It seems there's no limit to how games can be made more and more minimal on smartphones, hiding their austere gameplay behind beautifully stylish visuals.
It feels like something we should complain about. Like 'dumbing down,' only instead it's more akin to 'excessive minimalising.'
A bit like chocolate bars going 'bite sized'. Yeah, we should complain, but the truth is we're kinda enjoying this trend, when it's executed well, as it is in Storm Rush.
We're enjoying it for now, anyway, but we do reserve the right to start moaning about minimisation later on.Infinite twitching
The mechanics of Storm Rush, as you've guessed from the semi-rant above, are very simple.
It's an endless racing game that slims the controls down to fast jumps across the track. There are only a few positions to worry about, so zipping between left, centre and right is all you're charged with, which makes Storm Rush easily one of the most ascetic racing games we've ever played.
The undulating, twisting tracks are dotted throughout by coloured towers that need avoiding. Run into one, and it's game over, so all you're doing is chasing your last time with no other game modes included.
Each round is generally super quick, with anyone who can last for a minute reasonably being considered an expert.
Your score is calculated to two decimal places, which is an effective method of helping you to beat previous times that flew past before you'd even noticed they'd begun.
But all this begs the question, what else does Storm Rush have going for it, then? The answer is it's got more going for it than you'd think for such as simple game, but less than you'd expect from a racer that wants to earn a permanent position on your home screen.Beneath a steel sky
The game takes its name from the lashings of atmosphere that it's design is founded upon. While you've no visible vehicle to look at, the skies in the distance are rolling with ominous, heavy clouds, which are reflected in the silvered tracks beneath your unseen tyres.
It's a beautiful effect that lends Storm Rush something of a polished, Tron-esque veneer. This is further amplified by the tiles that are used to build up both the track and its obstacles, which can be seen flying into place in the far distance, building the circuit as you go.
While being a very superficial aspect of Storm Rush, this is where its real appeal is found, and it's the abundant style that keeps you playing time and time again.
Some variance in the track layouts would be a welcome addition, however. Procedurally generated levels are becoming increasingly essential in infinite runners, and while Storm Rush changes things up on occasion, you're repeatedly racing through familiar territory pretty quickly.
And while it's hard to say what additional games modes might entail, Storm Rush could use a little more meat on its admittedly good-looking bones to ensure we're still playing a month from now.
As it is, we anticipate a week or two of high score chasing before the novelty wears off and we forget all about the game's few charms.