Spoiler alert! Fans in the app store rave about Storm in a Teacup, and it’s easy to see why when you try it. Part Max and the Magic Marker and part Peter Max, it’s like storming through a candy kingdom in a yellow submarine.
It’s game day Friday and apparently it’s weather week, so the game that came to mind for this week’s game review was Storm in a Teacup, an endearing game that has become so popular that developers Chillingo felt comfortable jacking the price by two dollars to $2.99. Considering that it plays well against games like Max and the Magic Marker, it’s well worth the expense.
Storm in a Teacup follows a long line of games descended from Donkey Kong, part adventure, part arcade and part puzzle solving. Chillingo bills the game as puzzle and the free lite version as adventure, which is slightly puzzling, but neither is inaccurate.
Storm in a Teacup requires players to navigate through increasingly hazardous mazes and collect the tokens they need to unlock puzzles and doors.
The model should be familiar: the hero has to travel through hazardous terrain and collect tokens in order to advance to the next level. The hero of Storm in a Teacup is a little boy in a flying teacup who must avoid storm clouds and other hazards as he collects sugar cubes, hearts and keys to unlock doors.
Players control Storm with a jump button and direction buttons. Used in combination, he can fly and motor around realms that gradually change from sunny and bright to dark and ominous. The hazards become more dangerous as well. The key to success is not only figuring out the solution to the maze, but learning how to power him to fly high enough and far enough to reach difficult ledges and avoid falling into hazardous traps.
It takes a little skill. I had to go back and replay the early levels to remember how to properly power the teacup.
In order to reach the highest plateaus, you have to master the jump and direction buttons. Fail to gain the proper momentum and you could crash and burn.
The artwork is incredibly bright and colorful, filled with whimsy. One reviewer in the App Store called it “girly” but I suspect he has issues he needs to work through. He clearly doesn’t recall the sixties or Sergeant Pepper.
As you progress through the game, you can also collect new clothes and cups, allowing you to change the look of the game a little more to your taste. Storm in a Teacup also provides convenient check points so that you don’t have to repeat entire levels should you fall into a trap.
Game play isn’t easy, and I found it more challenging than most arcade adventure games, without being impossible to beat. My only real criticism is that you unlock new levels by beating the level immediately before. This means that if you get stuck at a level, you can’t try an alternate one you haven’t played before.
Some games at least allow players to unlock levels with in-app purchases (which isn’t my favorite approach), but I have found that when players can play multiple levels they often find the solution to an earlier level that stumped them. If they can only advance one level at a time, they may simply abandon the quest.
The puzzles and mazes could be a little more difficult. I don’t feel I have to rack my brains for solutions the way I do with other games in the genre. But the fast pace should make up for the lack of neural challenge.
These two concerns are enough to knock Storm in a Teacup down a rating in my opinion, but otherwise the game is fun and the design delightful. Unless you’re completely afraid to play a girly game, Storm in a Teacup should keep you entertained for hours.
Jenny Manytoes rates Storm in a Teacup
Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Storm in a Teacup. It’s almost psychedelically bright.