Review: Windscape

Windscape has been an ambitious project by a German developer named Dennis Witte. His love for The Legend of Zelda, among others, led him to develop his own game with similar elements.

Not only The Legend of Zelda , but also Secret of Mana and Golden Ax Warrior have been sources of inspiration for Windscape. Personally, I have never played Secret of Mana and Golden Ax Warrior. I can say that the elements from The Legend of Zelda are clearly present in this game. It will therefore not surprise me if fans of Secret of Mana and Golden Ax Warrior see the similarities in this passionate project by Dennis Witte.

Learned from the master

Better stolen than badly made up they sometimes say and that sentence certainly applies when it comes to video games. The influences of The Legend of Zelda are very visible in Windscape. This is not wrong at all though. It's nice to see someone take the very familiar and iconic elements and incorporate them into another universe. The game uses dungeons heavily derived from Nintendo's adventure series. At the end of such a dungeon you have to deal with a boss fight that, after defeating you, rewards you with, among other things, an addition to your health. It's not exactly the same as a heart container, although it secretly looks like one.
The art-style, although very simplistic, reminded me of The Windwaker. One of my all-time favorite games by the way. The game is very colorful and contains small islands that you go to to progress further in the game. The cell-shading in this game certainly helps to give the game a more Zelda-like feel. Not only the style in gameplay elements, appearance, but also the different sound effects give a Zelda feeling. For example, you hear a sound when you solve a puzzle that is strongly reminiscent of the sound you hear when you solve a puzzle in a Zelda game. The boss rooms also have a door that is very similar to the Zelda boss room doors.

Lite RPG

There are a number of RPG elements in this game that are optional on the one hand, but can make your experience somewhat smoother. This way you have the opportunity to make your own stuff such as armour, weapons and food. There are different types of weapons that you can forge and craft. Different types of swords, bows, morning stars and so on. The weapons have different stats that make them more favorable than other weapons for certain situations. Besides weapons, it is also possible to forge or make body protection. As with weapons, there are differences.

If you want to replenish your life points after a battle, but are not close to a save point, you also have the option to prepare food that will replenish your life points. Of course you need resources for all these crafting options. You can find these in the world around you and you have the opportunity to pick mushrooms, cut down trees, mine copper and so on.Here too it all remains quite simplistic, just like the art-style.

Gameplay and Combat

The game is built from a simple quest system, where you can do multiple quests at the same time as you are used to from RPG games. Markers on your radar indicate where to go next to progress the quest. Combat in this game felt a bit strange and stiff at first. Again it is very simplistic. It almost seems like the whole intent of the game is to make everything as simplistic as possible.

You have a weapon and shield at your disposal. Your shield generally blocks most attacks when you use it. Attacks with a weapon can be recharged by holding down the button, but this has not proven useful yet. You can't block with your shield while charging and the extra damage from charging an attack isn't worth the risk you take while charging. Your standard attack you perform turns out to be the most effective.
The attack pattern of enemies is also quite predictable and you can learn this so that you know exactly when to block and when you have free play. It gets a bit more complicated when there are several enemies around you at the same time, but not much more exciting either.

Verdict

Windscape is a project with a lot of passion. There are clear influences from The Legend of Zelda, which makes many things quickly feel familiar. Dennis Witte has put a lot of thought and love into this project, but it also shows that this game was developed by one person. The entire game itself is quite simplistic. The systems that are used are not very detailed and this is a pity now and then. It takes away the challenge on certain fronts and then reflects a whole static world.
Despite the simplistic overall picture, Windscape does show what one person with a lot of ambition and inspiration can achieve. A result to be very proud of and that alone makes it worth giving Windscape a chance. In addition, the game is not pricey, so you can win a simplistic, yet very entertaining Zelda-like game for little money.


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