A modern take on the 16-bit era, A Valley Without Wind 2 blends a variety of mechanics across multiple genres, seamlessly bringing together the best qualities of old-school platform-shooters and turn-based strategy games.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (180 reviews) - 47% of the 180 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 18, 2013

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About This Game

A modern take on the 16-bit era, A Valley Without Wind 2 blends a variety of mechanics across multiple genres, seamlessly bringing together the best qualities of old-school platform-shooters and turn-based strategy games. You choose how and where to explore via the world map, how to upgrade your character via mage classes, feats, and perks that you unlock, and how to battle the forces of evil every step of the way.

Your character is a mage who has infiltrated the inner circle of the evil Demonaica, and you now share the power of immortality that he uses to terrorize the land. Using this power against him, it's time to lead an uprising and ultimately bring him and his henchmen back to mortality so that they can be dispatched.

Gameplay alternates between two modes that complement each other: brief, tightly-designed platforming segments where your character customization and equipment can be tuned to meet the tactical needs of the current stage; and quick strategic turns on the world map where you order your troops to fight, scavenge, build, recruit, farm, and use special powers. Demonaica and his armies pursue your forces directly on the world map, while his five henchmen have been sent to recapture you in the platforming segments.

Your immortality came at great personal cost, but it makes you the one last hope of saving the world from darkness.

Key Features:

  • Platforming and Turn-Based Strategy Coupled Together:

    Flip back and forth between your own adventure, and the progress of the resistance you're in charge of. Freely adjust difficulty levels for both to tailor the experience to your own personal playstyle. Both sides of the game can be quite easy or incredibly hard.
  • More Tactile Combat:

    The physics of movement and attacks have been completely redone from the first title, with more traditional gamepad and keyboard support. Spells have mass and can block each other, leading to many interesting tactical situations in the platforming segments.
  • Vastly Improved Visuals:

    Fully redone artwork by Heavy Cat Studios, including 125 all-new monsters, 200 spells, and lots more.
  • Focused Gameplay Arc:

    Unlike the endless sandbox-style first game, this complete re-imagining has a distinct beginning, middle, and end.
  • Procedurally Generated Worlds:

    Each world is a unique challenge, leading to excellent replay value once you do beat the game!
  • Co-Op Multiplayer:

    Bring along as many friends as you like on your journey, depending on your connection speed. 2-8 players recommended on most Internet connections; many more on LAN.
  • See Just How Deep An Arcen-style Rabbit-Hole Goes:

    After dozens of hours you still haven't seen it all: 50 mage classes in 5 tiers, 200 spells, 125 enemies, 14 biomes, 100+ types of world map tiles, 64 character customization perks, 100ks of procedural equipment possibilities.
  • Extra Challenges For Expert Players:

    String together flawless kills to earn "concentration" and become even stronger. Beat the game on harder difficulties to earn rare achievements.
  • Get The Original Game For Free!

    The original game was unique and experimental, and it comes included absolutely free when you buy the sequel.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor:1.6Ghz CPU
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768 or greater desktop screen resolution
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS:Leopard 10.5 or later
    • Processor:1.6Ghz Intel CPU
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768 or greater desktop screen resolution
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS:Ubuntu 10.10 or later, although other unsupported distros may very well work
    • Processor:1.6Ghz Intel CPU
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768 or greater desktop screen resolution
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mixed (180 reviews)
Recently Posted
Jetpack John
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 17
Well, that's enough for me at 22 minutes in.

I *just* started playing the original and have already put in 10 hours. It's not perfect, but it's *fun* and even exploring the game world and it's mechanics.

For the sequel, it seems the devs wanted to change everything for the sake of change and experimentation. And it is decidedly much less enjoyable. Perhaps if I hadn't played the original at all, but no... this game is too much of a mess.

It appears to want to be a more straight up platformer and has a control scheme to match, encouraging you to use a gamepad over KB and mouse as in the original. In doing so, I can't help but feel that most of the gameplay and mechanics that made the original fun have been removed or extremely stripped down.

For example, via spells and enchants, there was a significant amount of character customization you could do in the original. Granted, I've had only a brief look, but being able to use only one item at a time in the sequel really limits things.

I'm guessing here, but I think that the devs, or perhaps too many players, found the original *too* complex and daunting and that explains the more limited gameplay. Personally, I much prefer the complexity. Yes, even the unusual "graph" based dungeon map that they needed to take a couple of help pages to explain. It worked, and it was a good idea on their part.

So, skip this game unless you find it on a really steep sale price. The original is worth your time regardless of sale price. It's looks dated, but it runs great even on old machines, and is a lot more fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
HarleyK11
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
Product received for free
Got as throw in and not my type of game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
KuRushie
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
Total ♥♥♥♥ compared to the first.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Aetharus
( 18.0 hrs on record )
Posted: April 1
Having dabbled with a few other games by Arcen, I picked up AVWW2 not completely sure what to expect. I was quickly engaged in the mixed strategic and adventure mechanics, which are blended in a way that make them both completely necessary to win the game. Despite what some other reviewers claim, the game does in fact have mouse aiming, but it must be enabled in the highly customizable control settings (though playing on my laptop I had no issue using keyboard aiming). I thoroughly enjoyed AVWW2, and am coming back for a second playthrough.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BigBenBoulevard
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 31
Not worth playing.
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JessO
( 3.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 23
They took the legacy of the first game and made something completely different and inferior. It's nothing like the 1st game! They basically just stapled the name "a valley without wind" to it and wrote a crappy hybrid game with a great soundtrack.

The platforming is boring and clunky; They actually tell you that aiming with your mouse will make the game TOO easy. They literally coupldn't develope a computer game meant to use a mouse. They threw out Valley 1's controls and replaced it with a painfully floating/fuzzy unresponive slow mess. Some enemies are invulnerable unless you get within melee range despite both your main attacks being ranged. Just really lazy design choices meant to artificially create difficulty where they couldn't make the game properly.

The "strategy" is just a keep-you-head-above-water gind to win before you lose. When I was new it was hard to figure out and I felt like it was needlessly compicated. WHen I got hte hang of it it was worse than a face-book game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
One Man and his Droid
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: February 14
... I wasn't a fan of the first, but after spending a bit of time with the second (which seems infinitely better in terms of knowing what to actually do) - I can kind of see the attraction of this little game... great music, basic presentation but one in which your own imagination has to do a lot of the work... it's creative, varied and I can see why people would want to play this (nice random world generator keeps things fresh) - not a bad little game at all...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shawnecy
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: February 13
AVWW2 is a turn based post-apocolytpic land/resource management game wrapping a 2d Platformer. You move troops around the map to farm, build buildings, etc. to fight the evil head honcho who can show up and wreak havoc. Monsters spawn every so many turns.

There's a number of little nuanced details about the turn-based aspect which feels like much ado about nothing. The game, like its predecessor, beats you over the head with tutorial text for the management aspects of the game (although the platforming aspect does seem to carry a little less of the complexity baggage from the first game).

The platforming here is pretty uninspired. Moving feels sluggish; I was amazed that holding down shift actually slowed down my already slow character who can jump 4 stories high.

The game warns you about using mouse+keyboard (and actively makes it a chore to set what should be default) due to it being "overpowered for the game design". Okay, so fix your game design. Playing a platformer with 2 hands on the keyboard feels like junk. Trying to play this game with a controller only feels like junk. Trying to do a hybrid of those 2 feels like junk.

The music here is much better than the first, but that's not saying much. The graphics still feel lackluster for 2013. A SNES-era retro look would probably serve the game better than what it has which carries an air of mediocrity.

Unfortunately, the whole thing feels uninspired and boring in the most insipid way possible. Technically, it possesses the aspects and features a game should have, but so many things are either poorly implemented or not implemented in a way that makes them synergistic or relevant. On the scale of quality, this game lies in that precarious spot where many things sound good on paper, but it all fails to add up to something engaging. It's like the developer had a checklist of features that they think every game should have, and they checked them all off as development progressed, but they failed to take a cohesive look at the sub par results. The game takes no risk with unique gameplay aspects. I suspect the developers felt that the genre-blending would be that unique offering, but it feels like 2 poorly developed games smashed together.

4/10. There are far better turn-based strategy games and far better platform shooters. This game is neither a jack nor a master of either trade. Save your money for something with far more polish and presentation.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
claiminglight
( 56.1 hrs on record )
Posted: February 4
A cool game about wizards that splits its time being a fully multiplayer platformer and a technically (but not actually) multiplayer strategy game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ownosourus
( 77.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 31
A Valley Without Wind 2 is nothing like A Valley Without Wind 1. So many of the things that made me eventually love Valley 1 — it takes a while to wrap your head around that game, and you might give up before you realize you love it — are missing in this overhaul, which has just been released as a separate executable available for free to owners of Valley 1. Valley 2 has no crafting, no collectibles, no inventory, no spell customization, no fancy traversal gimmicks, no dungeon exploration, no grinding. It is basically missing 90% of the gameplay that dragged me into Valley 1. The sorts of moments I detailed here are entirely gone. Even the music is different. The original game’s 8-bit retro ditty has been replaced with a Japanese pop song, but in English. So what Valley 1 fan is going to want anything to do with Valley 2?

A Valley Without Wind 2 is a streamlined side-scrolling action platformer embedded in a turn-based territory control boardgame about trying to contain a rampaging demon and mostly failing. There. That’s the basic pitch. The action platformer bits are mostly about moving to the far side of the level. Your goal isn’t necessarily to kill the various hopping, crawling, flying monsters; it’s to stay alive while getting past them. As you play the action platformer level for any given tile, you spread your control of the map. Map control lets you earn more resources by moving pieces around the board representing your band of resistance fighters. They gather resources, knock down obstacles, take on minor monsters, and power special superbuildings.

But Valley 2 has a brutal clock mechanism that crawls out of the center of the map. Imagine an invulnerable — or is she? — demon running around the board, trashing your buildings, casting total ♥♥♥♥ spells that render swathes of territory uninhabitable, murdering your dudes, and scattering the survivors like terrified sheep. You have to stop this demon by getting super powerful, which is going to take about as long as a JRPG, give or take ten hours. Until then, the demon is going to mess stuff up and you can do precious little about it. Some power fantasy.

Like Valley 1, Valley 2 can be awkward on the overworld. Arcen Games comes up with brilliant ideas that often stretch beyond their interfaces. Despite the basic boardgame mechanics, there is almost no boardgame elegance here. But the basics of exploring the world and keeping your survivors alive are a fantastic hook, and I can’t think of many games that offer this basic experience. This is no city builder. This isn’t about reconstruction. This is a survival horror strategy game about refugees trying to survive a cataclysm in progress, a cataclysm that chases them around the map and often drives them into fatal corners or flushes them down economic death spirals. Choose your difficulty level wisely.

The actual sidescrolling action is superlative, perfectly suited to a gamepad controller and featuring more colorful and elaborate artwork since Valley 1. I thought Valley 1 was weirdly gorgeous as it was, but Valley 2’s graphics overhaul makes it more conventionally gorgeous. The more significant change is Valley 2’s new sense of focus in place of Valley 1’s wide-open spell choice and customization. Now you must choose a pre-set class. Each class has four attacks, varied by power, range, how they’re aimed, whether they use ammo, and so forth. Attacks also vary by “caliber”, which determines which attacks punch through which other attacks. If you really want to finesse the gameplay, caliber is an important consideration for playing defensively. You’ll want to build up a concentration bonus by not taking damage, so driving back enemy attacks with a higher caliber is an important part of avoiding damage, particularly in the confines of underground areas.

The classes are imaginative and no one names a character class like Arcen Games. Who needs paladins and barbarians when you have featherologists, ashists, lumbermancers, and entropicists? But there are so many that I’ll never use most of them, even though they’re randomly doled out five at a time as you progress through a game. I wish Arcen had focused on fewer classes, and therefore made each one more important. As it is now, once you go up a few tiers, it’s like a racing game where you have a garage full of cars but no reason to use any beyond your two or three favorites. But those two or three favorites sure are sweet. Why would I ever not use my sleetlock with his freeze flamethrower and fancy magnetic ice?

Valley 2 is a long game with some pleasant surprises waiting on the map and even in the narrative. Unfortunately, for a game that seems so perfect for replaying, there’s no persistence. When you win or lose, you simply win or lose. As it is now, Valley 2 is like playing through a long RPG with randomized elements that you can play again if you want. Which would be fine if it wasn’t the strategy game that it is.

It’s a minor miracle that Arcen Games could revise Valley Without Wind 1 so completely without simply upgrading it, that they have instead made a completely separate game that plays so differently and creates a unique type of experience based on getting your ♥♥♥ kicked.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
62 of 73 people (85%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 18, 2015
Hoo boy.

The original A Valley Without Wind struck me as about the quality of a particularly impressive bit of shareware in the late 90s: horribly dated by modern standards and without 1980s retro charm (though maybe that just means it came a decade early), but at the very least technically competent. Animations were smooth (though obviously based on some simple figure rendering program like Poser), the control scheme worked, the story didn't make much sense but a lot of 90s shareware didn't so I could at least poke around with it and be vaguely amused.

You will note that I only have 19 minutes on record with A Valley Without Wind 2.

I'm going to hold off on explaining why for just a moment. This sequel--if it can really be called that, since the whole AVWW "broken reality" thing never made much narrative sense to begin with, and apparently intentionally so--has you running a rebellion against a big bad. Unlike the original AVWW, where you had followers who you would make go away for so many minutes to go gather firewood or whatever while you ran around the infinitely side-scrolling (well, infinitely transitioning, at least) map, this actually has a strategic map for you to tell your followers to go to places and do things and fight baddies. It's a nice touch, adding some level of strategic force movement rather than simply "Bob has a 57% chance of getting a carrot with a 99% risk of dying because Bob is a loser."

Well, I lie. It would've been a nice touch. If it worked.

If anything worked.

If AVWW has the quality of decent 90s shareware, AVWW2 has the quality of bad 90s shareware, the kind that I have spent a good decade and a half trying to forget that I grew up on. The characters have gone from smoothly-animated pre-rendered 3D geometry sprites to poorly MS Paint'd cartoons that move as though they're suffing grand mal seizures. In AVWW, everything was made of pre-rendered sprites so it all fit together visually. Random elements in AVWW2 are pre-rendered, some are drawn, others are painted, and they're all mashed together in incoherent tilesets so it's actually extremely distracting. The control system went from a simple but effective "keyboard to move, mouse to aim" system in AVWW to a clunky and incoherent keyboard-only system. For a comparative example, let's say you want to shoot your magical ball-o'-death at some critter at an angle: AVWW, point and click. AVWW2, hold the right and up and fire keys at the same time and pray to whatever gods you have that you timed that perfect 45° angle shot just right because 45° angles are all you're going to be doing and also if you don't do the fire button at the right time then you're just going to jerkily leap your character up and into the target in a valiant but utterly stupid attempt to smash the enemy with her face. That's how Archon worked back in the late 80s. It's as though the AVWW2 was coded for a particularly archaic D-pad setup. Everything about it is completely retrograde from the original.

It's completely unforgivable, since these people were able to make something competent, if not particularly impressive before. However, it's also unimaginably hilarious. It is so bad you just have to stop and laugh at everything.

And then just stop, since there's absolutely no point to go on any further with it.

There's certainly no point in actually spending money on the experience.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
29 of 31 people (94%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 3, 2014
There's some interesting ideas here, and it's a multiplayer game in the strictest sense of the word, but at the end of the day when you cross genres you want to blend them rather than keep them in their own awkward boxes. This game has an art style that will be off-putting to many, but I found it charming in an odd way. The different powers are interesting, but could be a little more imaginative and balance between them is basically non-existant. For the most part, the powers don't make good use of the movement- and neither do the randomly generated maps that generally end up being narrow tunnels to fall down and strange ceilings. The boss fights are slightly better by being a little more open, but overall it's very static and repetitive.

The game has a metric ton of good ideas, but the implementation and integration is so poor that everything steps on each other's toes. In addition the game uses strange terminology and despite explaning itself is still pretty difficult to puzzle out. Figuring it out is kind of fun, but once you unlock the puzzle you realize that it's a lot simpler than it lets on in a bad way and it's more about getting lucky early on with a co-operative starting area than anything else. Speaking of Co-op, it is barely functional and requires a great deal of patience. Still, it's nice to have the option to be able to suffer together.

To it's credit, I can't say I didn't have any fun, but bad platforming, dissonant storyline, confusing mechanics and characters and luck-based play (a decent beginning can trivialize the hardest difficulty but a bad one makes all but the easiest one impossible) as well as terrible implementation of platforming means I'm not going to be missing it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
24 of 24 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
77.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 31
A Valley Without Wind 2 is nothing like A Valley Without Wind 1. So many of the things that made me eventually love Valley 1 — it takes a while to wrap your head around that game, and you might give up before you realize you love it — are missing in this overhaul, which has just been released as a separate executable available for free to owners of Valley 1. Valley 2 has no crafting, no collectibles, no inventory, no spell customization, no fancy traversal gimmicks, no dungeon exploration, no grinding. It is basically missing 90% of the gameplay that dragged me into Valley 1. The sorts of moments I detailed here are entirely gone. Even the music is different. The original game’s 8-bit retro ditty has been replaced with a Japanese pop song, but in English. So what Valley 1 fan is going to want anything to do with Valley 2?

A Valley Without Wind 2 is a streamlined side-scrolling action platformer embedded in a turn-based territory control boardgame about trying to contain a rampaging demon and mostly failing. There. That’s the basic pitch. The action platformer bits are mostly about moving to the far side of the level. Your goal isn’t necessarily to kill the various hopping, crawling, flying monsters; it’s to stay alive while getting past them. As you play the action platformer level for any given tile, you spread your control of the map. Map control lets you earn more resources by moving pieces around the board representing your band of resistance fighters. They gather resources, knock down obstacles, take on minor monsters, and power special superbuildings.

But Valley 2 has a brutal clock mechanism that crawls out of the center of the map. Imagine an invulnerable — or is she? — demon running around the board, trashing your buildings, casting total ♥♥♥♥ spells that render swathes of territory uninhabitable, murdering your dudes, and scattering the survivors like terrified sheep. You have to stop this demon by getting super powerful, which is going to take about as long as a JRPG, give or take ten hours. Until then, the demon is going to mess stuff up and you can do precious little about it. Some power fantasy.

Like Valley 1, Valley 2 can be awkward on the overworld. Arcen Games comes up with brilliant ideas that often stretch beyond their interfaces. Despite the basic boardgame mechanics, there is almost no boardgame elegance here. But the basics of exploring the world and keeping your survivors alive are a fantastic hook, and I can’t think of many games that offer this basic experience. This is no city builder. This isn’t about reconstruction. This is a survival horror strategy game about refugees trying to survive a cataclysm in progress, a cataclysm that chases them around the map and often drives them into fatal corners or flushes them down economic death spirals. Choose your difficulty level wisely.

The actual sidescrolling action is superlative, perfectly suited to a gamepad controller and featuring more colorful and elaborate artwork since Valley 1. I thought Valley 1 was weirdly gorgeous as it was, but Valley 2’s graphics overhaul makes it more conventionally gorgeous. The more significant change is Valley 2’s new sense of focus in place of Valley 1’s wide-open spell choice and customization. Now you must choose a pre-set class. Each class has four attacks, varied by power, range, how they’re aimed, whether they use ammo, and so forth. Attacks also vary by “caliber”, which determines which attacks punch through which other attacks. If you really want to finesse the gameplay, caliber is an important consideration for playing defensively. You’ll want to build up a concentration bonus by not taking damage, so driving back enemy attacks with a higher caliber is an important part of avoiding damage, particularly in the confines of underground areas.

The classes are imaginative and no one names a character class like Arcen Games. Who needs paladins and barbarians when you have featherologists, ashists, lumbermancers, and entropicists? But there are so many that I’ll never use most of them, even though they’re randomly doled out five at a time as you progress through a game. I wish Arcen had focused on fewer classes, and therefore made each one more important. As it is now, once you go up a few tiers, it’s like a racing game where you have a garage full of cars but no reason to use any beyond your two or three favorites. But those two or three favorites sure are sweet. Why would I ever not use my sleetlock with his freeze flamethrower and fancy magnetic ice?

Valley 2 is a long game with some pleasant surprises waiting on the map and even in the narrative. Unfortunately, for a game that seems so perfect for replaying, there’s no persistence. When you win or lose, you simply win or lose. As it is now, Valley 2 is like playing through a long RPG with randomized elements that you can play again if you want. Which would be fine if it wasn’t the strategy game that it is.

It’s a minor miracle that Arcen Games could revise Valley Without Wind 1 so completely without simply upgrading it, that they have instead made a completely separate game that plays so differently and creates a unique type of experience based on getting your ♥♥♥ kicked.
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41 of 54 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.7 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: July 8, 2014
This version basically uses the same base principles as the first part. But here they totally removed some aspects of game (like never worked outpost management), weakened other (like platforming), and strenghten third (strategy mostly). Resulting game is much more interesting than amorphous A Valley Without Wind 1, but still too similar to it for my tastes. Can be quite enjoyable, if you like neverending stream of upgrades, random respawning monsters and action missions in platforming environment - wrapped up in turn-based strategy about gaining resourses against invincible foe.

7/10
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32 of 42 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
76.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
Listen. I love this game. It's one of a kind. If you like metroidvania type games you should definitely check it out especially when it's only 2.99 right now on sale. What makes it so unique compared to other games of the kind is that every level is a tile on the turn based strategy game portion, and what level you will want to do is going to be decided by what you need to be happening strategically.

What makes the game such a fun challenge is that each tile has a difficulty percentage that can vary widely depending on different factors including what is happening in the strategy portion. So, you might really need to open up a section of a map that's blocked by a tile with %500 difficulty level, but have fun with those crazy fast enemies and projectiles that knock off a third of your health, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. Or, what if you can't make it through? Time to rethink your strategy, work on earning enough coins to hire mercenaries to open it up for you, tweak your character to go for speed over health, or or whatever else you can think of. The world has it's own rules and mysteries and a lot of the fun is these things slowly becoming apparent to you as you play.

What I love about the game is all the variety in the side scrolling action and it's effect in making your strategy come together to win the game. I think personally this game is tied with Red Faction Guerilla for most underrated, but this probably even more for all the hate it gets from people that can't look past its subpar graphics to see the amazing gameplay and feeling of being in a coherent world with its own inherent logic all coming together in a challenging and satisfying experience. Just like other Arcen games there are lots of difficulty settings, I suggest you crank it up a bit.
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
Recommended
62.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 18, 2014
Nice Retro Fun Exploration/Survival/RPG. Nice interface, spells and skills. Little quippy humor by Devs make it fun as well. VERY underrated underappreciated game do yourself a favor and pick this one up. 8.5/10

EDIT: People talk about the VwoW2 not having mouse controls like the first. While I tried it to see why the Devs did this, I too was unsatisfied. All controls are REBINDABLE so keep that in mind before giving up.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 25, 2014
While I do have a soft spot in my heart for indie games that experiment with genre, i really just could not get into this game. It's ugly, the platforming is clunky, the procedural generation leads to cases where you can get stuck in unpredictable places, the strategy layer is impossible to parse, and the combat is really tedious.
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26 of 41 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 6, 2014
Fabulously bizarre and fantastically original game. It's not that the individual elements have never been used before, it's that they've never been combined in quite this way. This game makes no attempt at anything vaguely resembling physics, so if you're a stickler for that stuff skip this game. But the gameplay is challenging and absolutely consistent, and the dream-like demon-apocalypse setting combined with the odd but memorable soundtrack, makes for a lot of fun for people looking for something different.
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14 of 19 people (74%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2013
A Valley Without Wind 2 changes the formula from the first quite a bit but lost some of the core aspects that gave the first any real interesting game play. There are no longer deep (or tall) dungeons to delve into; the grand exploration is now a linear progression of going to the right. There is a small amount of tactical strategy in the world map now that was neat except with it came with a very unwanted time pressure. AVWW2 suffers from the same repetition of the first but without the depth of exploration, variety of spells or customization of equipment. I actually recommend you NOT buy this one.
1/5
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
42.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 22, 2013
Question the graphical choices all you want. This game is the ActRaiser successor I never realized I wanted until I played. It's a strategy board game tightly integrated with run and gun action. The regular threats to my units and structures provided by Demonaica and summoned monsters along the way kept me alert. You need those units and those units need at least some of those structures. While I won on the default settings, know that this is a game that allows you to lose after hours and hours of investment.

The duration might be the only real gripe I have. I could be biased by my analysis paralysis and the time it took to learn my first game. However, the promise of another procedurally generated map to conquer loses some of its charm for me when it takes double digit hours to finish. I realize that's probably not uncommon for the strategy genre, but I have to too many games in my Steam library to bother.

As a bonus, the game also comes with the prequel. Some may enjoy the more freeform exploration, but the branching pathways contain a lot of empty, useless space. It's big for the sake of being big. I much prefer the sequel's selection of more linear playfields. The prequel also allows players to gather much more loot and micromanage their inventory. Though I may whine when my equipment breaks, I much prefer the sequel's limit of a single, temporary piece of loot that disappears when replaced. With the collection of perks, feats and mage classes tied so closely to one's progress, there's enough to gather and worry about as it is. In short, the sequel cuts out a lot of the cruft and is a better game for it.

Finally, forum complaints can largely be ignored. Mouse control has been added. It allegedly makes the game too easy at the moment so I'd suggest gamepad or keyboard controls for now. Either way, it shows that Arcen listens. I'd personally also like to see more animation detail and a final sendoff when the game ends. However, it's worth playing as it is.
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