A while ago we reported on Storm Boy because the idea of a friendship between a young boy and a pelican called Mr Percival caught our hearts and more importantly our attention, and recently we've been seeing how the game plays out for ourselves as we dived into this tale for ourselves on the Nintendo Switch.
The game brings to life the 1964 children's book of the same name by Colin Thiele and takes us to the coast of South Australia, where we play as the titular Storm Boy who has moved there with his father to become a hermit and escape everyday life in Adelaide. In fact, there's only one other person who lives there, an Aboriginal Australian called Fingerbone Bill, and so life is pretty quaint and quiet for Storm Boy.
This is one of those games where you move right on the screen in a 2.5D fashion, meaning you can only go one way but the environment and the characters are all 3D models. The simplicity of the controls are reflected in the mini-games you play, from drawing in the sand on the beach to swimming with the fishes, and all of this is optional entertainment for your journey.
Almost all of the game takes place on the beaches and sand dunes, and everything is placid in its presentation. The summery colours are assisted by the delicate soundtrack, meaning all in all it's a pretty peaceful place to go as you journey with Mr Percival and take part in all the fun activities that a boy and his animal friend can get up to.
This is really the game version of a children's book in both tone and content, as this is clearly designed for young audiences, hence the basic mini-games and controls. Even the narration on screen is delivered as you walk along in small and manageable sentences, and the story itself clearly has a message to deliver.
That said, we were still a little disappointed at the incredibly short length that would match a children's book too. The whole thing, mini-games and all, took us just over 15 minutes to complete, and while that's great for a child, it's still very short even with the low price point of £4.79.
But what about replayability though? Well this is a game designed for kids of a primary school age (between 3 and 10, we'd argue) and the mini-games are simple enough for you to go back to and enjoy, especially since you can quickly access each in the menu once the first playthrough is done. It's not going to extend the game by hours, but it's definitely something that kids might enjoy revisiting, like sliding down the dunes as Mr Percival watches patiently.
This is the perfect game to perhaps play with your young child before bedtime, as it's got great lessons to teach and some simple but fun exercises to enjoy, all wrapped up in a bow with a lovely little soundtrack and visual style. That said, it's still very short and might not be one to try on your own unless you really love pelicans and want something to keep you entertained for a bus ride (and a short one at that).