The Swapper is another release on the Wii U Eshop from Curve Studios. I have previously played and reviewed their first title Lone Survivor and found it to be a positive, but not a perfect gaming experience. They are a quality developer porting games to the Wii U and I appreciate them bringing their work to my chosen console. They may be ports of PC games mostly, however they are very different from what we currently have and variety is what I want on my console.
The game is Sci Fi themed with everything from graphics and sound to storyline. I feel with this in mind, everything is good overall. Having said that, the game is about what you can do, there is a hint in the title too, you can swap. Swap what, you say? Swap yourself, with clones, using a laser guided gun, once you shoot a clone out, you can transfer yourself into it and use that as your main control body. At the same time, your clones and even your previous bodies follow your movements as you make them. Man I’m confusing myself, but it is actually simple enough. Shoot, swap, move and so on. Solving puzzles in this unique way is what the game’s core is. What I will say is, as simple as it starts; well it gets a lot more complicated as it gets on.
Red coloured lights stop your line of sight from shooting a clone onto a certain area, white coloured lights stop you swapping yourself into clones and then there are chasms to clone swap up or down, timing puzzles and a wide variety of things to make you think. Frustration happens regularly, but also satisfaction when you get on past a hard part in particular.
I do like this game, however it isn’t perfect. I found the controls to be a bit off when moving the main character. The graphics are nice for the setting, but dull at the same time. I appreciate the fact it is made by clay, but it’s often too dark to be appreciated. The sound is nice and atmospheric but not outstanding either.
The story itself is ambiguous, you are an astronaut stranded on a space station and from there you find the ‘Swapper’ device and use it to explore the space station. The further you get on, more and more is revealed. It’s quite a challenge to the mind; I find it an unsettling play as you feel out of your depth and lost in every step. At the same time you soon realise, you have to kill your clones to progress; killing yourself multiple times is a disorientating prospect.
It takes about five hours to play through and the game play doesn’t vary that much, the puzzles all involve the same thing round about, replays could be had for collecting collectables that have been missed perhaps. There are no enemies to speak of like other types of 2d adventure games, so action fans may be left wanting. Also the game pad is used for off TV play or a map, its use is fine.
To me it is another unique experience relying on ambiguity and atmosphere, not that this is a bad thing. That’s okay, there just seems to be getting to be a lot of the same type of thing for me. The price point is eleven pounds and ninety nine pence, that about matches the versions on other gaming platforms. I still feel myself this is a bit steep for the game, it is a great unique experience and you can see how much work that has been put in to it make it as good as it is. I just feel like as good as it is, I just didn’t find myself enjoying it as much as others, but I still appreciate it as a game. I would recommend this one, but only to those who it would suit, if you like a slow pace, tough puzzles and unique atmosphere, then this is for you, otherwise maybe not!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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