Storm review for XBLA, PSN, PC

Platform: Xbox Live Arcaede
Also On: PSN, PC
Publisher: indiePub
Developer: Eko Software
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Puzzle games have come and gone since the early days of Tetris to the now popular Candy Crush Saga and have even evolved into games like Braid and Limbo, but every now and again a game comes along that will allow you to stretch your brain without feeling the rush of time limits against you.  Storm fits perfectly in that category as it is a charming, calming game that relies mostly on timing and puzzle solving rather than speed and quickness.

Storm by indiePub and Eko Software is a delightful game that is simple in premise, but rewarding in complexity upon completion.  The concept is simple, you begin with a tree in which a seed is born, you use the elements of Mother Nature such as rain, wind, and yes even storms to take that seed from that tree and move it to a fertile area in which a new tree will grow.  Where the challenge lies is how each of the game?s 50 levels forces you to use your brain to find out just how you will get the seed from one place to the fertile zone or zones.  It is this level design where Storm shines as it takes a special kind of developer to not only use physic based objects, but not only to get them to move at the gamer?s will, but successfully execute those maneuvers properly and without glitches or bad mechanics.


To say that Storm is a walk in the park is an understatement. While you may be given hints and pointers in the beginning on how which element at your disposal will be the most successful, it takes a keen brain and steady reflexes to get It all down pat. This can result in a few or more frustrating moments, even if it?s designed to create such feelings, which is part of the charm in these types of puzzle games in the first place. Some levels you will literally stare at for minutes trying to figure out which move to make first, and of course a lot of trial and error are also involved when attempting to deduce each level to completion.

While Storm may not be the most mesmerizing game on the market or even come close to pushing the limits of the platform you are playing on, it?s the game?s watercolor-like art work and soothing orchestrated tracks that will put you in that addictive trance that good puzzlers tend to do so well.  There are glimpses here and there of technical awe, but this game will not impress your friends to the point where that they rush out and pay money for a new console either.


As I mentioned before, there are plenty of puzzles to merit the 10 dollar price tag, but on top of that you are presented with additional modes to take those same levels to different heights.  You have of course your Adventure Mode that is the most relaxing of the game as well as the Main Mode where you will gain most of your gaming skills.  Free Mode is basically the same but you now have an option to beat the time of your previous attempt.  Now while the game doesn’t put a running clock to frazzle you nerves, you are timed so that if you choose to play Free Mode you have an additional objective to look forward to, but again, in Adventure Mode time is not a weighing factor in your success.  Lastly you have Spirit Mode in which you not only have to complete those levels again, but find a way to nab the spirits that are present in each level, which may have you using the elements differently to reach the spirits that you would to get to the next fertile area.  Spirit is one that you will want to visit once you’ve mastered the Adventure Mode for sure.

Storm isn’t a game that is going to knock your socks off, but what it does do is provide a nice puzzle game for the fans who like their brand of puzzles a little more laid back and thought-oriented versus time and speed oriented.  If you enjoyed games like Braid, there is plenty to love about Storm as it is original, thought provoking, and most of all fun.

Grade: B