Storage Warfare

I had never seen Storage Wars on A&E before I picked up Storage Warfare on XBLIG yesterday.  I got it because the concept seemed weird and different.  When I tweeted that this was the next game up for review, I had a few people ask questions like “is there an annoying guy who screams “YEAAAAAH” when he bids?”  Mostly people just bitched about how this was obviously a lazy attempt to capitalize on a semi-popular, semi-obscure cable-based reality television show.  Obviously schlock like Storage Warfare will usher in the fall of gaming as we know it, rendering all previous games obsolete, and burying your Zeldas, Metal Gears, and Skyrims under a mountain of games based on Dog the Bounty Hunter or Honey Boo Boo.

I guess that means the guys behind Storage Warfare must be especially diabolical, seeing how it’s been on iPhone and Android long before it’s XBLIG release yesterday.  Not content to toil in obscurity on iPhone, they had to port to XBLIG, where their title is certain to sell at least 73 copies.  Greedy bastards.

screen2

Who in their right mind would keep a safe with stacks of cash in a storage locker? Wouldn’t that cash have been put to better use by, I dunno, using the cash to pay off the debt to the facility so that they didn’t auction off your shit?

In all seriousness, who gives a shit what the game is based on?  Is it fun should be the big question, which oddly enough, only one person out of twenty asked.  Everyone else moaned in disappointment like they just got done having fellatio performed on them by a dust buster with a broken motor.  Shouldn’t the “is it fun?” question trump all?  I’m open to a game based on pretty much any TV show, as long as it’s fun.  Dead serious.  It could be a game based on PBS’s Charlie Rose Show and I would slap my seal of approval on it if I had fun playing it.  So is Storage Warfare fun?  Kinda.

The concept is you have one year to make as great a profit as possible by bidding on storage lockers.  You start with $1,500 in seed money.  Every month, there’s three auctions, each with three lockers to bid on, and each has a different level of wealth associated with it.  The first auction every month is a skid row style storage unit, the second is the middle class one, and the third is the ritzy one.  You don’t actually get to inspect the items beforehand.  Instead, you see a graphical representation of what is found in each unit.  You bid on the whole locker, not individual items.  If you win, you get to see what you’ve won, and it tallies whether you turned a profit or lost money.  After you’ve completed one full year (36 auctions, 108 total lockers to bid on) the amount of money you have left is ranked on a local-only leaderboard.  That’s the whole game.

I like the idea and I had fun here, but the concept certainly doesn’t go as far as it should.  Among other problems, there’s not a huge variety in items.  Barely halfway through the “year” and I had seen off all but two or three items on the checklist.  Of course, the phone version has had a couple stand-alone expansions, which I’m sure will make their way to XBLIG sooner or later.  A bigger problem is how much luck factors into things.  I tried to play the game smart and cool, passing on some auctions that I felt were getting bid-up by the AI too much.  I finished the year with a profit of about $20,000.  And then I fetched my dear mommy, a fan of the source material, to let her have a go at it.  Unlike me, she bid on EVERY SINGLE LOCKER.  And she won.  She beat me by about $5,000, even though she employed nothing remotely resembling strategy or skill.  I hate that bitch.

It kind of turns Storage Warfare into a video scratch-off ticket.  No skill needed, success is totally based on chance.  The best strategy seems to be figuring out what the average bid the AI opponents will top out at and trying to hit just under that mark on your first bid.  But even then, you’re at the mercy of dumb luck.  Plus, the gameplay is shallow and the replay value is too limited.  Not to mention they missed out on an obvious local-only multiplayer mode where friends and family bid against each-other.  Even my Mom questioned why they didn’t include that.  It’s such a no-brainer that someone without a brain couldn’t understand why such a mode is not included.

I guess comic/guitar/

I guess comic/guitar/samurai sword/Rembrandt collectors have trouble paying their bills.

For all those reasons, I should have probably hated Storage Warfare.  But I didn’t.  It takes about a half-hour or so to run through an entire year and I had fun with it.  Once it was done, I wouldn’t want to play it again, but I don’t feel I wasted my dollar.  What’s here is limited, but undeniable enjoyable.  They probably could go a lot further.  My mother noted that the show (which has an official game on Facebook) is more about conflicts and possibly artificial drama than the actual auctions, none of which is really present here.  Maybe they could make a deeper, character-driven RPG-like experience, but they didn’t.  Storage Warfare is the perfect poster-child for casual gaming: a shallow, stupid time sink that you’ll ultimately ask others to join you with, like some kind of cult indoctrination.

xboxboxartStorage Warfare was developed by 24KT Studios

IGC_Approved80 Microsoft Points noted that a Charlie Rose game could be okay if they did it L.A. Noire style in the making of this review. 

Storage Warfare is Chick Approved and ranked on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard.  YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

One Response to Storage Warfare

  1. Pingback: Indie Links Round-Up: Binary Barrier | The Indie Game Magazine - Indie Game Reviews, Previews, News & Downloads

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