In January of last year a unique new puzzle game called Cardboard Castle hit the App Store. If I were to quickly summarize Valentin – The Valiant Viking I’d say it was a “spiritual successor” to Cardboard Castle, even though it’s not by the same developers. The game has a similar knack for silly solutions to thoughtful puzzles and the visuals were clearly inspired. Still, Valentin does an excellent job of standing on its own two feet, and it throws a wrinkle or two into the mix to make sure it is a completely different game.
You’re still trying to save a damsel in distress, but this time around you are a Viking trying to prove to his clan that you actually have what it takes to bear the proud Viking name. You’ll journey across several screens chock full of sinister puzzles, and most of them are highlighted with a mini-game to test your mental might even more. The puzzles aren’t always obvious (otherwise the game would be over too quickly), but once you solve them they will make perfect sense. You’ll have to restart a level when you make a move that guarantees you can’t solve a puzzle or when you accidentally wake up a guard who can plainly see you.
The interface consists of tapping on anything you want to do. All the mini-games have also involved tapping so far, though it would have been nice to see some of them take advantage of things like tilting and swiping. The controls have been completely responsive, so if the game doesn’t do something you want it to chances are it can’t be done or you didn’t tap in the right spot. The one big oversight in my opinion is lack of a reset button. Currently you either have to get caught to reset the level or go back to the main menu and load your game. The other thing that’s kind of annoying is that Valentin only saves your progress after completing a level, so if you’re part way through and have to quit you’ll have to play the level you were in from the beginning again.
Stylistically the visuals look a lot like Cardboard Castle, though Valentin has a decent balance of indoor and outdoor scenes. Because of the “flat” appearance to the visuals the animation can be kind of cheesy, but I like it. I’m reminded of old cartoons like Bullwinkle when I watch the characters move around. The sound effects are pretty generic, which is too bad given the amount of cool stuff that’s going on throughout the game. The music is okay, but there’s only one song and it gets old quickly. I really think the audio could use a revamp to match the quality of the visuals.
While there are plenty of puzzles in this game, I’d hesitate to call it a “traditional” point and click adventure game because there really isn’t an in-depth story or interaction with NPCs (aside from dropping stuff on them and stuff). Instead what you have is a simple room by room collection of puzzles that makes you think and have fun. If you’re looking for the next King’s Quest – this isn’t it. But if you enjoy brain teasers and a light hearted atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with Valentin – The Valiant Viking.
|Title:||Valentin – The Valiant Viking||Developer:||Playtinum|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||4.0|