Stem Stumper Review
How many times have you played a game with sound as your only guide? Never you say? Well then hereís a new challenge for you from Ananse Productions. If that challenge seems a bit too complex, you can switch the sonar mode off. When I played Stem Stumper for the first time Iíll admit it was far easier to understand with the visuals turned on. Then I went stealth and switched to sonar mode, navigating Mimea the vine through the various cognition evoking levels. Not only is this game one-of-a-kind, it also helps render a creative thought processes in a way that other games pay little attention to or simply donít address at all. Thatís what really makes this game unique and enjoyable for everyone. The Ananse team is truly breaking new ground for the industry with Stem Stumper.
Kwasi Mensah and the Ananse Productions team saw a problem and asked themselves two simple questions, ďIf not now, then when?Ē and, ďIf not us, then who?Ē Then they set out to begin breaking down the Berlin Wall that has held up the gaming industry for far too long. Indeed you may see this as just a simple game someone made for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but Iím asking you to look at it as much more because Ananse has done something profound. They saw an industry focusing on one thing, the majority of the demographic. Then they realized, consciously or not, that we are in a world where cognitive surplus is at an all-time high. The more accessibility is offered to everyone the more connectedness, understanding, and creativity will begin to spawn. This has been common knowledge for a long time, so itís time to stop focusing on the extrinsic motivations of the societal ladder and see that the world is round and that we all matter.
Okay, so by now you might be wondering what the heck Iím talking about exactly. Stem Stumper allows the game to be played by not just the normal person, but also the visually impaired. There are currently only two other games in the iTunes store that address this demographic at all. I downloaded and played Papa Sangre so I had something to compare with Stem Stumper. Papa Sangre is an audio only game with a vivid three-dimensional audio environment that can scare the sh*% out of you! It is a great game, but does have a flaw that Stem Stumper stomps out. When I was testing Papa Sangre I was in the meeting room at GameZombie and had to max out the volume to try and hear everything in the game. That totally sucked when I woke up some type of beast and was scrambling to turn the volume down and run my character at the same time. What resulted was an iPod on my lap and ears ringing from the blood curdling feeding sounds of what I think was a pig-beast. With Stem Stumper the volume is set at a much more consistent level so this isnít an issue. You can also play Stem Stumper anywhere and not have to worry about looking like a fool by making awkward, fearful facial expressions. Plus it doesnít make you cry yourself to sleep at night. Instead, it rewards the player by exercising the brainís problem solving skills, and without you even noticing because the games objectives are so addicting and fun!
VoiceOver: YES! Okay, so this wonít pertain to most people, but for those of you that it does, youíll appreciate this factor a ton! I tested it out, and it works flawlessly.
Stem Stumper is Ananseís inaugural production. Iíd like to challenge everyone to try it out and support Ananse Productions as they begin paving the way for a vitally important change in the gaming industry! Plus you get to help out someone who is helping others by having fun. Is there really a greater reward in life then having fun with this wisdom that youíre spreading compassion also?