Storm Review: Just Another Indie Platformer
Storm, indie developer Eko Studio’s indie platformer has finally made its big Steam debut. What was originally made for the console has now been ported to the PC and is available for 25% off (Until July 4th). But if you’ve found your way to this review and you’re trying to decide if it’s worth the $7.50-$10.00, my answer is: maybe.
Unlike other platformers where the player controls a character, in Storm the player has control over the elements. It makes the game feel more like a physics puzzle indie platformer hybrid, and is a unique combination of the two similar genres.
To be honest there isn’t a whole lot to say about the gameplay. Just like so many other games in the genre it’s got some challenging puzzles. What starts with simple mechanics and a single element quickly turns into a game that requires some trial and error to get the timing of different elements just right. It’s not bad gameplay, but the original set-up of the cool physics platformer combonation quickly wears off, and Storm is left with normal, basic gameplay.
If I was going to pick out a reason to play Storm over other platformer and puzzle games, it would be the lack of needing to constantly restart levels. The ability to restart from the last checkpoint, which there are numerous of during each level, allows players to get right to the part of the puzzle that’s giving them difficulties. It’s nice to not have to constantly redo half of a puzzle over and over again, just to get to the part I’m stuck on.
One issue I encountered was the control set-up. Fairly early in the game the lightening element is introduced, which is triggered with the middle mouse button. Normally I’d be playing my computer games at home, where I have a nice desktop computer set-up. But this week I’m visiting family in another state, and only brought my laptop. This is one of the reasons I decided to check Storm out, because indie platformers can easily be run on my aging laptop with minimal controls.
But I found myself on the sixth level without a mouse, and configuring the middle mouse button to be easily accessed was a bit of a chore. Sure, this is a laptop user only problem, but seeing as how this game was originally released for consoles awhile back I would have liked to see some more differences between the Xbox and PC version. Luckily, if you prefer to play with a controller, it’s easy to sync up an Xbox 360 controller with Storm.
The other major issue I had with Storm was mechanical. Half the time I boot up the game I find myself with an annoyingly glitchy screen. Not just a little glitchy either, but to the point that I feel a headache before I’ve selected my saved file. Pair this with a couple of in-game mechanic glitches, and text popping up problems, and it makes the game a little frustrating. Of course, mechanical issues are to be expected from any video game, especially from indie developers that don’t have large teams able to constantly tackle these issues. But still, Storm had more mechanical flaws than I usually would expect from a $10 platformer.
If you’re a fan of the genre then Storm might be worth checking out. But after playing through the majority of the game, I’ve come to the conclusion that Storm isn’t really bringing anything that new to the table. It’s a great choice if you’ve finished all of your other puzzle platformer games, but if you still have uncompleted levels in Braid or Limbo, I’d finish those first.
This review was conducted after 4 hours of PC gameplay through the Steam library.