It's always refreshing to be introduced to a game mechanic that you've never quite seen before. It's even better when that game takes said mechanic and elevates it to something pure and sublime, something that, to borrow a cliché, can always be replicated but never exactly duplicated.
In a few ways, The Swapper reminded me of Super Metroid. Not in terms of gameplay (this is a puzzle game, not a Metroidvania), butrather its cosmic setting, similar-looking map overlay, and oh yeah doors that look exactly like those in Super Metroid. It takes some serious gall to create an allusion to such a classic game, since doing so immediately brings to mind thoughts of top quality and legacy.
Luckily, The Swapper can get away with it just fine.
The Swapper (PC) Developer: Facepalm Games Publisher: Facepalm Games Release Date: May 30, 2013 MSRP: $14.99 / £11.99 / €13.99
The Swapper's plot begins as a seemingly standard space story complete with a mysteriously vague stranger talking nonsense about who knows what. It quickly turns into a philosophical debate about metaphysics that, despite its complex ideas, is surprisingly easy to follow. It seems a bit strange and obtuse at first, but as the pieces fall into place the story becomes one of the most thought-provoking and interesting stories in a long time.
The classic mind-body problem is debated and yet, at the same time, remains so brilliantly relevant to the game's central mechanic that it still blows me away. Rarely does a serious discussion of philosophy tie so flawlessly into a game's mechanics that it just makes so much damn sense. The story and discussion don't feel out of place, forced, or at all poorly done.
It definitely helps that the writing is incredibly solid all throughout The Swapper. The story unfolds through conversations with the stranger as well as through memory terminals scattered around the map. These terminals will slowly reveal the history of what has happened, and even give some insight into the current predicament.
The voice acting is likewise great, providing very believable voices and delivering charming, yet eerie lines that are sure to make the player a bit uneasy. All of these elements culminate at the very end of the game to create one of the best videogame endings I've had the pleasure of experiencing. Even thinking about it now gives me chills.
The main mechanic in The Swapper revolves around the aptly named Swapper gun that the main character wields. This gun allows players to not only create up to four clones of themselves with the right-mouse button, but to then "swap" to any one of the clones in range, taking direct control of them by firing a beam at them with the left mouse button. The trick is that each clone exactly mirrors the player; if the player moves left four steps, so does each and every clone.
There are some tricky maneuvers to be pulled off with the Swapper, but luckily time slows down to a crawl while attempting to place a clone with the gun. There's something oddly satisfying about falling hundreds of feet, only to slow down time, create a clone just above the ground, and instantly switch to it right before the "previous you" falls to his death and crumbles. And yet, at the same time, it's a bit harrowing to see the body you just inhabited die right before your eyes.
Colored lights within the puzzles prevent the player from performing certain actions: blue lights prevent the player from creating clones while red lights prevent any attempted swapping. They even sometimes combine to make a purple light, restricting any use of the Swapper device whatsoever. The puzzles never wear out their welcome since the game will take most players under five hours to complete, and enough new puzzle elements are introduced to always keep things feeling fresh and challenging.
Puzzles usually consist of putting clones on top of pressure plates in order to open areas or turn off colored lights. The goal of each puzzle is to collect orbs, which in turn allows the player to access sealed off areas of the map. Some puzzles are definitely easier than others, but the difficulty never seems way too hard or laughably easy. Some puzzles will definitely have players sitting at their computer with a hand on their chin and squinted eyes pointed at the screen, thinking hard about the problem they face. Hopefully this is followed by a huge grin, knowing that the puzzle is behind them and they kicked its butt.
Now let's get to the real star of the game: the aesthetic. The Swapper was hand crafted in clay and other common materials, creating one of the most aesthetically unique games I have ever played. The colorful lighting plays well with the hand crafted clay and creates an eerie atmosphere that truly feels alien. This game is absolutely gorgeous in motion. A lot of love went into this style, and it has paid off in spades.
There are certain moments in this game that are sure to take your breath away. There is a strong emphasis on the sense of scale at just the right times to create memorable impressions and feelings of insignificance in the great void of space. Players may find themselves occasionally thinking more about the great emptiness of their surroundings instead of the next puzzle.
This game is beautiful, plain and simple.
I came away from The Swapper with nothing but amazement. From the first time you see the literally hand-crafted visuals until the final moment in the game, which is sure to give you pause for thought, you will be in complete awe. Brilliant puzzles with even more brilliant solutions compliment the philosophical plotline, leaving an unforgettable experience unlike any other.
Niero Desu Photos and videos are back on quickposts but clipping on some devices. We're going to add a new quickpost editing interface so photos and videos can only be displayed one way (a la twitter) to solve this. Also, a My cBlog link was added to your user menuFlegma Machine-washed my Wii Fit meter yesterday by accident. Took the battery out and let it dry for the night. Luckily the meter still worked - but it had counted a fair number of steps more that day.Agent9 Finally killed Ludwig, now if I could only get passed the 2 hunters on the second floor. that 2 some is rather annoying,and her holy blade kills in only a few hits. wish mine was that strong. Casus Gaming After reading a blog post about DMC4 I decided to watch all the cutscenes on Youtube. Tried the games years ago and couldn't get into them, but man that shit was stylish. Likeable protagonists, intense drama... still think DmC reboot wasn't that bad tho.lewness me on 1st ff14 raid (void ark): ooh so many people and lights, so many lights, lights, fuck I can't see, what is happening, i don't understand, is it tuesday already, get on the platform fuuuuck, wow void helmPixie The Fairy Just a reminder that you have until the 30th to get your Bloggers Wanted post, "Thankful it's over" in. I'm either going to tell you how I ruined my best online gaming experience or rip Twilight Princess a new one. Maybe both.Nekrosys Huh. I just found out the developers of Hatred (remember that controversy?) region-locked their game to prevent it from being accessed by Australians. Destructive Creations are more censor-happy than Nintendo, it seems. Where's the outrage?VIRGO Oh yeah, I have an account on this site.Parismio Ever wanted to get that item behind that safe in the beginning of Fallout 4?:
http://ymirsbian.tumblr.com/post/133929995113/thepositivefuture-kuroutsubasaShinta Got Resident Evil 4 Wii for $5. Uh ... this might be my favorite version. I'm just getting headshots nonstop. Did I miss any other Wii games that are frequently overlooked? Like, really obscure Wii games that no one talks about? I'm interested.RadicalYoseph Poeple due not aprecciate teh hrdships of bein a squid.OverlordZetta Guys, check out your blogs! Just be sure to bring tissues. I wish I had. [img]https://i.imgur.com/vq3nuYD.png[/img]The Dyslexic Laywer Anyone see the new Captain America trailer? It's pretty dope!Shinta https://vine.co/v/e30YQw30uTJ
You're welcome.GoofierBrute Update: played through Hyper Dimension Neptunia Rebirth, reminded why I don't like the series, and requested a refund on it and its sequel. Not sure if they'll refund the sequel, but if they honor at least the first, I'll use that money to get Undertale.Nekrosys I hope the new Star Wars movie answers the biggest question I have about the franchise; do Midi-Chlorians poop?OverlordZetta Wow, I feel really stupid. You had to give the Zora King the bottle with the letter in it. Like actually equip the... Wow. Oh, modern gaming conveniences, how I take you for granted.RadicalYoseph Srry abot tye lak of coments latly. As a squid now it haas bcom hrrd 2 tipe. Im a sqiid now.EdgyDude Backing Indivisible can be done with more than just money. Strapped for cash? then spread the word! post about it on Facebook, Instagram, tweet or simply tell your friends. Head to www.support-indivisible.com
Agent9 Even with the help of an old hunter I can only knock ludwig to his holy blade phase -_-
I will kill the jerk, even if it takes me all night.