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: Mixed (156 reviews)
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

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
Helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 18
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.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
I cannot reccomend this game on the basis that it is inferior to AVWW 1.

The original was a bizarre platforming shooter with copious resource gathering/crafting/upgrading. In a terrible design descision most of these elements have been stripped out (stream-lined?), and a greater emphasis has been put on the narrative and strategy elements, which were the least interesting aspects in the original.

I have honestly tried to enjoy this game in it's own right, but cannot find much fun in it. Aside from the slight improvements in graphics, this is perhaps one of the worst steps backwards I have seen from a sequel. However, the original remains a classic and has a great deal of replayability... go buy it instead.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 28
this version is way better then valley without wind 1.
i played both, and i didnt understand anything of wind 1.
i played this one and it is great.
i have beaten the game.
music is great.
you shouldnt pay too much attention too the graphics.
You can play this online but it is IP based.

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31 of 39 people (79%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 8, 2014
Pre-Release Review
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.

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19 of 20 people (95%) found this review helpful
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.
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27 of 35 people (77%) found this review helpful
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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25 of 38 people (66%) found this review helpful
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 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
61.6 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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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
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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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
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.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 17, 2013
A post-apocalyptic steampunk fantasy sci-fi turn-based strategy RPG platformer. With landsharks.

Weird mash-up of different genres. Plays really well, both in the world map's strategy mode and in the platformer mode you go into when exploring tiles of the map. The art style and graphics are... interesting, but very low quality.

The objective of the game is simply to survive in the Valley, until you're strong enough to beat the evil boss, Demonaica. Survival is pretty damn hard at times, as Demonaica's stronghold regularly spawns nasty creatures to try and kill your survivor buddies.

On the world map, you get to move around survivors you've rescued, construct buildings that increase resource generation on specific tiles, heal nearby survivors, etc. The interesting bit is that because the game spawns monsters regularly, you need to keep your survivors mobile, while still balancing the resource generation with losses taken in battle.

The platformer sections remind me of Terraria's combat system: you run and jump around in randomly generated levels while monsters try to eat your face. Every class has 4 spells, usually one long-range spell, two short-range spell and a unique, extremely powerful special spell.

The objective in the platformer sections is to find wind generators and destroy them, allowing your survivors to move to the tiles you've 'purified'. Certain tiles also have perk tokens and other things for customizing your character, usually found in dangerous caves.

There's some weird time travel stuff going on in the platformer sections, as different tiles represent different time periods: you can explore the ruins of a modern city, with skyscrapers and stuff, and next turn find yourself in a steampunk city, or perhaps the ruins of an ancient, Egyptian style civilization. The level art is quite diverse, but as I said, the assets are pretty damn low quality.

Fun game, and very much worth the low price if you'd like to try a platformer with a strategy game element. AVWW2 does both damn well.

Demo available here: http://www.arcengames.com/w/index.php/valley2-downloads Allows you to play 'till turn 20, or level 3, but other than that, has all the features of the full game.
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18 of 29 people (62%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
Such a disappointment. The first game was really fun, but they robbed this one of all that and made it a half platformer, half strategy game. It ends up doing neither well.
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21 of 35 people (60%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
While way more of a "game" than the last one, I really didn't like the emphasized "keyboard" control scheme. Making your game difficult by making it difficult to control doesn't make it fun. The SRPG-lite overworld mechanics were surprisingly solid, and help to drive you to finish the game as fast as possible.
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13 of 20 people (65%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
It seems like a lot of effort went into it, but it's got a lot of things that just make it not very fun. There's platforming and a strategic map section, and while the platforming is okay, the strategic map has you under constant pressure to deal with threats and keep a bunch of numbers up and it's not always clear what's going on. For someone who likes quick, engaging platformers, the strategy elemtn will probably just be stressful and overwhelming, as it was for me. If you like strategy games, you'll probably think the platforming is unpleasant. The eight way aiming makes it hard to feel like you have a satisfying level of control over your character and leads to combat that is more frustrating than it is pleasantly challenging.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
20.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 29, 2013
Very similar yet very different than its predecessor, AVWW2 is a unique and fun game. The platforming and weapon/equipment systems from the first game have been streamlined and polished up, but the overworld has been transformed into a sort of turn-based strategy game. The mix between these two modes keeps it moving along throughout each "world". It's a little hard to fully grasp all the concepts at first, but once you get a feel for it, it all falls into place. There was a lot of initial forum hate upon release, which was pretty unfounded IMO, but quickly addressed by the awesome developers, understandably begrudgingly.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
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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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2014
I actually enjoyed the first AVWW.

I was abysmally terrible at it, but I enjoyed it.

This game seemed like an enormous departure from the first game to the point where it's hard to believe they're sequels.

The old one focused on evasive hit-and-run mouse-aimed projectile based combat with lots and lots of variations and possibilites for what kind of projectile you can use. As a side goal, there was a settlement you could build up and add things to.

This game disables mouse aiming by default, restricts the evasion and projectile variety greatly, and send the construction/City Sim aspect into a larger role.

Graphically, it looks somewhat better, but there's so much different. Too much to enjoy, if you liked the first game.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
14.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 4, 2013
- Eye-bleedingly bad art direction where everything looks like 2D paper cutouts, and only right and 45 degree angle platforms exist
- Atrocious "level design" (non-existent would be a better word for it)
- Uninspired platforming gameplay
- Technicolor text strewn everywhere
- Achievements popping up every few seconds, mostly for things that can't be properly labeled achievements (by the 3 hour mark, I had unlocked nearly half of the game's 200 achievements)
- Hodge-podge of random ideas that doesn't come together into a cohesive whole

Ok, the positives:
+ Quite relaxing (albeit somewhat melancholy) soundtrack that may be the overall highpoint of the game, in terms of quality
+ Overworld design has better overall art direction than the platforming segments
+ Interesting dystopic story and environment (unfortunately the writing quality is a bit lacking)
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10 of 16 people (63%) found this review helpful
24.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2013
-Funny little game, something different for a change-

Like AVWW1 people either like this one or hate it. Unlike the first part this game is more focused and a match plays faster. You don't have to delve in randomized dungeons for hours to get achievements or unlockables although there might be persons who did just that. Also the graphical style is similar but not that awful, improved you might say. I was worried reading about the setting and how that might translate into gameplay but it's working nicely. You play on a strategic board against an immortal enemy and his minions. Your units run around turnbased and grab ressources or build tile improvements while the enemy hunts them down. Parallely you dispatch your PC into worthwhile areas to play jump and shoot.
If you liked AVWW1 or enjoy jump'n'shoots along with light strategy give this game a try - if you hated AVWW1 then you don't like this one either I guess.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 9, 2013
Somehow worse than it's prequel, AVWW2 is somehow both tactically challenging and immensely boring.

Don't buy it. Buy the first one, try it, and then still don't buy this one.
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