Storm Preview

Something is brewing.

Storm, published by Zoo Entertainment, represents the company's new initiative to bring games made by indie developers to a wider audience. There is a wealth of downloadable titles that could become hits with a little exposure. And as an intriguing cross between Braid and Flower, Storm has the potential to make that impression as a physics-based puzzler.

[image1]The concept of Storm is simple: Using the forces of nature, you must carry a seedling from one tree to the next patch of soil, for a new tree to be grown, thereby continuing the beautiful cycle of life. Of course, it's much more complicated than that. Seeds must travel through peaks and valleys, over and under obstacles, and remain unscathed upon the conveyor belt of Mother Nature.

On top of that, some seeds are either immune or extremely fragile to your storm-brewing powers over wind, water, and lightning. Weighted seeds are too dense to be moved by torrential rainfall or wind gusts, and other seeds crumble after several hard collisions or simply degrade over time. If you're playing the tuned Challenge or Spirit mode, that will be a problem.

[image2]Thankfully, as long as you have the right timing and placement, your command over wind, water, lightning is usually enough to solve each puzzle. Not only can you store multiple charges of these core three powers, but you can use tornadoes, bubbles, snow, and ice to assist with the seed migration. Seeds encapsulated by bubbles can be blown by the wind for longer travel, while snow makes the ground softer and ice helps seeds travel along its surface. It's all rather straightforward.

With 49 levels and three game modes, Storm should have a large replay value for a mere $10. Look for it to arrive on PSN, XBLA, and PC some time this year.