Based upon the 1964 children’s novel of the same name, Storm Boy is an experience. Defining it as a gaming experience doesn’t really fit in this context, with a better description being that it is an interactive book. It’s also rather short and you can earn the platinum trophy in about thirty minutes, so that should give an indication of how simple the experience is. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Storm Boy really does comes across as something that suits a child to play while someone older narrates the story to them as the words appear on the screen. The way the experience is framed would be great to create bonding moments between children and parents, which captures the essence of what the book may have done when it first released 54 years ago. Much of Storm Boy consists of mini-activities that don’t take long to complete and are fairly simple to perform.
These activities include digging up cockles on the beach, flying around, and feeding pelicans by throwing fish at them. It was this last activity and the ‘playing fetch’ activity that had some issues, with aiming and throwing controls failing to have any explanation at all, leading to them being more than a little troublesome. Admittedly it only really takes a couple of minutes to get comfortable with the control scheme. It’s not exactly a high-pressure situation though, as there are no real goals in most of the activities bar a couple that advance the story.
Storm Boy looks good with environments that come across as simple yet deceptively detailed. You could draw comparisons to something like Rime when it comes to the art style, though Storm Boy is perhaps slightly less cartoon-like. The way the words appear on the screen is a nice touch, though they disappear quickly if you keep moving, so you have to make sure you stand still to read the story. Accompanying the attractive visuals, the music composition is light and flows well as the story unfolds, managing to remain pleasant without becoming overpowering.
Storm Boy is an inoffensive and simple experience that would be well suited for a young audience, especially with an adult alongside. It’s much more like an interactive storybook than it is an out and out gaming experience, and keeps everything simple and short. If you want a calming break from the gaming behemoths that are currently out and about, then Storm Boy is a delightful option.
Version played: PS4
Also available on PC, Switch, Xbox One, Android, iOS.