Game Review: The Swapper

Release date: 2013
Version played: PC (via Steam) in 2017

A 2D puzzle/platformer developed by Facepalm games, The Swapper was originally released in 2013. Via the use of a gun-like object called The Swapper, which allows the player to create clones of themselves, and transfer “control” between them to have one act as the leader. The player must navigate the research spacestation Theseus and find out what happened to the crew, and what the mysterious rocks, dubbed The Watchers, are doing on board.

+ the cloning gimmick is interesting, if not overly unique. Just when you think you’ve grasped the idea of the clones and how they move with you, gravity becomes a factor, as well as grabbing and pushing various objects
+ for each puzzle, coloured lights can change the ability to create or swap to clones. Blue lights will hinder the ability to create clones, while red lights will not allow the player to swap clones. Often there are buttons which will turn on/off certain lights
+ there is some existentialism crap about clones and “what makes a person who they are” and the existence of souls and the like, but for the most part the story is told through text logs left by the crew

– a few puzzles utilise interesting twists, such as having to block a light rather than turn it off, but they only seem to happen once
– the game is very short, and there is little-to-no reason to replay, with only one real ‘choice’ ever made

> as I played, I thought to myself that the spaceship looked almost organic, along the lines of the Reapers from Mass Effect, or the Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise, but this never amounted to anything

Should you play this game: Currently half price, $4 USD on Steam, this was good for a single playthrough, but not much else. The philosophers among us might get more out of it than I did, but this was nothing groundbreaking and certainly won’t keep you up at night if you don’t play it. Those looking for a quick platformer might enjoy it, but otherwise don’t bother.


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