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Storm Review

They say that with great power comes great responsibility. Have you ever looked at a tree growing in the most inexplicable spot in the distance and wondered how in the world it got there? Well, in Storm you will be using your great power to guide the seed to the location of that baffling tree—indeed a great responsibility when you are the only one who can.

Storm

Developed by IndiePub

Available for PC, PS 3, and Xbox 360. Reviewed on Xbox 360

*Review Code provided by: IndiePub

 

Storm is a puzzle game which places at your command the elements of any common storm: rain, lighting, wind, ice, tornadoes and such. Using these elements, and often in combination, you are charged with guiding the seed of a tree from one safe, fertile soil spot (the checkpoint) to another. It’s simple enough, but you must prove you are worthy of those great powers by guiding the seed safely all the while navigating the terrain.

The learning curve for accomplishing such feats is easy to master. Before you begin a level, you are given a hint and they are often obvious and not really helpful, but at times they are crucial. When they are crucial you are hinted about an action you would perhaps not think was possible, such as wind affecting a seed which is underwater. The lessons are eased into very smoothly. The puzzles are laid out in such a way which makes certain you master the various techniques of the elements before you are allowed to move on; for example you must push the seed with the wind while it is underwater. In doing so, the game forces you to use the move so that you know exactly how it works. Spikes in difficulty are consistently smooth because the game itself is a great teacher; you are taught new ways to think in a very gradual manner and each technique builds up to be used in the later, harder puzzles.

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Notice the boulders and logs. In later puzzles, you have a chance of losing them for good.

The physics for this game are sometimes aggravating, but overall work well. Wind will hug the terrain and curb along it. Water will drizzle at the top of a hill and pour down, its path altered by any obstacles. Sometimes, however, the wind element will not quite blow in the exact direction you wish it to and thus will not allow you to push the seed, propagate the destructive yet constructive fire, or allow for the thunder storm in exactly the right spot. Overall, the physics of this game have some small yet noticeable and annoying features, but they are ones which do not get in the way of enjoying the game and you will quickly learn to play with them. This is one of the elements of Storm that adds to the challenge and does not make it simply a game of contemplation.

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Notice a few of the available elements: wind, water, and lightning are options at the top.

Storm manages to convey a refreshing ambiance from the regular lot of games you might customary play. Placing you in the metaphorical shoes of which ever omnipotent being you believe to be in charge of the natural elements of our planet, it is inevitable that you will find yourself reflecting on the many ways in which this planet has been forested in its green color. You will appreciate how commonplace weather such as wind and rain work together, and the great natural forces of destruction such as forest fires and tornadoes build the path for progress. As you ponder how to go about the current puzzle, you will find your mind drifting to thoughts of appreciation and of awe as your eyes appreciate the wonderful interaction of the elements and your ears will enjoy the relaxing melodies of the background music mixed with sounds of the elements at your disposal. This is a game which encourages thought in more ways than one: puzzle solving and also of reflection.

Storm will provide a challenging mental exercise which will have you thinking how to progress. When you’re stuck, it’ll have you lightly reflecting on nature’s wonders. Whether you enjoy hardcore puzzle games or enjoy the casual puzzler, Storm will likely spark fire to your thoughts, blow you into a state of reflection, and wash away a stressful day. Much like nature itself, the smaller annoying parts of it (such as a rainy beach day) can be ignored and you can still enjoy it.

7.5

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Luis Perez Cortes

I’m a graduate student who enjoys combining work with play. While researching entertainment’s role in the learning of English, I also like to maintain myself sane from the reading list mostly by keeping The Reapers in dark space, stopping the newest model of Metal Gear, trying to make it to The Show, and when all else fails, I release stress through the power of the Thu’um.

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