A caged god, rocket fuel, and more rocks than Breaking Bad.
The Swapper is an award winning, atmospheric, Sci-fi, puzzler with a philosophical itch lingering even after completion. Created by a very small indie studio who call themselves Facepalm games, they are literally two gents from Finland.
Every bit, nibble and byte of this game was keyed with love, was programmed with thought, intent and passion. The musical composition is pure and induces an ASMR like feel. The entire world, all textures were hand made with CLAY. How cool is that? Even the title screen has a story to tell. Relax, close your eyes, and listen.
Alpha and Doppler, Avocados at Law
Choosing to start the game, the initial film and score that pays homage to classic Sci-fi films like Solaris and 2001: A Space Odyssey. It begins suggesting that the character was forcibly sent away. Banging on the glass and slumping down, realizing his actions are futile. Blast off!!
Jumping to a shot of an orange hued star depicting one similar to our own, the rotating camera shot like Kubrick, the ‘flip’ of realities as the camera does a 180 and the now seen blue hued star all describe the start of something new, a world turned upside down. One of new experiences.
Expanding a bit on what you’ve just seen I’d like to introduce two topics. Science and Greek Mythology. The first I will cover now. My hypothesis is that this fictional game world is based off of Alpha Centauri and the star depicted in the introduction both the orange and blue ones are the SAME STAR. Read more on Doppler shift. A very brief explanation.
Continuing to venture forth through natural pathways, stalactites and rocky formations welcome you but so too does technology. As I pressed X to access the lift it felt like I was accepting a terms of service agreement. The itch has been implanted. One which will drive you mad.
“You have now entered Thesesus Excavation Site 24 on Planet Chori V and all findings are property of the “Sisyphus project”” A recording states.
I’d like to elaborate on this as it is the second topic I said I would expand on, Green Mythology. Read more on Sisyphus once you beat the game, unless you’re the type who eats dessert before dinner. Here a ‘hint’:
“He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, repeating this action for eternity.”
I suggest playing this game first before you do any more ‘digging’. I don’t run ads on my website, I don’t monetize my videos. I just simply want to share great gaming experiences. This game is worth $15 bucks AND DRM free if you buy it direct from the devs.
Oops there goes gravity
The first item you obtain is the clone gun, you can create up to four clones of yourself. You can create them anywhere within line of sight of the clone guns beam except directly on yourself there are some more variables later as the puzzles get more difficult but this article stops at Transport Gate 1.
Once the “self” clone you are controlling walks into the same space in time as another clone that just mimics your movements, the clone disappears leaving behind only a clone gun, no suit, no body, just…the..gun… AHHHHHHHH.
Another neat feature, as you hold the trigger down before spawning another clone, time slows down.
Progressing through my videos I demonstrate some basic concepts such as max falling height (one story), ‘reclaiming’ your clones, and how to solve a basic puzzle. No need to fret honorary Mensa member, the puzzles get much more difficult.
After completing the four stair equation, you gain entry and pass through the first checkpoint. These checkpoints ‘reclaim’ all clones and also save your state so they make good stopping points when you want to give up and sleep on a puzzle until the next day. I feel these checkpoints are the ‘security measures’ that they installed.
You then run into a log terminal, this one stores a communication from Chori V Excavation Site #24 and the Thesus Xeno Technology Research Facility aka HQ. These logs contain bits and pieces of a story that you can augment into your theory of what is real, who am I, etc. They are found all over as you play through the game and are a wonderful add to the story.
Explore my Crevasse
Even though the year is far, far into the future, you will notice how maps somehow are still the centerpiece in navigation. The map in this game resemble ones from any Metroidvania you have played in yesteryear. Doors and areas never visited before are shown, and of course, the friendly “you are here” dot.
A Philo-soul-phical Transformation
The second item you obtain, literally is the title of the game, it allows you to swap your soul/consciousness/control into another clone on the spot in the blink of an eye. (This is where the mental itch gets hotter). Slowing down time, creating multiple clones of yourself and swapping souls, is the base toolset used to to solve the majority of the puzzles. Before you leave this room, you have probably killed your original self, so I ask you again. What is real?
The other variables are environmental, like the red and blue halogen lights you’ve seen in the video. One blocks the clone gun beam the other blocks the swapper shot.
Continuing on, you will have discovered the first teleporter or as I like to call them, gates. These require “Encryption Orbs” to activate them. Having encrypted data orbs as a currency is pretty rad and spins off another tendril of theories in my head. Who or what wants or uses this data?! Thats the end of my review, rant, theorizing and mini tutorial, after this gate the game gets real.
I feel it’s best experienced yourself.
Buy The Swapper now on Facepalm games website(DRM Free).
My final gift is the ASMR experience the Credits give.
Designer, Artist, Programmer, Founder
Music, Sound Design, Freelancer
Writer, Narrative Designer, Freelancer