Review – The Swapper : Can you Swap a Soul?

By: Louis Edwards

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Developed by Facepalm Games, The Swapper was released for the PC, Mac and Linux back in May of 2013 and was well received across the board. With help from developer Curve Studios, the game is now ready for console release and we have been playing it on our PS3, PS4 and PS Vita for a week. Was it a successful swap over to the console platforms?

Read our review to find out.

Set in a future time where the people of Earth have exhausted their natural resources, humans have set-up space stations around distant planets to harvest the resources that they are now lacking. Each space station must sustain its own existence for years at a time as they bring these resources on board. One station has already plummeted into a close by star while another has went completely offline for some unknown reason.

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You find yourself on space station Theseus where a strange new element has been discovered on a nearby planet and this element, in the form of huge rock like objects, seems to be having a strange effect on everyone on the space station. The rocks have an intelligence that just might be greater than yours and they seem to be able to speak to you. Parts of the space station are now inaccessible thanks to some of these objects and it’s up to you to gather enough special orbs to unlock these areas. Thanks to a handy-dandy cloning tool, you won’t have to face this challenge alone.

The Swapper is a side scrolling, mind straining, puzzle-platformer that should keep you busy for hours. Your cloning tool will allow you to create up to four other bodies that will move in unison with you, and you’ll have the ability to swap between your body and any other body in your line of sight, as long as you aren’t near any colored light barriers. These light barriers are red, blue and pink and each one presents a different limiter. You can clone through a red light but you can’t swap through it. You can’t clone through a blue light but you can swap through it. Lastly the pink light can be walked through, but that’s it. No cloning or swapping allowed when you are in the pink light.

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With switches needing pressed, and even bodies needing to be inverted, some of these puzzles have a high level of difficulty. We found ourselves staring at the screen for a while trying to think through what exactly needed to be done. Having each cloned body move in exact unison with the body you control adds another layer that requires even more thought. Throw in lights that will reverse gravity for any cloned body that touches it and the perplexity grows exponentially.

The Swapper was a project made by two University of Helsinki students Otto Hantula and Olli Harjola in their spare time. Rather than use digital textures, the game features handcrafted art assets and clay which form the various game levels and in-game objects and give the game a unique look and design. The audio for the game is a mix of classical sounds that Mozart and Chopin would be impressed by and fit the unique look of the game nicely.

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The game is cross-buy compatible between all three PlayStation Platforms and, with the game’s cloud sync feature, can be continued right where you left off when switching between any of these platforms. A smart move by Curve Studios who seem to know exactly what PlayStation Gamers want.

The Swapper is a great game with a unique style that will keep your mind hard at work with its mind boggling puzzles.

9

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