Indie Game is A Valley Without Wind?
The plot and focus of A Valley Without Wind is reminiscent of an old-school game, you play as a hero and your task is to take down an evil overlord who has taken over the continent you call home. The evil overlord’s excessive militant force has spread across the continent, and it’s your duty to free the world from oppression. Okay, that’s a typical plot, right?
The plot may be typical, but the gameplay is certainly not, because players can do whatever they want from the very beginning of the game. If they want to, they can try to take down the Overlord right away without completing any other tasks. The feat is next to impossible, and realistically there’s no way for a new player to take down the Overlord, but the option is still there nonetheless.
In order to progress through the game, players must collect civilization points which also improve the entire game continent as they are amassed. Points are earned by completing quests and missions, and defeating the evil overlord’s numerous baddies. Once players reach a certain tier (Tier 5), they are then deemed strong enough to take on the Overlord in a head-to-head battle.
As the continent improves thanks to the increasing civilization points, enemies grow stronger and more formidable, new areas unlock, and new missions become available. The game world in A Valley Without Wind is constantly growing as the player progresses, and it provides a truly refreshing experience.
Unfortunately, civilization points aren’t the only thing a player needs to defeat the overlord. Players must also collect materials and resources which allow them to learn and upgrade their spell set. Each new spell adds new abilities, and they can all be upgraded provided the proper materials have been gathered.
The gameplay sounds more “grindy” than it actually is. Players are free to roam the continent as they wish and complete the game as they see fit, whether that be taking out baddies, exploring for minerals and materials or just shooting everything in sight.
One of the coolest features of A Valley Without Wind is that every New Game+ includes exclusive content, which can only be unlocked by completing a previous playthrough of the game. In fact, after each playthrough more and more of the continent is unveiled, which means during each play session players get to experience more gameplay. If that’s not motivation to keep playing, we don’t know what is.
The Indie Game ‘A Valley Without Wind‘ is Available Now
A Valley Without Wind is well worth the $14.99 asking price and it’s available now for PC and Mac. You can purchase the game through Steam (which is our digital platform of choice), or directly through the developer, Arcen Games.
It’s important for us to note that if you purchase directly from the developer you’re supporting them entirely – it goes without saying, that purchasing direct is the best way to support independent developers. The purchased software is DRM free (No online activation requirements, or additional third party access software), which means consumers are able to use the title as they wish across multiple devices (within legal means of course).