Each world is different, with no end to stop your adventure.
I found the game incredibly complicated. There was always something I should be doing but there was no indication of what order to do things in. Should I climb this tower to defeat a boss, or mine a deep dark cave for resources? AVWW doesn’t do a good job of giving you enough information on what to do next. The beauty of this format is that you don’t even have to follow the instructions and can go do your own thing for most of the game. The UI is full of prompts, and the maps tell you how much of the dungeon you have scouted - giving you valuable information about where the valuable supplies are and where the boss monsters live. One aspect I can’t shake is how the random nature of the game could cause me to miss something amazing that the developers put into the game. I honestly only saw a handful of different types of enemies, so I’m sure there is some amazing monster out there just waiting for me to kill it.
I can’t really fault them for leaving things open, and A Valley Without Wind does push the envelope when it comes to procedurally generated environments. The game could have used a little more polish as the whole experience feels archaic. It is an indie PC game, so some is to be expected, but it really does feel like something coming out of the early ‘90’s. There is no mission log, but simply a menu titled; “Things You Should Do,” and I had to frequently look things up in the game’s encyclopedia to figure out what items I should be looking for in order to survive. It is perfect for someone who likes to explore, as there is literally no edge of the map. You can simply keep moving left or right to the next area in hopes of striking gold, and watch the hours melt away as you delve deeper into the crazy world of Environ.
The game feels old, but it is an experience like none other.
The game has been tested for eight co-op players, but I’ve seen servers that could support up to 200 players at once. The game does not change in any way when you have more people playing alongside you, it simply allows you to explore the world with more people. Once you can get a server going (which is a challenge in itself) each player is free to roam, but I highly recommend that you stick together and clear out individual dungeons together. When you level up your characters using found upgrade stones there is some strategy as to how you build your team. It is smart for each member to take a pseudo- MMO style class (tank, DPS, etc...), but it is not required, as a group of well rounded characters will still be able to succeed. All of the resources collected go into a global pool that everyone can pull from, but the upgrade stones are only available to the player that picked them up. There is no trading, so bear this in mind when trying to get that specific stone you needed for your level 3 ball of lightning spell. It is not necessarily a better experience with more people but you are able to explore terrain more quickly, and have someone to share the weird stories that will come from the game.
I have to admit that the game feels half-baked but it is definitely a unique experience. I’m really glad I played it and I would encourage anyone who is interested in something totally different to pick this game up on STEAM. I’m telling you right now it’s weird, and it is a mish mash of every single genre known to man, but that is what makes it totally cool. If you can get past the archaic systems and the less than appealing presentation, you are in for an adventure like none other. You may not be able to comprehend it at first, but that is what makes A Valley Without Wind special.
The Co-Op Experience: Up to 8 players will work together to survive a procedurally generated world filled with monsters, magic, and a sprinkle of every game genre.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.