Each week our resident Indie Gamer Nicholas takes a look at a different Indie Game that you may or may not have heard about. Join him on his adventures as he sifts through the rubbish to find The Indie Game of the Week.
I started playing The Swapper without expectations. Sure, I'd heard people buzzing about it on Reddit. Sure, a friend recommended it to me. But I went in with the understanding that not everyone has the same tastes; I purchased the title more out of idle curiosity than anything else.
That's $11.00 I don't regret spending.
In The Swapper, you're thrust into the shoes of a nameless astronaut who's somehow wound up on the derelict Theseus Research Station. It's never really explained who you are or how you got there, save a short cut-scene with an escape pod. In the long run, that doesn?t matter all that much ? the mystery of your character?s backstory simply contributes to the game?s already oppressive feel.
See, atmosphere is something The Swapper does extremely well. Everything about the game has a creepy, subdued vibe to it, and some of the music is downright chilling for how much emotion it carries. The graphics are both beautiful and grainy; they perfectly capture the haunting environment of a long-abandoned space station.
The game?s plot is no less masterful, though much of it is discovered through reading console entries scattered throughout the station. Essentially, it concerns a race of beings known as The Watchers; entities whose very existence redefines the idea of intelligence and the soul. I can?t say much more without giving away the rest of the story, but suffice it to say, it doesn?t disappoint ? many questions are raised regarding the nature of intelligence, the mind, life, and the soul, though none of these are ever truly answered.
The Swapper?s rather unique gameplay centers on the use of the titular device, which allows you to spawn a clone at a given location. Once the clone has been created, you can immediately swap places with it. This mechanic is central to every puzzle in the game; matters are further complicated down the road with the introduction of light beams which block either swapping or clone creation as well as platforms which reverse gravity. It?s refreshing, unique, and very, very fun.
My one gripe with the game is that it feels very short. A few hours, and everything?s over, leaving you wanting for more. The flip side of that is that it never feels annoying, monotonous, or repetitive. Each and every puzzle is new and different from the ones that came before it, and every puzzle is designed in such a way that you always feel clever and accomplished for solving it.
The length of The Swapper is a minor ? almost irrelevant ? sticking point. All in all, it stands among the best independent titles I?ve ever played, and well worth the price tag. Even if you don?t usually enjoy puzzle games, it?s well worth picking this one up, if only to experience the awesome narrative and aesthetic design. You can grab it on Steam for $14.99 regularly (at the time of writing, it?s 25% off)
Next week, I?ll be taking a look at SCP: Containment Breach.
Eight Reasons The Elder Scrolls Online Will Be Awesome
As you're all no doubt aware, The Elder Scrolls Online - currently in open beta - will be launching in a few months or so. In light of both the new release date and all the hype surfacing around it, I've decided that, over the next two weeks, I'll be looking at all the reasons to look forward to it...and all the reasons we shouldn't.
League of Legends or DOTA 2?
The debate between Dota 2 and League of Legends has been raging almost since the two games were first released. But which game is REALLY the superior of the two?
Ten Fictional Settings That'd Make For Awesome MMOs
Let's look at a few settings, worlds, and stories I'd love to see made into MMOs. I'm sure you'll agree, all the entries on this list have the potential to be downright awesome.
MMO Year In Review: 5 of 2013's Biggest Dick Moves
People are dicks - particularly on the Internet. While that shouldn't come as any great surprise, occasionally we come across someone whose level of sheer dickery reaches legendary proportions. As we move into 2014, let's take a look at a few such individuals from the previous year.
Censorship Spells Trouble for League of Legends Patcher
Internet filtering has been a hot button issue for the past several years. With the slow gutting of protective measures like Net Neutrality, and with governmental powers seeking an end to online anonymity, it's rather harrowing to see the slow progression of political and social policing of the internet. Recently, after about a year of lobbying, the United Kingdom enacted a piece of legislation that many have come to call the "UK Porn Filter." What the filter requires is for British ISP's to implement filters and controls, which are on by default, that will block access to "violent material," not imited to "extremist and terrorist related content," "anorexia and eating disorder websites," and "suicide related websites."
Five Things Riot Needs To Do With League of Legends
The folks at Riot already have their work cut out for them moving into Season 4, and they?re doing a damned find job of weathering the transition so far. That said, here?s a few changes we?d like to see as the new season draws near.
The Five Best MMOs of 2013
2013 was quite a year for MMOs. Not only did we enjoy a whole host of strong releases; a bunch of already excellent games were made even better. Here's just a few of MMO Attack's favorite MMORPGs of the year.
Five Trends That Reshaped MMORPGs In 2013
It's been a hell of a year, hasn't it? As we move into the first days of 2014, let's take a look back at how the world of MMOs has changed - and how that might impact the future.
Best Free MMORTS and Strategy Games List (2014)
A top 10 list of the best free MMORTS and strategy games so you can give them all a try in one place and not have to worry about scouring the internet to find the best ones
The Lack Of Quality In The Survival MMO
We've seen an abundance of new titles join the genre this year, most hot on the heels of the incredibly popular DayZ mod from ARMA II, but they all seem to share a certain lack of quality and polish