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.
HyperX Cloud Pro Gaming Headset
How does the new HyperX Cloud Pro Gaming Headset from Kingston stack up against the competition?
Eight of The Most Memorable MMO Dungeons Ever Designed
Dungeons are a staple of the MMO genre; large-scale challenges requiring co-operation and co-ordination between anywhere from five to a few hundred players to adequately complete. Of course, not all are created equal, and some stand head and shoulders above their peers. Today, I'd like to tip my hat to those few legends, those instances that'll stick with us for years to come as shining examples of how to do dungeons right.
Ten Of The Best MMORPG Songs Ever Heard
In many ways, an MMO is only as good as its music. Many of the best and most memorable moments in an MMO invariably have a song associated with them; a piece of music which brings the memories flooding back the moment it reaches one's ears. Today, I'd like to pay homage to some of those songs - and some of those moments. Here, for your listening pleasure (and in no particular order, I assure you) is a list of some of the best songs ever heard in an MMO.
Facebook's Purchase Of Oculus VR Isn't The End Of The World
For those of you who've been living under a rock, Facebook recently purchased Oculus VR to the tune of $2 billion. Understandably, backers and developers alike were rather unimpressed, calling it a betrayal. As for me? I've never been more excited.
Seven Of The Worst Things You Can Say In League
If you've played league, you've probably encountered at least one toxic player. If you haven't, there's a good chance that YOU are the toxic one. Don't believe me? Ask yourself if you've ever said any of the following...
Six Reasons You Should Be Playing Dark Souls II
I've been playing a lot of Dark Souls II lately - and you should be too. Say what you will about the game's flaws, it's still arguably one of the best action RPGs released in the past several years. If you're up for a bit of a challenge, it's well worth the buy. Don't believe me? Let's talk, then.
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.