The Swapper has every reason to be one of the most intriguing puzzle games released in recent years. Independent developers demonstrated complete professionalism in all aspects, gripping the viewer with the narrative, atmosphere, and, most importantly, gameplay. The project of the Facepalm company might easily be placed inside the framework of traditional puzzle games, in which we go on to following screens with progressively harder challenges without much consideration. Fortunately, instead of a basic formula, the writers treat us from the start to a deep and enigmatic atmosphere right out of the finest science-fiction horror flicks.
We land alone on the abandoned Theseus space station, where the on-board computer is our sole friend at first. Our mission is to find out what transpired at the station. The initial graphics are reminiscent to Dead Space and Limbo. The main character’s lonely tour of the intriguing facility, as well as the darkness lighted by his flashlight, are incredibly evocative. Similar to how Theseus’ truths are gradually revealed on three levels. The logs we locate, chats with a specific individual, and flashbacks teach us about the base’s past. Each brick takes us closer to solving a fascinating problem, which keeps us coming back for more. The Swapper’s gameplay is built on a unique tool that allows you to generate up to four clones of yourself and exchange places with them.
This is significant since the death of a clone has no effects, yet when the hero dies, a particular stage must be repeated. Furthermore, the clones made have one distinguishing property. They perform the same functions that we do. If we go left or leap, all of the mappings we’ve constructed will follow suit. As a result, you’ll need to shift your head and think a few steps ahead. It appears complex at first, but the early stages flawlessly introduce you to the game’s rules. The riddles themselves are restricted to a single place, where we must collect the ball. We can access new pathways on Theseus and visit new rooms at the station thanks to them. Of course, the farther you go into the forest, the more difficult it becomes. Simple chores progressively grow more difficult, and some of them might endure for quite some time.
Making clones would be time-consuming in the long run. As a result, the writers include additional challenges, such as lasers, during the levels. We can’t make new clones in the blue areas, and we can’t move them in the red areas. This is significant since only the hero, not his soulless doppelganger, may reach for the bullets. There are also violet lasers, which combine the characteristics of both of the aforementioned and, over time, things to be moved, platforms, and inverted gravity. The most significant aspect is that the authors were able to construct distinct stages. Each area offers something unique. Some of the riddles appear to be exceedingly difficult, yet they are actually rather simple to complete. Others, which may appear little at first look, might startle, induce neurosis, and keep you riveted to the screen. However, the game’s structure requires you to persevere with the riddles. They are pretty short, and you can practically feel them smiling in our faces while also taunting us. The creators abandoned superfluous obstacles and artificial prolongation. There are only ourselves and the problem to be solved. So you sit in front of the screen and think in a variety of ways. However, when we successfully reach the dream ball, we feel immense satisfaction and eagerly push ourselves to the next task. All problems are logic-based rather than arcade-style. We may take a breather before moving on to the next level – places. On Theseus, the whole story and navigation takes place. We go to various parts of the facility using elevators, airlocks, and teleports. This helps you to regain your breath and get a greater sense of the game’s environment. And, despite the fact that the entire facility is very huge, visiting various locations is easy owing to the ability to travel quickly and a convenient map with unsolved riddles noted.
The creators improved the game not only in terms of narrative and mechanics, but also in terms of aesthetic. The science-fiction settings are varied and surprisingly appealing. Although I indicated in the beginning that the game is gloomy, similar to Limbo, the environment gradually gathers color, becoming a distinct and lovely realm. The ambiance of the abandoned base is enhanced by the use of soothing music. The Swapper is a fantastic and engaging puzzle game that frequently demands tremendous mental effort. Depending on how successfully we handle the remaining riddles, we could finish the game in four to six hours. These, however, will be memories we remember for a long time.