The closest thing to 3D Zelda on a touchscreen.

The first time I heard the title Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas, I thought of some funny little sea critter with an awkward horn, who has to scour the ocean floor for shrimp and things to feed on. But boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong about that one. However, I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to be wrong in my entire life before, because what the game Oceanhorn actually turns out to be is nothing short of amazing.

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

The visuals in the game are absolutely astounding, and dare I say it, strongly resemble a full 3D Legend of Zelda game. From the bright and sunny colors, to the inviting water textures, and even right down to the familiar ceramic jugs you can pick up and toss, everything in the game just looks exactly as it should. The environments themselves seem to range from open waterside villages, to winding torch-lit dungeons where I’m sure we’ll come across a treasure chest or two.

We’ve seen games like last year’s Horn try to tackle the whole “Zelda for touchscreens” angle before, but those early screenshots of the third-person adventure bliss in action are giving every indication that we might finally have a bona fide response to our deepest mobile Zelda wishes. As far as the combat is concerned, Cornfox & Brothers describes the open battling system with words like “dodge roll” and “counterattack,” and also hints that items and spells will add an increasing layer of depth to how you end up eliminating some of Oceanhorn’s fouler creatures, like the Crapybara or the Ogre.

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

One of the most interesting things I’ve seen about Oceanhorn so far is the game’s unique single-button style of gameplay. While your character in the game is moved via a digital joystick, all of the bigger actions that can be performed will be completed by a multi-function “A” button. And even though a solitary “A” button might feel a bit lonely without his age-old “B” button companion, something tells me that the separation in this instance is definitely going to be for the greater good.

The game has already been in the works for quite some time now, and you can follow all the trials and tribulations of the development cycle on the game’s official blog for some wonderful and insightful good reads. If we’re lucky, we might be able to start our epic Oceanhorn adventure by the end of 2013, but you really can’t rush beautiful gaming art such as this. In either case, make sure you keep a close ocean eye on this one, adventure gamers, because I think we’re standing on the brink of greatness here.