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For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
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Summer breeze

Product: daWindci | Developer: Reality Twist | Publisher: Reality Twist | Format: iPhone | Genre: 3D, Puzzle | Players: 1 | File size: 32.5MB | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
daWindci iPhone, thumbnail 1
The iOS touchscreen has been used for virtual slicing, dicing, and attacking, but it has rarely let you blow wind.

The puzzle game daWindci is a slow, almost meditative title that will keep you gently swiping your screen – and scratching your head with your free hand.

Up, up, and away

daWindci’s hero is a tiny guy in a huge hot air balloon. By controlling the wind you have to safely steer him through dozens of levels as quickly as possible.

The puzzles require a mix of speed and finesse. One area may require you to blast an on-off switch, which opens a series of doors, but they have a timer, so the doors are slowly closing as you push the balloon through a thin, deadly tunnel between two craggy mountains.

The environment resembles a renaissance faire, with old skool scrolls and scrawled-on maps, little villages with windmills, and da Vinci-inspired contraptions. It's quite beautiful, particularly on the lush iPad screen. The iPhone version looks good, too, but the intricate details tend to get lost in the mix.

The music and sound aren’t offensive, but it is ethereal to the point of being forgettable – there are occasional gusts of wind, a few piano notes, and, well, that’s about it. You’d be better off putting on your own smooth jazz (Kenny G, anyone?) than listing to the inoffensive soundtrack.

Air to the throne

DaWindci’s controls are pretty darn sharp, especially for a game that is based on hot air. A light swipe will have significantly different results from a heavy stroke.

In fact, the controls are so precise that you can expect your first stroke to have your balloon flying so hard in one direction that you’ll have to stroke in the other direction to compensate, and then again, and again.

The developer has wisely added a built-in tutorial – and a generous learning curve – to ease you into the gameplay. The game is tough, but fair, though less-patient gamers will have a hard time fairly quickly.

The iPad version not only looks better than the iPhone version, but it actually plays better too. There's something about the intricate moves, particularly in later levels, that works better on the bigger screen. Fortunately, the game is a Universal app, so you can choose your favorite platform.

daWindci also has its share of bonuses and easter eggs. Completing a level quickly and with minimal damage will unlock new balloons. Also, each level has three hidden items. Even the early levels are a challenging lot, so unlocking all the goodies will take you a while.

daWindci is a nice puzzle game that will be a hair too low-key for hardcore puzzle fans, but just right for gamers interested in a beautiful, relaxing journey.
Reviewer photo
Damon Brown | 20 May 2011
While it can be challenging for newcomers, daWindci is a breezy, beautiful puzzler
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