When I first started playing Oceanhorn on my fourth gen iPad, my first thought was "Wow, this looks absolutely amazing for an iOS game. You can tell that the developers put much effort into making this game shine graphically, and the music as well. Actually, the music in this game is really cool. What drew me to pay $8.99 for this game in the first place though is how very closely it resembles The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. It' s so not a Zelda game though.
I mean, the main character looks just like Link with brown hair instead of golden, and he's even wearing the same outfit that Link starts off with on Outset Island (blue shirt outfit), all the way down to the sword and shield. All of the Zelda items are here on display. Bombs, bow and the like obtained through chests in dungeons I started getting into the game until I sailed (ala Wind Waker) to the first island and that's where it all started to fall apart.
The touch screen controls are just horrible. Forget about trying to run across a collapsing bridge because the main character moves too slow and it's very hard to keep him going in a straight line. Also, he doesn't climb up any ledges at all nor does he perform any type of jump maneuver so when I walked off of a platform, which in most cases is unavoidable because of the poor controls, you were stuck and have to reset the game from the last save point. Speaking of save points, those things are spread out so few and far between that it makes one wonder why they didn't just feature an iCloud save function. And you can forget about looking at the map to see just how far from that save point you are because there is no way to access the map. Why? The characters in the game walk halfway into walls and through objects like trees and pots and sometimes will get stuck in one of those objects as well. Sometimes when I went to attack a goblin, his life bar would remain the same. And it has happened with almost every single enemy type in the game. If for some reason, the enemies are attacked in such a way, they will be able to take your life gauge down but you won't be able to take theirs down. The main character can't swim very far at all which makes me wonder again, why even give him the ability to swim if we can't even utilize this skill to be of any use to us.
Technical issues aside though, the level design is not too bad though. It's just a shame that more attention wasn't given to the puzzles. The puzzles aren't really puzzles so much as they're block pushing mini games. A bunch of block pushing mini games. One good thing is that there aren't any in app purchases. I don't know how that would have been pulled off in a game like this. But it's a good thing they're not there.
All in all, a very beautiful game with equally beautiful music that is heavily inspired by Zelda: Wind Waker. It's just very damaged in how it is controlled, how the characters interact with each other and how the characters interact with their environment. But for nine bucks, you are not going to get Zelda quality from this iOS title. Maybe the developers will roll out an update in the near future to help fix these horrible glitches.