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The Swapper Review

The easiest way to solve a puzzle to get someone else to help you with it sometimes, in this case just make multiple versions of yourself!

The Swapper is an atmospheric puzzle platformer set in space is the first game developed by Facepalm Games and was supported by Indie Fund. The game was originally on steam and was later ported by Curve Studios to consoles. The Swapper also won and was nominated for many awards including Indie Showcase Winner for Develop Conference in 2011 and Special Recognition Award Winner for IndieCade in 2011.

In The Swapper, you take control of the character aboard the space craft and begin to traverse the area. After a little while you’ll be shown that you have an experimental device that allows your character to clone oneself and swap positions (minds) with the clone. You’ll be given a limit to how many clones you are able to produce, that being 4. Every time you touch a clone or the die in some fashion that clone will be reset and allow you to reproduce a new clone of yourself.

theswapperscreenshot0Giant ominous machine, what could go wrong?

All of this allows for very interesting puzzles that can really test you as not all of the answers for a puzzle may be clear. Each puzzle can have 3 different color lights that change the actions that you are able to complete within these areas that it shines. Blue lights restrict spawning a clone within the zone, red restricts your swapper to pass through the zone and purple restricts both of the functions.  You’ll have to work around these obstacles in order to solve the puzzle, such as having a clone hold down a switch, moving a block to block the light from shining,or turning completely upside down to pass through a blocked area.

When I think puzzle games, The Swapper tweaks the formula a nice bit that allows for a whole new experience and failing at a puzzle never once felt like a bad thing. There’s no penalty for failing aside from restarting a short puzzle from the beginning. This allows you to experiment on the puzzles till you get it right, just like they experimented with the swapper/clone device. The puzzles vary in difficulty but adding enough of a challenge each time that it just feels like regular progression.

theswapperscreenshot1Why teleport when you can swap!

The story for The Swapper is a dark and interesting one, you learn about everything happening on the ship and it doesn’t feel just thrown onto the game as something for you to listen to as you progress through the puzzles. Every rock, monitor and even hidden monitors add to the story and atmosphere of the game. I started off the game not paying attention to the story much and threw it off as another puzzle game trying to add content, but it kept adding new information and intrigued me to the point that I read every tidbit of information that came up on the screen right up until the ending which left me sitting there thinking about the whole story and context of everything that surpassed in the game.

As you progress in the game, you’ll encounter the only areas in the game that I felt like didn’t add anything worthwhile to the game and more so frustrated me a little. These areas were the in space levels where you had to use your swapper as a thruster and project yourself in the direction that you wanted to go. Not only did these areas just feel useless to me, the controls for the swapper itself are a little off sometimes so it wasn’t a pleasant time when those areas come up. Thankfully there are only about three of them within the entire game.

theswapperscreenshot3Even in space, you need to have time to garden.

Overall for The Swapper, it’s a great puzzle game and a great short story to enjoy. Anyone who is on the fence for this game should definitely pick it up as it definitely stands out against the rest of the crowd. Even players who may not be into puzzle games should be able to find something within this game to enjoy. The atmosphere, story, music and puzzles all bring The Swapper to be a great game and experience for anyone to enjoy.

The Swapper

The Swapper
9

Overall Game Rating

9/10

    Pros

    • Intriguing Story
    • Interesting mechanics
    • Great Puzzles

    Cons

    • Space Areas
    • Certain Controls

    About Joshua Rodgers

    Profile photo of Joshua Rodgers
    Joshua lives in Newfoundland, Canada, and since he first got his hands on a gameboy and played Mario has been hooked on video games. He likes playing all sorts of games, but especially Music and RPGs. He's studying to be a programmer, and aspires to create a game of his own one day.

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