Sometimes, well maybe even more so then not, less is more. When a developer decides to keep their game focused on specific mechanics, it has the potential to polish these mechanics to an incredible shine. The little puzzle game Storm from indiePub is a perfect example of this.
Storm bestowed upon me, the control over rain, wind and lightening, in order to move seedlings from tree to fertile soil. The controls were simple enough for a chimp, me, to understand; wind = left mouse button, rain = right mouse button, simple. After a couple of days into Spring, I was hooked. As I progressed through the game, I had to study each level a bit more. Storm likes to add a new element into it’s puzzles every so often, but at just the right moments. I encountered levels in which I felt as if I was a genius, because of how fast I rolled though it. Others had me scratching my head while, causing floods, starting fires, destroying mountains and more, until I had that “light bulb” moment. IndiePub has kept Storm incredibly simple, making it so easy to fall in love with for anyone that enjoys puzzle games.
There were some crazy difficulty spikes though. I could roll through three levels no problem, only to be stuck on one for 30 – 45 min. Sometimes, it wasn’t the difficulty of the puzzle as it was having to start over every time. See, when you manage to get your seedling stuck, you can hold CTRL to reset it to the tree it originated from, no problem. But in Storm, you’re not only moving a seedlng, you’re also moving boulders, logs, setting fires etc. When one of the level elements go awry, there is no reset, besides starting the level all over. So 15 min figuring out the puzzle, then 10 min actually working through it just to have a log fall sideways. You’re screwed start all over. This is definitely my biggest complaint with Storm, but also, my only complaint. Even in the rare moments when the puzzles frustrated me, I was still completely in love with the beauty of Storm.
From the get go, Storm was aesthetically pleasing to me. Offering a soft color palette of gorgeous background scenery through seasons of the year. I gazed upon beautiful landscapes and level designs, while being soothed by Storm’s whimsical soundtrack. With a click of a mouse button I could turn a beautiful summer day into a rainstorm or stir up gusts of wind that would bring a flurry of leaves or snow blowing across my screen. It doesn’t really matter what the weather is like in Storm it’s always gorgeous.
Storm is a unique and complete delight. Offering hours of enjoyment through its plethora of content. Like indie games? Buy it. Like puzzle games? Buy it. Want something different? Buy it. Have a PC? Have an Xbox 360? Have a PlayStation 3? Buy it.
Those of you without a PC, don’t fret, Storm may still be coming to XBLA and PSN.
Second opinion coming on PSN/XBLA versions.