Played On: PS4*
Available On: PS4/PS3/PS VITA/Wii U
Released On: May 30th, 2013(PC), August 5th, 2014(PlayStation consoles) and November 6th, 2014(Wii U)
Developer: Curve Studios, Facepalm Games
Publisher: Facepalm Games
Genres: 2D Puzzle-Platformer
ESRB: E 10+ – Everyone 10+
*Review copy was bought by the author*
With The Swapper being a free games with PS Plus, I though it would be a good idea to review the game for people who haven’t had the chance to play it, like me. I know, that the game has been out for a while but this review is just to give you a glimpse of what the game is and if it’s a good download or not. Let’s swap places and get our hands dirty with The Swapper.
Playing a sort of astronaut, you must solve puzzles with the help of a Swapper device. Players must collect orbs to unlock portions of the map, which helps the progression of the game. The story can be a bit confusing because you are not told at the beginning what you’re doing, what you’re looking for or anything of that nature. What I understood about the game is that you are trying to figure out what happened to the abandoned space station Theseus, which is filled with rocks called “Watchers”. The device used during the games is created from what was learned from these “Watchers”
I really found that the story was lacking at the beginning. I went a good part of the first couple of area wondering what the game was about and why am-I doing all of this. The best way to understand all of this is reading the terminal messages you collect in the process of the game. Besides that, you only get occasional interaction with an NPC in a blue moon.
A fun little factoid about The Swapper is that the game was made in parts using clay-mation to design stages of the game. Going into the game with that in mind, you can see it, but it doesn’t look choppy or out-of-place. Everything is balanced and well done. Keep in mind that the game was made by an indie developer and I personally enjoyed the visual aspect of the game. to be honest, I wasn’t going to play the game until I saw some footage on Youtube that made me think twice about that decision. It’s not the visuals of the century but it has that clean-cut, straight-forward look that demands to be watched, and rightfully so.
If you jump into The Swapper thinking you will be killing stuff, well, you should turn around and leave because this is a genuine puzzler. I’m usually not a fan of the puzzle aspect of some games but this one does it well. Like I said before, you use The Swapper device to move around and clean puzzle. The device can duplicate the player up-to 4 times and lets you transfer to anyone of them, as long as they are in range of the device. Note that all clones move and do exactly what you do, which adds to the challenges to come.
Players can collect the clones by either killing them or overlapping them. Also adding to the difficulty of the games are some of the lights. If you have a blue light, you cannot create a clone in that light. If try to swap between clones when there’s a red light between both of you, it won’t work. If you see purple lights, you can’t do both, not swap or create. You’ll have a fun time with this feature because the puzzles are well made.
Talking about the puzzles, you must complete them using your clones and get to the floating orbs. These will help unlock the game. Using a combination of lights, gravity reversal pads and switches, gamers must figure out what is the easiest way to get the orbs. These can get really tough after a while because you get levels with multiple switches and crazy light combinations. I was captivated by the puzzles because they were varied and offered a great challenge. I only had one moment where I had to got check on the web to find the solution because I had tried everything possible options for the last hour or so and just could not get it. Still, they’re really well made.
Collectibles come in a couple different forms. You get terminals that will give you some insight about what happened and a better understanding of device in your hand. You can also collect quotes from the “Watchers” rock across the map, which are quite confusing and don’t make a ton of sense most of the time. The terminals are really easy to get, except if you are trying to get the trophies/achievement because you must find secret rooms to find these secret terminals, which I honestly didn’t event find one while I was playing. These collectibles are a fun little add-on that helps to understand the game a bit more.
There’s not much spoken words in the game except the occasional interaction between a random encounter and bit more towards the end of the game. The main feature of The Swapper, when it comes to the audio side of things, is the mood music while you play. It doesn’t stress you out when trying to solve some of the harder puzzles, which is nice. The sounds and music are well-chosen for the game and help immerse the player very well.
The Swapper is an all around fun game to play. The visuals are different and enjoyable. The gameplay mechanics are easy to learn but give you a challenge while playing it. The music gives you a nice little backdrop while you play and the collectibles are a fun little touch that adds to the story. The biggest hiccups about the game is the lack of explanation at the beginning, which I really didn’t quite understand what I was doing until a bit into the game. In the end, the concept of the swapper device as the way you interact with everything is a big seller and it works. If you got PS Plus or just looking for a game on steam, you should check this game out. It’s worth the 5-7 hours you will be putting in.