Tempest in Crescent City is the second game developed by Global Kids, a not-for-profit that provides afterschool programs to involve inner city youth in new media. Not many inner city youth are crackerjack coders, so they team up with game developers; their first game, Ayiti, was developed by GameLab, and Tempest with Game Pill (warning: annoying Flash-based site that resizes your browser whether you want to or not).
Ayiti was something of a triumph, and among the few serious games we can point to as examples of things that are in fact good games; Tempest is not at the same level, but, well, it doesn't suck.
You play a teen in New Orleans during Katrina ut sequelae, trying to find and save your Mom. In each level, the water level rises; in the first, the levees haven't broken yet, in the second you can wade through the water, and by the third you have to swim. Obstacles you must avoid lose you health, and you have a limited number of lives. However, you can gain "hero points" by interacting with characters you encounter -- e.g., by the second level, you have a hammer you can use to break open the roofs of houses where people are trapped. Enough hero points earn you extra lives.
In addition to lives, however, each level is timed, and must be completed "before nightfall." Serious gamers won't find much of a challenge here, though it may take a game or two before you get the hang of it.
Controls are a little slow, and there are some annoying glitches -- e.g., you have to be standing on just the right spot to break open a roof, not just anywhere on the roof. But as a game qua game, it's not terrible, and the connection to Katrina gives it some emotional impact.