Review: The Swapper (PlayStation Vita)

The Swapper: Official GBAtemp Review

PlayStation Vita 1,759 view 1 like 4 comments
Reviewed by Tom Bond, posted Aug 6, 2014
Aug 6, 2014
  • Release Date (NA): August 5, 2014
  • Publisher: Facepalm Games
  • Developer: Facepalm Games, Curve Studio
  • Genres: Puzzle, Platformer,
  • Also For: Computer, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
The Swapper is a side-scroller/puzzle platformer game developed and published by Facepalm Games. Originally released in 2013 for Windows, The Swapper has been ported to the PS3/PS4/Vita, as well another future port coming in November for the Wii U. In this Review, I'll be looking at the Vita/PS4 version of the game.
Tom Bond

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Story - Score: 8/10

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The story of The Swapper is a rather cliché one; humans have run out of natural resources on Earth, so they decide to send 7 space stations around space to acquire various forms of materials to continue to survive. Much of the background story and information about the space station you're on is subtle, or doesn't stand out very well in the beginning. The only clues you receive come from various terminals along the space station that only contain somewhat vague information, however as you progress through the game you begin to slowly piece together what exactly is going on. As you move through the game, you find various rocks, called “The Watchers” that appear to communicate with you as you cross them in each level. Along with these "Watchers", the player also comes across a Dr. Chalmers, a researcher whom you continually encounter and converse with as you play.
I've got no complaints with the story, while it does take an hour or so to flesh out and start getting all the details, its gameplay is definitely interesting enough to keep it going. 

Gameplay - Score: 9/10

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The Swapper follows an un-named character who appears stranded on an empty space station. As you explore the ship, you find a strange gun that allows you to create clones of yourself and, with an upgrade, allows you to switch places with your clone. Using this gun, you must solve various platforming puzzles in order to acquire "orbs" in order to escape the ship. The platforming is unique, in that you must utilize yor clones and your ability to switch places in order to access various areas in the game. An example, if you're at a high ledge that will kill you if you fall, you can summon a clone closer to the ground, then switch places with it in order to keep from dying. 
Fortunately, it's not as easy as just producing a clone and switching places. Various lights throughout each area can prevent you from using your gun, which can only be turned off by activating buttons around the level. Red lights block swapping, blue lights block spawning clones, and purple lights blocks out both. 
 

Graphics and Audio - Score: 10/10

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The art style in The Swapper is absolutely gorgeous, on both the Vita and the PS4. Each new area you discover offers a unique view of life on the space station, as well as eerie, atmospheric lighting that helps keep players on their toes as they continue their adventure. With each new environment you enter, you're greeted with a new and equally great soundtrack. Each song brings out a lot of the detail in each area, and can really help you focus on the task at hand. Below you'll find one of my favorite tracks from the game as a sample of what to expect. 

Verdict
Pros
+ Excellent, new gameplay mechanics.
+ Beautiful, atmospheric environments paired with a wonderful soundtrack.
+ Diverse puzzles.
+ Cross-save compatibility, letting you continue the game from home or on the go.
Cons
- The game is quite short.
9.5
out of 10
Overall
The Swapper, in my opinion, is almost absolutely flawless. The puzzles are interesting and will bring a challenge to all, the swapper gun brings a new mechanic that plays exceptionally well, and the mysterious atmosphere really makes the game a unique experience. Unfortunately, the game appears to be quite short as most indie titles tend to be as I finished the game in about 5 hours, but that is my only complaint.
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