Kill Screen’s guide to Hurricane Sandy

Kill Screen HQ is boarded up. We’ve stocked up on beans, candles, masking tape and buoyant 16-bit cartridges, and two of every animal. It’s like Tokyo Jungle, but in Brooklyn! Lots of aspirational facial hair.

At any rate, the big one is almost here. 

And this got us thinking about bad weather in videogames. Do games do bad weather well? What does bad weather mean in games? 

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We started with this admirably comprehensive visual history of rain in games, from text adventures to, you guessed it, Heavy Rain. Rain appears to have been rendered for the better part of a decade as a jaquard-like pattern on the screen, signifying without actually looking at all like, rain. Which, fair. Sonic signifies hedghog, but doesn’t look like one.

What’s going on outside right now, though, is really more of a charcoal sky mixed with branch-snapping winds (we did, you’ll be relieved to know, get our coffee). Any discussion of wind in games has to begin with the Aegean currents of The Wind Waker. We can’t forget Flower, or Journey. But what about bad-weather wind? 

May we recommend Tornado Outbreak? This totally forgotten 2009 game for 360 finds you in control of a rampaging tornado. For a game that looks and sounds this trivial, it got shockingly good reviews. It feels empowering to control the weather, rather than to cower in your basement and hope that if push comes to shove, those swim lessons when you were eight stuck. 

So that’s what we’ll be playing, at least until the power goes out. Then: AA batteries and Tetris.