Stolen Thunder ($0.99) by Jason Nowak is an action puzzle game that is both stylish and challenging. If you liked games such as Ticket to Earth and Tavern Guardians, then you will enjoy what Stolen Thunder brings to the table.
The world is a rough place, especially these days, and sometimes all you need to take your mind off of things is a good little game on your iPhone. These are the moments where you can sit down and take a breather and forget about reality for a while, even if it’s just for a few minutes. When I’m stressed, I love to just kick back with a puzzle game, and even though I feel like I’ve gone through all of what the App Store has to offer, I’m always keeping my eyes peeled for new ones. When I saw Stolen Thunder on the App Store, it was one I did not want to miss, and for good reason.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually speaking, Stolen Thunder has a super unique aesthetic that’s definitely eye-catching, to say the least. The game features a minimalistic design with the basic geometric shapes and lines, and the typography is a tad cryptic, which is done purposely to make you think of a futuristic space world that could be filled with aliens (at least that’s what it did for me). There’s also a rather dark background that consists of black mixed with shades of green and purple that will make you think of intergalactic settings, and the other objects that you’ll encounter (keys, enemies, hazards, etc.) are brightly colored with neon hues that provide excellent contrast with the dusky backdrop. Overall, Stolen Thunder’s futuristic graphics have a retro touch to them, as I definitely am reminded of games from the ‘80s, such as Tempest. Stolen Thunder also has an ambient and atmospheric soundtrack that is delightful to listen to, and the sound effects are a nice touch. By the end of the day, Stolen Thunder is a great example of good simple and clean visual and audio design in a mobile game.
Right now, Stolen Thunder features 12 unique challenges for players. While this does not seem like a lot of value for your money at first, there’s actually a good amount of replay value involved. Since the game ramps up the difficulty gradually as you go, it takes time and practice to fully master the game and get the best times possible. This is the kind of game that you will want to go back to until you’ve completed and collected everything, and even finish the stages faster, so it’s great for those who like to challenge themselves while also being perfectionists. Even if you’re not one of those types of people, the game still provides some good entertainment for the launch price. The main goal in Stolen Thunder is to navigate your triangle through a labyrinth of connected pathways in order to get it to the glowing gate at the end, while collecting the three hexagons scattered on each level and avoiding obstacles as best as you can.
Controls in Stolen Thunder are simple enough and allow the player to play the game entirely with just one hand. To move your triangle ship character, just swipe in the direction that you want to go in. The front tip of your triangle is where your thunder weapon is, and to use it, just tap on the screen to strike whatever is in front of you. Sometimes you will need to do a bit of repositioning to get the triangle to face your target, since if you bounce back from hitting a wall, you revert back to that original direction you were facing. If you want to move faster, just swipe-and-hold to continuously move. You can’t fall off of the path since the game just pushes you back on platforms, so at least you can’t die by falling off, though there’s plenty of other ways to die in this game.
As I mentioned earlier, the goal of Stolen Thunder is to reach the end gate while collecting the mint green hexagons and avoiding hazards and enemies. Enemies will be fairly obvious in appearance (hot pink with a yellow “x”), so strike them down before you encroach on them, because you lose a life (the upside down caret ^ objects) if you run into them, or other obstacles like fire and lightning. There are also yellow walls that you need to break with your lightning strike, as well as switches that may need to be toggled before you can cross. There are also bright yellow keys that open locked gates, which usually hold a shiny hexagon behind them. If you lose a life, you can refill your gauge by finding lonely carets along the pathways, but don’t think that you’re invincible.
You’ll also find other things as you get further along, such as cloning machines, so you’ll have to work as a team and switch freely to solve the puzzles. The map can also be zoomed out so you can clearly see where you need to go. Other levels may be continuously moving in a direction, so you have to think and act quickly to survive, because you’ll die instantly if you fall behind.
Accessible one touch puzzle challenge with futuristic graphics.
The graphics in this game are unique, since they're both futuristic but with a retro touch as well. The ambient music is soothing so it helps you focus on the puzzles that are laid out in front of you. While there are only 12 levels, they ramp up in difficulty and you'll want to replay them to get all of the orbs and even beat your previous time. Controls are simple enough to allow the player to play with just one hand, making it a great game to play while waiting around.
The responsiveness of the controls could be tweaked a bit to be better streamlined, as I had a few misguided swipes that made me go in the wrong direction. There should also be more levels, because 12 may not seem like a lot to some people, especially for a paid game.
I’ve only started playing Stolen Thunder this morning but so far I love the experience. The retro-yet-modern graphics are nice eye candy, the music is soothing, and the controls are simple and intuitive, though sometimes the responsiveness can be a bit off (detects wrong direction when I swipe). The provided levels are definitely challenging, though I still would prefer more stages added in the future. Regardless, Stolen Thunder is still a good action puzzle game for your iOS device, and it’s pay-once-play-forever, which is nice to see in the days of freemium.
I recommend Stolen Thunder if you’re a fan of puzzle games with a bit of action in them. You can find Stolen Thunder on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for $0.99 for a limited time. There are no in-app purchases.