Curtis says: I had fun watching the lights and the sounds – the music is very soothing. As for the lights, it’s mesmerizing; I was staring for a good 10 minutes with my mouth open! When I’m a bit older (ok, quite a bit older) I can actually play this, since there is a kids’ mode where the puzzles are made easier by letting us little ones see the balls as they travel through the maze.
Pathstorm is easily the best game I’ve played so far this year, and I’ve played QUITE a number of them. The gameplay is very accessible and simple, and yet offers limitless possibilities and unlimited gameplay via user-generated content. For $20 this is more than reasonable. For $6.99 this is a steal!
In each level of pathstorm you are presented with a shape with holes on the sides where balls can exit and enter. Balls travel somewhat like lightbeams in the free game Reflexions, bouncers like mirrors, and then splitters create extra balls. To make things more interesting, the entire map is covered until you figure out where the bouncers/splitters/etc are on a given path. The paths of the balls are also hidden, and the only thing you have guiding you is a blink or a sound when the ball hits something. This quickly get complicated by the fact that balls have a “right” path and a “wrong” path, and some bouncers have to be adjusted before the level can call it quits. Some bouncers are also switchers – they flip when a ball hits it until you find it.
It gets harder from there – splitters change one ball into three, and shifters shift the ball over one square in the direction that they are spinning in. Twirlers add another layer of complexity to the mix, but you won’t encounter them for a while.
To make the game easier for kids, there is a kids’ mode where the ball is visible through paths you have already cleared. This might not sound like much, but you’d be surprised how much easier the game is. I find it to be a great teacher of logic and deduction, but it does require a child whose attention can be held for more than a few minutes.
What I love about Pathstorm is the extendability and the amount of gameplay in this little game. There are 130 levels in the standard mode – which gets reset and randomized every time you start the anew; 60 levels in challenge mode, and in the puzzle creator you can randomize and create any square shaped level. You can also save off any level as a favorite, send it to your desktop, and upload it so other people who has the game can also play it. Speaking of the forum, there are more individual levels you can download off the official Cavedog forums…and if you read the posts, it seems like an official custom levels creator could be in the making.
You can save and exit at anytime during a level and start exactly where you left off. Each level typically takes around 5 minutes, but if you’re going for perfect, it could take you quite a few tries. Trophies are awarded when you get perfects and go without the power-ups.
The graphics in Pathstorm take advantage of hardware acceleration and is as well done as it can be. Music and sound are both lovely – the background music is stunning, actually. I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a good puzzle. Personally, I’m addicted!