The lights are on
One of the joys of reviewing video games is stumbling upon titles that otherwise wouldn't have appeared on your personal radar. Back in May, I ran into one of my favorite instances of this. If I wasn't working in the industry, odds are that I would have never heard of indie PC title The Swapper. As you can tell by my review, I was blown away by this hidden gem that wound up being one of my favorite titles of the year.
When we put together our Top 50 list each year, one of the inherent difficulties is that not every editor has had a chance to play every good game that released in the past 12 months. With two console launches and tons of triple-A experiences in 2013, there was no shortage of time that needed to be committed by our editors. As such, only a few of us had a chance to play this fantastic puzzle game. Since I reviewed and loved it, I know I'll be beating the drum loudly at the meeting for the Facepalm Games title.
The Swapper is based on one concept that it pulls off extremely well. Your astronaut protagonist obtains a swapper gun early in the game, and can immediately use it to create up to four clones of himself. These clones can be placed anywhere, and will move with the same keyboard inputs that you use to control the original. With the press of a button, the player can swap to one of the clones and make him the new main character. I killed hundreds of my clones as I explored Space Station Theseus, but it was worth it when I eventually reached the game's great ending.
In no time at all, The Swapper went from a game I knew next to nothing about to a surefire entry on my top ten games of 2013 list. I'd like to do anything I can to convince other fans of puzzle games to give it a shot.
The Top 50 ChallengeI know that associate editor Kyle Hilliard is a huge fan of Portal, so much so that he's filled his two year-old daughter's room with companion cubes and portal mirrors. The Swapper frequently gave me the same sense of accomplishment as Portal when I solved its puzzles, so I assume his Portal fandom will carry over to another fascinating puzzle game.
Kyle accepted the challenge and was given a day to play The Swapper. Come back tomorrow at 1 PM CT to read his impressions and see if he'll support the game's inclusion on our Top 50 Games of the Year list.