A Valley Without Wind is difficult to describe because it shatters any confines of genre. It can be described as rogue-like, or even a platformer. It actually feels like a dungeon crawler, but it simultaneously acts like an adventure game. There’s magic, mining, and exploration and when you try and wrap your head around it...well, you may end up with a headache. All of these influences come together to form a Frankenstein monster of a game that only a certain type of gamer will appreciate.
You begin by choosing a hero and entering a desolate world that has very little activity to begin with. All that is explained is that there is an ominous evil lord who is causing all the trouble and it is up to you to gain enough power to defeat him. Your adventure is all about building your character’s skills so that you are adequate enough to take him out. You will learn to use many different types of magic, ranging from tossing out fireballs to creating a wall of ice. There are dozens of spells available and each has their own use and they can all be levelled up if you find the right materials. It sounds simple enough, but you will spend countless hours searching for the materials necessary to develop your character into a proper hero. Thankfully, Arcen Games has made the game entirely playable with Co-Op so you and as many friends as you want can cure the evil that plagues this enigma of a world.
The art style is unique and open to exploration.
However, don’t get too attached to your character since there is permanent death. Borrowing the rogue saying, ‘once you die, it’s game over’ A Valley Without Wind has no qualms about character death. Straight out of the gate the game notifies you that you will die, and it takes a just one dead hero to grasp this concept. All is not lost, once your character has perished, you do get to keep all of your collected resources and can use these for the next character you select. Each time you die you must choose one of the pre-made characters who all begin at level one, which is just enough of a penalty to make you curse at the screen when you fall.
There is a distinct lack of structure resonating throughout A Valley Without Wind (AVWW). A procedurally generated world makes each experience unique the as a player is thrown into the unknown every game and exploration becomes the driving force. You will run and jump across many different environments in this 2d world and don’t expect to find a walkthrough on GameFAQs, as every player’s world is different. The art style is very distinct, and suits the ‘indie pc-game’ moniker well. The post-apocalyptic style a while to get used to but I grew to love each asset once I could decipher what it was.