Games based on movies tend to be less than ideal – one need not look further than titles like E.T. the Extra Terrestrial to see this firsthand. Sticky Studios’ Geostorm, based on the movie of the same name, is unfortunately another victim of this terrifying curse.
If the low quality graphics and barebones presentation didn’t tip you off, Geostorm is a port of a mobile game released on Android and iOS. Though there are three different types of control schemes to choose from, none of them seem to work as well as the touch screen devices the game was originally made for. It is far too easy to click or choose the wrong option, forcing players to either die or get stuck in an unwinnable situation. Though there is the ability to see each solution, an “undo” button similar to the one found in titles like Catherine would have gone a long way.
At its core, Geostorm is a puzzle game. Players take control of a CEO, a special forces communication officer, or a weather analyst. These three unsung heroes set out to escape deadly weather situations that have been caused by the malfunctioning weather satellites of Project Dutch Boy, all while uploading the schematics for them. Each character has a different disaster they must deal with – one character may have to deal with a flooded building in Dubai, while another may have to traverse a snowy Afghanistan rife with exploding oil barrels. Though only Dubai is available at first, unlocking the other two is as easy as completing a certain number of levels. It’s pretty basic stuff, and though the different scenarios are nice, players are going to be doing the same thing for each character.
The action of Geostorm is set up in a grid format, with each “move” consisting of the character moving to a different tile. There are some actions you can take in certain areas, whether it be pushing desks, grabbing an axe, or driving a truck. Some of these are used in unique ways, but some areas can get downright repetitive. Dragging a box along for multiple grid spaces can get tiresome fast, and feel like busywork. Some of the solutions are more clever than others, but most of the time movement and solutions have such a runaround process to complete them that they quickly get annoying.
Each character’s arc will take around 45 minutes to complete, though there is the ability to replay levels and complete alternate objectives. These objectives will net you additional schematics, which do…absolutely nothing. Completionists may want to 100% the game, but those looking to unlock new content (like the ISS IV) will have to pay up for the DLC.
Geostorm drags puzzles out for far too long. Diehard fans of the genre might get some enjoyment out of this one, but the rough mobile port job and repetitive nature will turn a lot of people off.