This space suit is claustrophobic; a contrast to the emptiness of this derelict space station, which is presented in a Metroidvania fashion. Only the echoing scuffles of my footsteps break its silence. Well, the footsteps and the sporadic radio chatter of the one other inhabitant; a woman. She tells me that I must follow her, that I must escape before it is too late. But a wall separates us and soon our paths diverge. Abandoned computer terminals activate with a whir and a buzz. Information flutters across the screen before coming to a halt. There is a device in this ship, one that should not be touched. I soon come across it; The Swapper.

Things start off simple at first. With a click of a button I can spawn a clone in my surroundings. Mimicking my every move, every time I jump, step forwards or step backwards, the clone is an identical copy in form and in motion. Spawning up to a total of 4 of these clones, it isn’t long before I have my own mini clone army. These can be used to step on switches and unlock doors that stand in my way. Each room, and each new accompanying puzzle, grants me with a fresh batch of clones to help me progress.

Suddenly, a large pitfall rests between me and a doorway. Too large to jump, there must be an alternative way to proceed. Running the other way leads me to a dead end, typically. Not all hope is lost though. An upgrade to my only gadget sleeps on the floor. With a click clack of the device now I can not only create a clone, but inhabit his- her- its body. Returning to the pit with this new found upgrade fills me with a new found hope. Crossing will be easy. Spawning a clone on the other side then swapping swooshes me to the room’s exit. What scared me is what happened just before I exited. As I shuffled towards the door I forgot the properties of the clones. My body carelessly followed me and plunged itself off the perilous edge that once stood before it. A moment of silence, and then a crunch. Am I dead? No. Is this my body or a clone? Am I even me anymore?

As my mind fills with the philosophical choices this world presents me, it is equally torn by brain-bending puzzles. Different beams of light disable certain features of The Swapper, while gravity is reversed for either me or a clone whenever specific floor panels are touched. It isn’t long until these elements combine to create bombastic challenges that stretch my grey matter to its limits. After traversing the entirety of this station, Theseus, I have reached the end of my journey. What I have seen will haunt me eternally. Telling you what happened would spoil the tale though. Perhaps you should inhabit my body and find out for yourself.

The Swapper Review
The Swapper takes a clever puzzle premise, wraps it in a gripping and philosophical tale and then packages it in a short but sweet package. The game becomes challenging in its latter half but never impossible; leaving it for a night and coming back with a fresh view helped. Interestingly, the entire game is created out of clay. Dioramas have been created then digitally stitched together to create the game’s world. These visuals add to The Swapper’s charm, while a fantastic ambient track really exemplifies the game’s claustrophobic atmosphere. Puzzle aficionados will feel right at home playing The Swapper. Newbies shouldn’t be put off though. Everyone should pick up this title for its compelling and unique flair and dark sci-fi story.
Positives
  • + Inventive puzzle mechanics
  • + Thought-provoking story
  • + Unique visuals
Negatives
  • - Could be longer
90%"Amazing"

About The Author

Matthew Evans
Contributor

Matthew is a creative wordsmith who enjoys producing editorial content between camping loot caves in Destiny and backstabbing invaders in Dark Souls. When not sinking hours of his life in to videogames he enjoys playing tabletop board games and being employed as a person who dishes out the law. Normal fairly uninteresting British Laws, not awesome Judge Dredd laws.

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