Preview: Storm City Games E3 Lineup

Tucked away in the back of the show floor was a tiny publisher known as Storm City Games, who beckoned to Chris and I with the promise of comfortable leather seating, bottled water, cans of soda, and delicious snacks. Oh, and there were games, too. As I neared the booth area I consulted with one of the PR people present, later identified as Tyler Ager, who looked positively baffled when I asked him if he was the person in charge of demoing their products.

“Were you not expecting anyone to ask?” I inquired, looking around the smallish booth plastered with images of budget Nintendo DS/3DS titles and family friendly programming.

Tyler responded with a nervous smile, and I asked about seeing one of the standout titles on the booth’s posters: Gem Quest: 4 Elements, a shape/color matching Bejeweled clone available as a port to the Nintendo DS from a previously popular PC title. Tyler was gracious enough to provide a DS Lite unit as I slurped soda and grilled him on the specifics. Not your typical puzzler, it offered 64 different levels full of color/shape-matching fun that seemed fun enough and accessible to players of all ages. Granted, it was nothing I hadn’t seen before, but I did linger a little too long there with that simple little puzzler before agreeing to move onto the other game on display at the little booth that neither Chris nor I had planned on stopping by, so that was certainly a testament to how addictive it was. Gem Quest: 4 Elements is budget-priced at $19.99 and turns out that it is already available, but it was a solid puzzler that included plenty of story elements and interesting mechanics that I wouldn’t feel bad recommending it to friends or family who love to curl up with a good time-waster.

We couldn’t stay too long, but Tyler did mention they had another game we might be interested in that was in its very, very earliest stages: a port to the 3DS known as Camaro: Wild Ride. Previously released on the Wii and DS, this title was showcased to us on a 3DS dev unit without so much as a start screen or niceties that indicated the game was even, well, a game. However, the 3D was quite impressive, and would serve as an interesting gimmick for those looking to purchase a racing game for the pricey Nintendo peripheral.

“Nothing’s going on, and then suddenly, a race,” Tyler said with a laugh at the game, obviously in its infancy. I did thank him for showing us a hint at something that hadn’t been released yet, and drank in the sights of this small publisher. Though full of titles you’ll see in the bargain bin, Storm City was unique in that all of their games are appropriate for any gamer in your life, and though the quality of those games may vary, it’s still good to know there are publishers and developers out there who care enough to push the fact that they are accessible to most audiences.

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