Sandstorm: A Strange, Desperate Journey Into the Desert
This particular desert might be made out of beige pixels and some sound effects, but Sandstorm evokes the desperation and loneliness of the desert even through the computer screen. Sparsely and simply illustrated, the game follows the long journey of a stick figure crossing a desert.
But Sandstorm isn’t Oregon Trail. Every night heralds the arrival of a sandstorm that blots out the screen. Every morning you wake up to find your camel gone and your provisions scattered. Before you can progress, you have to trek out into the sands to find your compass, camel, and anything else. Take too long to find them and night falls again, bringing with it another sandstorm, and you might as well say goodbye to your items forever. Spend too much time crossing the desert and your character begins each day with a little note detailing the slow erosion of his sanity.
Of course, the desert holds its own mysteries. Sandsharks, invisible foxes, magical bats, and other strange animals lurk beneath the sand. Some of them can be harnessed to the wagon to replace a missing camel. Some of them offer other surprises.
A mix of the exploration and survival genres, Sandstorm is a peculiar offering to the indie game world, full of tension and mysteries.