The Swapper

Game review by
Brett Molina, Common Sense Media
The Swapper Game Poster Image
Fun, spooky, puzzle-based clone adventure set in space.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The main focus is on solving the puzzles instead of figuring out why the nameless astronaut is in this situation in the first place.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You don't know anything about the astronaut when the game starts and there's no sense that he's a good or bad guy. At times he'll have to sacrifice some clones to proceed, but some of that is due to the nature of the puzzles rather than a moral decision.

Ease of Play

The game methodically walks players through the controls during play. It slowly teaches you new moves and mechanics to ease you into the environment.

Violence

The lead character can take some nasty spills if he falls from a higher ledge or, in one case, gets electrocuted by a faulty mechanical lift. None of the deaths looks gruesome, and there's no blood. He does use a firearm that works as both a means to teleport around levels and to clone himself.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Swapper is a fun yet spooky downloadable puzzle-based adventure. Players use a special weapon that creates clones to navigate through a series of facilities based in space, and although they don't use violence to complete objectives, the lead character will take some cringe-worthy spills. But there's no blood or anything gruesome.

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What's it about?

THE SWAPPER starts off with the mysterious lead character stranded on a space station. To aid his escape, he uses a special weapon that creates clones of himself. Players can create up to five clones at once and have the option to "jump" into another clone at any time. The game is described as a puzzle platformer, where players navigate sections of the space station and complete a series of environmental puzzles to advance. For example, early stages require players to grab orbs to power a panel and move forward. Red and blue lights will pop up during some puzzles and hamper the abilities of the your weapon, pushing you to think of the best strategy to proceed.

Is it any good?

The Swapper is a highly imaginative and thoughtful puzzle adventure. It boasts a dark, eerie atmosphere that's reminiscent of Dead Space. Players encounter mysterious stones that appear throughout space structures that deliver creepy messages, and the story is shrouded in mystery. The platforming and puzzle-solving elements seem to draw inspiration from Portal. Players use their weapon to create clones in simple ways before using the device to cleverly navigate sections of the space station, even using it almost like a teleportation weapon. Later stages even require the navigation of zero gravity with the device.

The puzzles are carefully constructed, requiring thought about how to best approach them and how to take advantages of the player's small clone army. It's an incredibly well-made game that sticks with you long after you've played it, and its heightened focus on the puzzles and the mysterious setting \ engage you from start to finish. The Swapper is one of the more intriguing puzzle games that's ever been released.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about action-based puzzle games. What makes them fun to play?

  • Talk about The Swapper's mysterious atmosphere. What makes some games scary? What's the appeal of scary games?

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For kids who love puzzles

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