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Holder of numerous awards and accolades, the Swapper is an atmospheric puzzle platformer set in the furthest reaches of space. Players wield an experimental device able to clone the user and swap control between them.
Release Date: May 30, 2013
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“I came away from The Swapper with nothing but amazement. From the first time you see the literally hand-crafted visuals until the final moment in the game, which is sure to give you pause for thought, you will be in complete awe. Brilliant puzzles with even more brilliant solutions compliment the philosophical plotline, leaving an unforgettable experience unlike any other.”
10/10 – Destructoid

“The Swapper tempted me with ingenious puzzles, transported me to a fully realized science-fiction world, and made me ask questions about mortality and morality that few video games have ever dared to explore. Very few puzzle games have ever managed to marry impeccable challenges with a mature storytelling quite like this – there's no fluff or extraneous content here, only a prime example of how to create a tight, unforgettable gaming experience.”
9.3 – IGN

“It didn’t take me long to fall in love with The Swapper; it continuously surprised and impressed me from its intriguing first moments to its fantastic ending.”
9.25 – Game Informer

“The game’s level design is excellent at accentuating a core, the piece you’re nearly certain must be pivotal. It’s the particulars of arranging everything around that piece that force you into this state of constant iteration and experimentation. Think, rethink. Get stumped. Take a break. Go outside. Have some ice crea- wait, no. Pet a dog. Or maybe go for a stroll in the park, because that would- Oh god, now Swapper’s thought process has invaded your mind. You can’t escape.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

About the Game

Holder of numerous awards and accolades, the Swapper is an atmospheric puzzle platformer set in the furthest reaches of space. Players wield an experimental device able to clone the user and swap control between them. Dropped into a character and world as mysterious as the workings of the device itself, The Swapper is a game of exploration of a very personal nature.

All of the art in The Swapper is constructed using clay models and other everyday materials.

The Swapper is supported by Indie Fund.

Key Features:

  • Challenge: Fiendish puzzles whose solutions are only ever a few steps away
  • Isolation: Classic sci-fi atmosphere
  • Wonder: A world built out of clay
  • Mystery: Narrative design from Tom Jubert, writer behind indie hits Penumbra and FTL

PC System Requirements

    • OS:Windows XP SP3 or later, 64/32bit
    • Processor:Dual Core CPU (2.2+ GHz Dual Core CPU or better)
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:GeForce® 8800 or Radeon® HD4800 series, 512 MB of memory, OpenGL 3.0 support required
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
    • Additional:Intel HD Graphics are not officially supported. But if you've got yourself a 3000 or better then there is a reasonable chance it will mostly/sorta work. No promises, but we've been working hard on it, at any rate.

Mac System Requirements

    • OS:Snow Leopard 10.68 or later, 64/32bit
    • Processor:Dual Core CPU
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Intel HD 3000 or better, 4000 or a dedicated GPU recommended, OpenGL 3.0 support required
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space

Linux System Requirements

    • OS:Ubuntu 10.04 or 13.10, 64/32bit
    • Processor:Dual Core CPU (2.2+ GHz Dual Core CPU or better)
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:GeForce® 8800 or Radeon® HD4800 series, 512 MB of memory, OpenGL 3.0 support required
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
    • Additional:Intel HD Graphics are not officially supported. But if you've got yourself a 3000 or better then there is a reasonable chance it will mostly/sorta work. No promises, but we've been working hard on it, at any rate.
Helpful customer reviews
89 of 93 people (96%) found this review helpful
483 products in account
13 reviews
14.5 hrs on record
The Swapper is a platformer puzzle game with excellent atmosphere using unique visuals, clever puzzles and having only a few minor problems.

The graphics have a distinctive look due to the developer's choice of claymation style and the careful use of lighting. The game feels at times lonely, but not hostile; the player doesn't have to combat roaming creatures like in a Metroidvania game. Mostly the game consists of exploring the Thesus V space station which is layed out in a clear and thoughful manner.

Puzzles are the meat of the game which are solved by cloning yourself and swapping places with the clones. All clones move in unison with you which forces careful placement and planning to solve each puzzle room. The last batch of puzzles in the game are deviously clever and had me stumped for hours. But if I can finish the game without help so can you.

There were a few things in the game I didn't care for such as the sentient beings comment boxes overlaying the entire screen and obscuring the view; only momentary, but annoying. Also, despite finding several hidden console rooms I unlocked no achievements, and this seems to be a problem for a few other players.

I can safely recommend The Swapper to anyone that likes to solve puzzles or wants to explore a non-combative environment at a relaxing pace.
Posted: April 21st, 2014
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54 of 57 people (95%) found this review helpful
1,440 products in account
11 reviews
4.6 hrs on record
The Swapper is an ingenious little puzzle game with a unique gameplay mechanic and eerie plotline that blend together very well.

The puzzles all center around a cloning mechanic, where the device the player wields is able project up to 4 clones and also transfer consciousness of the player between them. Certain light wavelengths interfere with the device to add to puzzle complexity (for example, red light blocks transferring the mind of the player to a clone). The puzzles range from obvious to abstract, with the simplest puzzles at the start of the game. However, later puzzles vary massively in how difficult they are (depending on the player). Some puzzles may seem obvious to one individual, but will require a lot of trial & error for other players. There was one puzzle in particular that had me stumped for a long time, but upon completing it I realised it was actually quite simple and that many players would probably breeze past it quickly.

TS starts with the player finding themself on a seemingly abandoned space station and very slowly introduces a plot which the player can entirely ignore if they see fit. The narrative is interwoven in the game through a few small scenes voiced by a mysterious other astronaut, some terminals with logs to read, and through messages conveyed to the player by rock samples scattered around the station. Quite like Dark Souls, it is up to the player to investigate the story and piece it together, and you are rewarding with a rather intriguing one if you bother.

The creepy atmosphere of this game is realised through some quite clever visual and audio tricks. The graphics alone are not very impressive, but the way lighting is used cleverly hides the imperfections and creates a very unique art-style which I adored. The soundtrack comes and goes but always leaves you feeling isolated and alone. Whenever the silence was punctured by speech of the other astronaut, I found I immediately stopped whatever I was doing to lap up all of the audio I could just to find a little solace in the company of someone other than the empty clones. It is the interplay between the art-style, the audio, and the clone mechanic that makes the atmosphere of this game so incredible.

If all this wasn't enough, I thought the one single choice you have to make in the entire game was probably one of the most poignant moments in any game I have played. It was incredibly difficult to make and left me with a real lasting impression and that feeling in the pit of my stomach that made me wonder whether the decision was the right one or not.
Be warned: this game is meant to be played through in big chunks, shown by an ending that has so much impact if you have been following the plot and really immersing yourself. If you play this game in small portions then the atmosphere, plot and impact will probably not hit as hard.

Strap-up, blast off, and lose your sanity amongst the talking rubble and deathly-silent human clones.
Posted: March 19th, 2014
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
348 products in account
17 reviews
6.2 hrs on record
There's a moment in The Swapper where, for a few magical seconds, everything comes together. It's the moment shortly after you get the Swapper device where the game teaches you its potential. It does it in such an elegant way that it's a revelation; suddenly, the platform game you thought you were playing gets subverted, the possibilities seem vast, and the game exploits these possibilities in the various puzzles that it subsequently throws your way. To explain it would be to spoil it. There's a point in any puzzle game that I dread, though, and it's the point where it all becomes too much for my brain, where the developers start to throw the kitchen sink at you, and each puzzle becomes hard work rather than fun. In retrospect, The Swapper never really does this, but there were moments when faced with a seemingly impossible puzzle that my brain threw its figurative hands in the air and went off to sulk, muttering something about getting old. I admit that I had to look at a walkthrough for some of the later puzzles, the solutions to which are only elegant with hindsight. Still, I needed to progress because I needed to see how the story played out, touching as it does on life, morality and - momentarily - spirituality. The Swapper does a great job of drawing you into its cold, echoing world; it feels like Alien without the alien. The modelling style that's used to build the facility gives the game a unique look, realistic without being real, and the ethereal soundtrack completes the unsettling picture.
Posted: February 24th, 2014
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
1,113 products in account
502 reviews
6.0 hrs on record
I thoroughly enjoyed The Swapper. Being alone in a big empty ship provided a sense of creepiness similar to Dead Space, but instead of action and horror elements, there are puzzles to be solved by making hollow clones of yourself and transferring your consciousness to any one of those empty bodies. The story is very science fiction and extremely weird. The puzzles are pretty easy for the most part, but there was one at the end with four buttons that just stumped the hell out of me. Although fairly short, The Swapper is an extremely solid puzzle platformer--a great addition to the genre.
Posted: February 21st, 2014
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
514 products in account
2 reviews
16.0 hrs on record
The Swapper is a wonderfully compelling title in which you have special abilities that allow you to solve puzzles.

Like Portal, the central premise asks the question "How do I exist in two different places at the same time?" or "How do I reach the unreachable place?" Where these games differ is that The Swapper takes the answer to this question quite literally. You're given a gun that fires copies of your controlled character. You can have up to four of these copies, and the clones move in tandem with you. If you move one step forward, they move one step forward, and so forth. You can also project your primary control into any one of them, provided you have a clear unobstructed shot at it. Most of the puzzles revolve around this mechanic, as there's usually a task one clone has to perform to get it into a place where you can control it. Only your primary character can collect the orbs that complete the puzzle. What makes these puzzles tricky is that there are different areas that obstruct your various powers, making you think critically to evaluate what your clones will do. For example, red lights will not allow you to project yourself into a clone, so you must either disable the red light with a switch or work around it. Red light areas still allow you to project new clones, however. Blue lights don't allow new clones, but you can project into existing clones. Purple lights don't allow your powers to work at all. Some puzzles use boxes, but most employ the switches that your clones must activate to manipulate the light areas. Later in the game, you encounter gravity pods that create similar scenarios, only with upside down and rightside up clones doing the work. A primary character can only create a clone that is standing as they are, so there's another layer of gameplay.

As you move through the game, there is a dark, foreboding atmosphere. You're thrust into a sci-fi world of moral and philosophical conflict, and the story is told through a reluctant female voice as well as ship logs. The game's visuals are beautifully realized with darkness and light interplaying in interesting ways. Sound design is also uniformly excellent and realy creates this feeling of isolation and dread, yet you still feel this alien presence. I will not spoil the story for you, but I will say that there are some surprising revelations that are not immediately apparent from the outset. The environments are vast so there's plenty to explore. I was reminded of Super Metroid at many times, except there is no combat in The Swapper.

I think the game's controls and gameplay work wonderfully together to challenge the player without frustration. So many indie titles only have their gimmick to fall back on, but The Swapper combines gameplay, visuals, and narrative seamlessly. Even if you fail to understand how to solve a puzzle, there are plenty of puzzles you can solve while you're thinking about the correct solution. I normally get pretty impatient with puzzle games, but every puzzle in The Swapper is fair, logical, and rewarding.

In summary, this is a fantastic game that you should purchase if you have not purchased it already. It has enough content to warrant whatever price you pay for it, and should satisfy even the most jaded indie fans.
Posted: July 11th, 2014
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177 of 200 people (89%) found this review helpful
1,612 products in account
39 reviews
6.3 hrs on record

Taking control of a lone astronaut, you explore Theseus, a derelict space station. The Swapper immediately brings to mind Super Metroid with it's open map design and emphasis on isolation. The human inhabitants of Theseus have mostly perished and it's up to you to put the pieces together. The space station is filed with sentient rocks that leave you with cryptic messages as you pass by them and, together with crew logs, provide much of the narrative; tantalizing you with little details that must be put together like a puzzle. It's a tale the wanders off in the direction of the metaphysical and philosophical, meditating on what constitutes a sense of self, what exactly the soul means to the individual and and how individuals fit into the rest of society. The esoteric narrative and heavy sense of isolation and dread will have you mulling over the events of The Swapper long after it concludes.

The puzzle gimmick employed by The Swapper comes in the form of a gun that allows your character to clone themself. Up to four clones can be made and these clones mimic your every move. In addition the gun can beam your consciousness into these clones and allow you to take direct control of them. Additional puzzle elements like blue lights that prohibit the creation of clones where their light is cast, red lights that prevent you from taking control of clones and gravity switches that will have you walking on the ceiling all further complicate the proceedings. Your clones must be used to trip switches and reach far away ledges, they are empty vessels that are to used and disposed of and the sight of their lifeless husks collapsing after long falls becomes a frequent occurrence throughout the course of The Swapper. The goal is to our the character that you directly control in contact with orbs that allow you to open doors and progress. These simple gameplay mechanics tie in closely to The Swapper's narrative themes meaning the narrative events never drift too far off into the back of your mind. Few games are able to do this so well.

Puzzle start off very easy as you learn to navigate your environment and are introduced to clever new ways to solve problems within the game world. Much like Portal, The Swapper religiously sticks to it's core mechanics. You don't get any new abilities or skills as the game progresses, instead new obstacles bring new challenges that occasionally elicit head scratching and pensive stares. The first three quarters of the game's three to five hours are really a breeze but the final few puzzles can really put your puzzle solving skills to the test. While the challenge is certainly welcome, this spike in challenge has a habit of disrupting the pacing. Your brisk jaunts between memory stations for more information slow to a crawl near the final area potentially becoming agonizing as the game's mind benders thwart your best attempts to crack them.

The Swapper wouldn't be nearly as engaging if it weren't for it's distinct visual style. Everything in the game was originally molded out of clay by the team at Facepalm studios and in addition to complimenting the narrative themes it looks wonderfully alien and unique among it's contemporaries. Fantastic lighting effects also dress up the stylized art and drive the lonely desperate mood home. Seeing the dark, desolate corridors of Theseus illuminated by a beam from your flashlight as the ambient soundtrack hums in the background can be profoundly melancholy. The measured tempo of the soundtrack never leaves you with a sense of urgency and instead slowly and beautifully builds a hopeless and lonely tone befitting a game that is largely devoid of other characters.
Posted: November 25th, 2013
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