The Swapper Review

Platform: PC Publisher: Facepalm Games Developer: Facepalm Games
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: Puzzle-Platformer Rating : Teen

 
The Swapper takes place on a mostly abandoned Theseus Space Station in the distant future.  Not much is known about the mysterious Space Station but reveals clues slowly about the tragic events that caused evacuation.  The mysterious atmosphere paired with the ominous music creates a sense of exploration and wonders beyond the next puzzle.  The main protagonist never talks but instead it gets you to question yourself throughout the adventure.  “The Swapper” Is a device that allows you to make clones of yourself with a single shot and then swap bodies with your clones.  The questions start to become darker as you progress through the game though. “How far would you go to live?  Is it ok to kill a clone? Was the body I swapped with me apart of me?  Did I kill a part of myself while saving me?”  The game begs for you to answer these questions and even leaves you with a decision that could ultimately reveal to you what your take is on the subject subconsciously.  The story isn’t going to make you cry, laugh, or win awards.  But what it will do is make you question a part of life that you may never have questioned before.

With a refreshing and original take on a story it is only fitting that the gameplay is just as refreshing.  What could be explained as a mix between Portal and Metroid “The Swapper” offers both exploration that Metroid is known for and the brilliant teleporting puzzles that is in Portal.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t Aperture, you will not be laughing and the Puzzles are much more intense than anything in Portal.  To advance in “The Swapper” you must collect orbs to open doors, elevators, etc.  At any time you can back track to figure out that wretched puzzle you couldn’t figure out previously.  And at times you will need to do such things.  I myself had to play this game in short bursts because it will make you use every bit of your brain to figure out some of these puzzles.  I was literally stuck on one specific puzzle for over 40 minutes if not an hour.  You can create up to four clones and swap between the four bodies.  The catch is that certain lights will not allow your Swapper to shoot through them.  Some lights will only allow you to Swap bodies, but not create a clone and others will be vice versa.  You will need to maneuver through puzzles to press switches to turn off lights, switch them, open doors, etc. Your clones do exactly as you do.  So if you move right they will move right.  If you jump, they jump.  And in some puzzles you will need to kill clones like they are disposable waste to get to that orb.  With precision and time you can figure these puzzles out but the game does not get any easier giving you new challenges along the way to keep you guessing. Whether it be anti-gravity to where you can walk on the ceiling or a simple puzzle that involves a few clones you will be required to think and think even more.  The difficulty can be a double edged sword as I can see people quitting this game without reaching the final sequence but for the ones looking for an engaging puzzle game with a real challenge this is something you will not want to pass up.  I can say for me that solving a puzzle was more rewarding than any other game I’ve played personally.

Analysis

With complete originality and the mix of adventure with insane puzzles that will wreck your brain you will not want to miss this game if you want a challenging puzzle platformer.  While the story doesn’t fill you with emotions the questions that it brings up does bring up good conversation.  With what I consider the best two years of Indie gaming I will mark this down as another solid title.

Story 8
Graphics/Audio 8.5
Gameplay 9
Puzzle-Platformer Genre 9.5
Overall 8.8
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