PAX East 2012: Hands-on with A Valley Without Wind

April 18, 2012

At first glance, A Valley Without Wind isn’t much to look at. It looks like a competent Metroidvania at best and a Terraria knock-off at worst. But once you sit down with it, A Valley Without Wind opens up to be so much more than your usual action-RPG.

The player travels across a massive 2D map, ridding the land of evil by learning spells and accomplishing side quests. Well technically they’re side quests, though the game spends very little time on narrative. Most of A Valley Without Wind’s primary experience comes from its procedurally-generated map. As you explore more of the world, you’ll interact with NPCs, build towns and change the land. By restoring each area, the player creates farms and factories to provide items and equipment.

The world truly is enormous, and there is so much to do. In the short time we were able to play it at PAX, we only got a sense of what was laid out before us. It felt like a 2D Skyrim with even more to do, thanks to the game’s SimCity-esque building mechanics. These features are what have been drawing the comparison to Terraria, along with its side-scrolling presentation, but they’re broader and much different. Rather than building a structure brick by brick, you’ll just command that something be built. So if you need some wood, that’s what you’ll order from the grateful NPCs. With the wide array of spells available to you at once, each triggered by a click or a hotkey, the combat can feel a bit MMO-ish, but entirely in real time.

A Valley Without Wind will give hungry gamers plenty of bang for their buck. All this expansive content can be had for $14.99 on April 23rd. If you get it before that while the beta’s still going, it’ll only cost you ten bucks!

Editor’s note: Look for a full review of A Valley Without Wind soon.