One of the highlights of the just-launched Apple Arcade is Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm from Cornfox & Bros. It’s a familiar dungeon crawl through a bright world to solve a noble quest, and it provides hours of fun.
Buckle on your sword and run through this game with us.
Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm review
Cornfox & Brothers says that Oceanhorn 2 “takes you on a magical journey across the vast world of Gaia, brimming with mythology and lore. A young Knight faces an impossible challenge, as Warlock Mesmeroth has returned with a formidable Dark Army. Will our hero be able to unite the Owrus, Gillfolk, and men in a fight for the fate of the world?”
Anyone who’s played an RPG like the hugely-popular Diablo series is already basically familiar with Oceanhorn 2. Gameplay involves exploring a world while completing missions. There are enemies to fight and items to collect, with the occasional puzzle to solve.
It’s real-time combat, not turn based. You won’t need to carefully strategize how to defeat each monster — just run in and start hacking. Which isn’t to say there’s no strategy; if you take on more enemies than your character can handle he’ll end up dead.
While Cornfox’s game plays a bit like the Diablo series, it doesn’t look like it at all. Oceanhorn 2 is much, much cheerier in tone and appearance. The monsters that our hero fights look a bit like Pokémon, and after being defeated disappear in a shower of sparks, not blood.
Play better with a gamepad
The primary weapon is a sword, making this a true hack-and-slash game. But a pistol is always available too. And it’s important. Other weapons appear as the game progresses.
This isn’t an open world; locked doors keep the character on the path needed to solve the current quest. This saves the amount of time spent wandering around looking for whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing.
The elements of classic RPG are there. Your character levels up to become stronger, but doesn’t get new skills. You’ll need to manage equipment. Some items can be bought in a store, but most are found along the way.
Any Apple Arcade game can be played on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. I found Oceanhorn 2 enjoyable on a phone or tablet using the touchscreen controls. The game is laid out simply enough that there are no problems with small displays.
For playing on a big screen in my living room, I hooked my iPhone to my TV via a Lightning Digital AV Adapter:
Buy from: Amazon — $44.96
While the on-screen controls are fine, this game is even better with a traditional gamepad. Starting with iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, you can use one version of the Xbox One controller, but I prefer the PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller
Buy from: Amazon — $46.96
Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm final thoughts
I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing RPGs over the decades. I like Oceanhorn 2 and intend to keep playing it. It’s somewhat challenging, but not frustrating.
The game feels appropriate for any child old enough to understand the controls. It’s not scary or bloody. On the other side of the coin, adults might find it a touch simple — not too easy, but not overly challenging either.
Currently, Oceanhorn 2 is available only on Apple Arcade, which requires a $4.99 a month subscription. If you played only this game for a month, you’d get you money’s worth. But there are plenty more games in the Arcade.