Review of Oceanhorn (or the game that stole 16.5 hours of my life)

Best-of-appstoreI am not a gamer.

At least I try not to be.

But of course I happened upon a newly released game for the iOS called Oceanhorn that had the ultimate sales pitch: it’s an indie game in the vein of Zelda. The game has only been out a month and a half, but it has received a lot of good press and I am happy to say that I have defeated the monster of uncharted seas known as Oceanhorn.

I really can’t say enough good things about the game. I haven’t played too many games on the iPad, but this is by far the best game I have played. It has a nice combination of puzzles, treasure hunting, and combat to keep it interesting. The enemies are generally easy to beat, aside from a couple of the bosses that took me a handful of tries to defeat.

oceanhornThe game makes no qualms about being inspired by Zelda. You can fight by sword or bow and arrow, bomb hidden entrances, collect extra heart containers, and once you reach knighthood, your sword shoots light darts when your health is full. Even though critics will say that it falls short of Link’s adventures, I found it a delight to play — particularly superb for a game played on a small touch screen.

The game was not without bugs and I had to restart it a couple of times when my character got stuck in a wall or in a shallow pit or when the doorway wasn’t functioning properly. But these bugs were very minor in what was a vast world with several islands to explore. If patience was one of my virtues, I would like to think that I could have solved the game without consulting the online walkthrough for a hint now and then.

At under $10, this game is a bargain. It nearly has the sophistication of a console game with the convenience of a handheld device. I certainly would like to get my 16.5 hours of gameplay back, but I suppose it was worth the diversion.

 

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