Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Swarm

Review: Swarm

2:00 PM on 03.30.2011 // Jordan Devore
  @DtoidJordan

More than any other game I can recall playing, Swarm gets right to the point in its main menu screen. As with all PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade titles, there are the usual options to select from by hitting, in my case, the A button.

Then, you notice a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen, warning you not to hit the Y button. So, like any good gamer, you channel all of your energy directly into your thumb, and hit the Y button with a vengeance.

Upon doing so, the white-eyed Swarmite -- who has been calmly standing in the background this entire time -- well, he dies. In a gruesome way. And every time you hit the Y button, a new Swarmite comes out and gets decapitated, burned, electrocuted, or what have you.

Swarm (PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade [reviewed])
Developer: Hothead Games

Publisher: Ignition Entertainment 
Released: March 22, 2011 for PSN / March 23, 2011 for XBLA
MSRP: $14.99 / 1200 Microsoft Points

Was that intro too morbid? In practice, it's actually pretty funny, and surprisingly light-hearted. Either way, yes -- Swarm is a game about blue creatures called Swarmites who die frequently. These likable fellows have crash landed on a foreign planet, one that has seemingly been custom built to be as dangerous as possible. Luckily for us, the Swarmites are incredibly replaceable.

Swarm initially comes off as something along the lines of Pikmin. You directly control a formation of fifty Swarmites, and the way in which the mob moves isn't unlike the aforementioned game. However, the more you play Swarm, the more you realize it's more of an anti-Pikmin. Instead of going to great lengths to insure the survival of every last minion in your control, you're actively allowing -- causing, even -- your Swarmites to die for the greater good.

In order to progress through any given level (of which there are ten, plus two boss missions), all that's required is getting a single Swarmite to the next spawn pool, which will refill your troops. You'd be shocked by how many times this (getting to the next pool with a single dude) is actually the case. Whether it's jumping across falling platforms, or dodging fire-breathing machines, or charging forward into destructible items, your fifty slowly whittles down.

If you run out, however, you simply go back to the last checkpoint. This brings us to the main point of Swarm: merely beating levels isn't enough. No, you have to score enough points to progress. Throughout any given level, you will earn glowing collectibles, which boost your score multiplier. In some instances, you'll be asked to, essentially, run through a level at breakneck speeds without dropping your multiplier once.

Swarm ramps up the difficulty in its score requirements rather quickly. On two separate instances, I had to play a level four or five times before I could hit the goal; for some people, this is going to be impossible to deal with in terms of their gaming preference. It was manageable for me personally, and I'll add that the levels are very repayable -- especially when you consider the hidden items, and leaderboard competition. With the exception of one particular level, it never feels too "cheap" when you narrowly miss your goal by a few thousand points.

I was able to brute force my way through Swarm in a few hours, and could easily double -- triple? -- that amount of time by going back and getting more competent-looking scores. As we are seeing more and more, this is another case of quality over quantity.

The use of leaderboards is also commendable. In actual levels, your score is always present, and on the map screen, your ranking is integrated nicely. Heck, you're even asked why you aren't as good as InsertGamertagHere by your giant alien mother. This stuff was clearly not an afterthought, which is nice to see. That said, I did have a couple of instances where the game froze, and it seemed to happen when my score was being updated on the global leaderboard. You can switch what scores are outputted, though, and that worked out for me.

It may not look it in the screenshots, but Swarm is fast-paced, and absurdly hectic when you're playing it as intended. Controlling the Swarmites feels very natural, more so than I would have ever guessed, and the production values on the whole are above your average console-bound digital distribution title. It's an out-of-nowhere game for a lot of you, and I suggest giving it a try -- assuming, of course, that the prior talk about demanding score requirements doesn't scare you off.



THE VERDICT

7.5

Swarm - Reviewed by Jordan Devore
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jordan Devore, Managing Editor, Co-EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidJordan Tips
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random. Disclosure: I backed Double Fine Adventure and Awesomenauts: Starstorm on Kickst... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Swarm


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


With The Sudden Outbreak of Resident Evil Remasters...

Shouldn't gaming be more than a digital tableau?

Avengers Academy is a diseased freemium abscess on the taint of mobile gaming

Persona 4 Golden and Positivity

Cblogs of 02/06/16 and 02/07/16 + Lane to Lane Combat within the Storm

What is Metroidvania?

Wanna Bet? Fall 2015 Finale

Conquest of Elysium 4 - Review

The PlayStation Vita: Twice as Bright

Video Gaming Bits -- Magical Date: Doki Doki Kokuhaku Daisakusen

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Gametrailers 2002-2016 :(
ikiryou avatarikiryou
When the waifu addiction gets out of control
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
It is my father fuckin' birthday. I'm 29 today, now and forever. Everyone knows you stop ageing at 29.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
Street Fighter 5 is coming out soon umm Dibs
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Too lazy to put all my favorite Pokemon/Personas/Demons in one image, but Shadow Chie is yet another favorite of mine. DOMINATRIX BANANA HEEEEEEAD! :3
True Green Sphere avatarTrue Green Sphere
I like it when comments suddenly spark new blog ideas in your mind.
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
PSA to the collective Waifu / Pokemon / SMT War combatants. [img]http://i.imgur.com/b4nZwbQ.png[/img]
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Downloading Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. It feels a little weird to be installing a game on the Vita that isn't porn, if I'm being perfectly honest.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
There's gonna be enough copies of both Fire Emblem: Birthright and Fire Emblem: Conquest that I shouldn't really feel the need to preorder them at Best Buy, right? I want to get both versions (I buy physical only) and I'm worried they won't have enough.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I see your "favorite Pokemon" and "favorite demon" and raise you a "favorite full party"!
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Man they really blue balled me hard with that Ip Man vs Mike Tyson fight.
Parismio avatarParismio
Well, I did it. I pre-ordered Fire Emblem Fates. Guess who I'm siding with?:
LynxAmali avatarLynxAmali
First Electric Playground and Reviews on the Run, now GameTrailers. Some people just want to watch the world burn. If you excuse me, I'm going to go cry and weep in a corner.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
GameTrailers just announced on Facebook they're shutting down. It's a damn shame, since I rather liked them, despite not agreeing with a lot of what they've said. Best of luck to everyone who worked there.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
That's a really short campaign Destiny has isn't it? Wow lol
Niwannabe avatarNiwannabe
Goddamn I'm excited for Street Fighter V. This is gonna be my first Street Fighter ever, and Ryu being in Smash is definitely helping me transition to more traditional fighting games. I'll probably end up playing Chun-Li anyway, though.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I'm just now 2/3 of the way done with Tearaway Unfolded's campaign, 45% to 100%. This game is really long!
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
You people love your Persona, having never played any of them would I appreciate 4? It should be known I found Valkyria Chronicles too anime-y to enjoy though.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
One week to go. Oh ho ho ho.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
What I've gathered from the quick posts the last two days is that demons from SMT look like genitals.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -