Physics-based indie puzzler Storm has just been released on the US PlayStation Store and (surprise!) it features PlayStation Move compatibility.
SCEA has since pulled Storm from the US PlayStation Store, and PSNStores speculates it might have something to do with Microsoft publishing polices.
Developed by EKO Software and published by Zoo Games under the indiePub label, Storm is a quite unique puzzle game in which players manipulate weather elements to guide seeds towards fertile soils of nature-themed levels.
Wind moves seeds around. Lightning can break up rocks, set grass on fire and make seeds jump. Rain maneuvers seeds by filling up holes, extinguishing fires and creating bubbles (which can capture seeds for wind-powered aerial transportation).
Secondary elements both complicate and enhance gameplay. Tornadoes strengthen wind, blowing seeds to higher ground. Snow builds up, creating a cushion for seeds to access higher ground. Finally, ice provides a smooth sliding surface for seeds to move across.
Going by the few levels I’ve played (there are 49 in total, arranged across four seasonal themes, from Spring to Winter), Storm is a quite challenging and yet relaxing puzzle game, with good physics and a rather nice 2D graphics style (albeit a bit lacking in terms of visual clarity).
As for the PlayStation Move implementation (which comes as an unexpected feature since it was never announced, to my understanding), it’s rather accomplished even tho it doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary.
The on-screen cursor reacts very smoothly to Move tilting and translations, but it’s not vertically aligned to the controller longitudinal axis. No matter how you calibrate, in fact, the cursor shows up slightly below its supposed position. You therefore have to point the controller slightly upwards to compensate. This doesn’t seem to be a glitch or a sign of bad calibration tho. It’s apparently by design, and results in a rather comfortable alternative to the traditional solution. On a side note, there are no cursor sensitivity options, but the default one is pretty much spot on.
The on-screen cursor of course indicates where to invoke the elemental powers, which are tied to the X (rain), Move (wind) and Trigger (lightning) buttons. Unlike rain and lightning, which naturally descend vertically from the top of the screen, the wind originates from cursor location, and you can also set its direction by positioning the cursor anywhere along a 180 degrees angle below the originating point before releasing the Move button. Wind can’t blow upwards.
By the way, besides pushing seeds around, the wind can also be used to blow flames in a given direction so that fire catches onto nearby grass or logs. Pretty cool. Or rather hot.
Finally, holding down Circle makes the seed disappear and reappear on the last grown tree (trees represent checkpoints), holding down Triangle speeds up the action, while holding down Square while tilting the Move left and right pans the camera in the corresponding direction (the navigation controller is unsupported, so you can’t alternatively pan with its stick).
And this is it, for now. Expect a deeper video analysis as soon as possible.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the official trailer embedded below.
is currently will hopefully be available on the US PlayStation Store for $9.99. No release date nor price has been announced yet for the EU one.