Storm Review – An Indie Seedling Grown into a Mighty Oak

EKO Software's physics puzzler turns heads with it's pretty look and interesting gameplay

Storm is, in many ways, a great metaphor for the rise of the independent development scene as a whole. It began as a bare seedling, with a handful of individuals or very small teams trying to find a way to make games without the aid of a massive studio and countless millions of dollars. The early going was difficult, and there were many obstacles, but through hard work, perseverance, and cleverness that seed was guided to a patch of fertile soil (new indie ecosystems on Steam, XBLA, and PSN) and has flourished and grown into a magnificent tree.

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Storm takes up the mantle from games like Flower and other physics-based puzzlers, though where in Flower you are given control exclusively over the wind, in Storm you can also manipulate lightning and rain in an attempt to shepherd your vulnerable seed to a prime patch of ground in which to take root. You’ll use gusts of wind to guide seeds across chasms, rain to roll them down hills, and lightning to blast away shelves of rock. Later levels require you to take advantage of more advanced weather phenomenon, like snow, embers of fire, and tornadoes to maneuver seeds that are immune to some of your basic abilities.

Storm is divided into 49 levels across the four seasons, and each new season brings new challenges and gorgeous new art. The game’s visuals are tremendous: detailed, vibrant, and colorful backdrops play host to lovely weather effects and animations. A broad palette is used to express the unique character of each season: the verdant, lush greens of spring and summer, the muted earth tones of autumn, the starkness and dazzling white of winter. Supporting all this gorgeous art is a delightful ambient soundtrack that integrates well with the soothing natural themes of the game.

The game has been out on PC for some time now, but just hit PSN and XBLA for around $10. If you’re interested in a beautiful diversion (that entertains for several seasons but does get slightly stale in the late game), Storm is a great option.

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Storm Review – An Indie Seedling Grown into a Mighty Oak
EKO Software's physics puzzler turns heads with it's pretty look and interesting gameplay

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Author
Alan Bradley
Getting played by video games since the '80s. Host of the Pictures Changing Podcast (pictureschanging.blogspot.com) and notorious raconteur.