It’s a great thing that self publishing is relatively easy in game development these days, because I’m imagining pitch meetings for Swapsword and it seems like a nightmare.

Well, we have a game based on the early computer classic Rogue.
 
Not picking up what we’re putting down huh? Well wait for it, this game is on mobile phones!
 
Still no dice? Well, time for the secret weapon. This combines a Rogue like adventure with, wait for it… A MATCH THREE PUZZLE GAME!
 
Um. ‘Youth Hostelling With Chris Eubank?’
 
Hang out too long on a stage and death will pursue you. We've seen that somewhere before.

Hang out too long on a stage and death will pursue you. We’ve seen that somewhere before.

Forget elevator pitches, Swapsword needs a time machine.

So what does Swapsword do to distinguish itself? On a real level, very little. Your heroine and critters all exist on the same grid as other swappable tiles, which removes some of the abstract nature of puzzle Rogue likes. Coloured monsters can be swapped and matched to clear them from the board, or swapping your character with one will land a traditional single attack.
You have gems for building up magic attacks, keys to unlock an exit to the next level, dynamite to wipe out a row or column in an effective if dangerous gambit. It’s all entirely as you’d expect and it’s.. fine. Different monsters move in different ways, completing sections will introduce a few new gimmicks like pinwheels that disorient nearby enemies when matched. The game will throw new enemies at you, and a couple of new mechanics, but there just aren’t any surprises in gameplay.
It is, however, very nicely presented. Every element of the screen has a bouncy animation and a sense of life to it, monsters fuming as they don’t have a line of sight on you, and eyes bugging out as you get hit. It’s very nice looking indeed. It’s nice enough to play as well. Enough to make it recommendable? Not in the least.
KAIJU VERDICT
1/4 Pops: weak One pop games may be functional, and enjoyable to some, but not the reviewer. Mechanical or conceptual failings make them impossible to recommend.
Review code supplied by Diego Garcia ahead of the game’s December 1st release

About The Author

Gamer, Educator, Writer of Stuff, wrestler of professionals (sometimes)