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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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Recent updates View all (2)

Linux + OS X support, compatibility fixes!

February 18th, 2014

We've just released an update that we decided to call v1.16.
It adds and contains, amongst other boring techy things:

  • Linux support!
  • OSX support!
  • SDL2 as platform abstraction library instead of OpenTK, fixes multiple compatibility issues
  • GPU-scaled fullscreen mode, the game never changes screen resolution anymore
  • Updated FMOD audio library to version 4.44.30, fixes audio related crashes
  • The game doesn't use XML serializers anymore, fixes an extremely rare crash issue
  • Improved debug logging
  • Made gamepad support more robust
  • Got rid of GLU requirement
  • Multiple minor compatibility fixes

Linux and OS X versions will be available for download also for people who bought the game before the update!

14 comments Read more

Gamepad + Big Picture mode update is out!

January 11th, 2014

Now you can explore the dark mysteries of Theseus from the comfort of your sofa!

As the title says this update adds native gamepad support to The Swapper. We've put a big effort into making playing with gamepad feel natural by adding snapping support to the map and reworking all menu controls. The game also supports rumble on some controllers.

The update should be automatically downloaded by Steam. If that doesn't happen a Steam client restart should fix the problem.

18 comments Read more


“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
    • 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:Lion 10.7 or later
    • 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 10.04/13.10 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
167 of 189 people (88%) found this review helpful
1,200 products in account
30 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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88 of 97 people (91%) found this review helpful
443 products in account
103 reviews
6.7 hrs on record
This is a puzzle game unlike any other. The clay animations are really well done and the whole concept of creating clones to solve puzzles, is a really neat idea. Add in the ability to swap between these clones and things become very interesting.

You'll get about 5-7 hours out of this game depending on how good you are with the puzzles. They are varied and challenging in the later stages as you become more comfortable with the gameplay.

The atmosphere is really moody, with a full spectrum of white light to pitch darkness. They really do a good job to make you feel like you're in space and completely isolated.

The Swapper is a genre defining leap for puzzle platformers. The developers have shown originality and passion, which are the first two things I look for in any game.
Posted: January 2nd, 2014
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42 of 47 people (89%) found this review helpful
147 products in account
15 reviews
11.7 hrs on record
The Swapper is the debut title of a pair of University of Helsinki students that tells the story of strange happenings aboard Theseus, a space station and research facility located in a remote part of the galaxy. The Finnish duo hired Tom Jubert to write the script who also wrote other noteworthy indie games such as Penumbra and Faster Than Light.

The Swapper is a side-scrolling puzzle game with some occasional platforming elements and zero gravity segments. The players get their hands on the titular device almost immediately. The device has two functions, it can create up to four clones of the main character and it can then swap souls between each body. No matter which body the player controls, the clones will all mimic his actions. The puzzles mostly revolve around placing yourself and the clones in certain places to be able to reach the orbs that are necessary for powering the ship’s systems. The player’s progress is impeded by three types of light. Blue light prevents cloning, red light prevents swapping whereas the purple light prevents both. Later on the game also introduces gravity-based puzzles which offer a nice change of pace.

The puzzle design is absolutely superb, logical and perfectly balanced. Some of the puzzles may stump you a bit, but everything is manageable with a bit of logical thinking and simply trying out a few different ideas. The design is semi open ended. The ship is closed off at certain points which require the orbs to progress further, but for the most part, it’s up to you which room/puzzle you want to tackle first. If a certain puzzle is giving you problems, you can leave and try later, but finishing the game will require solving all puzzles and getting all the orbs.

The other major part of the game whose significance cannot be overstated are the production values. The entirety of the game’s assets were created from clay and other household materials which were then digitized into the game. The lighting and color palettes are mesmerizing. The art-style and sound design masterfully create an incredibly macabre atmosphere and a fantastic sense of desolation. This is further heightened by the narrative which is crafted in such a way that provides more questions than answers. It is a sort of philosophical theme of thought and soul versus matter and energy. Sometimes it veers to pretentiousness, but overall the writing is very good and will hold the player’s interest.

Simply put, The Swapper is an astonishing achievement in both game design and visual arts rarely seen in the video game medium and it is easily the top representative of its respective genre.

Posted: November 27th, 2013
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41 of 55 people (75%) found this review helpful
312 products in account
1 review
5.3 hrs on record
The Swapper follows the trail of the most successful indie games of recent times (Braid, Limbo etc). The Swapper can be described as a metaphysical journey into the realms of mind, set in a dark sci-fi environment. We are undertaking a trip to understand the importance of the "self". This is achieved by challeging the player through puzzles that involves the use of the "Swapper", a device which beholds the power to create clones of itself. While the puzzles get more and more complex and thus bringing out the infinite possibilities that the "Swapper" gives, the game brings us various queries. How can the self be multiplied? Who is the real "self"? Those are some of the questions only the player can answer.
I recommend The Swapper to people who love Braid and similar titles and to every people who are searching for a videogame that can be challeging in a different way.

Posted: December 5th, 2013
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29 of 40 people (73%) found this review helpful
379 products in account
12 reviews
8.1 hrs on record
Excellent atmosphere, awkward feelings, intriguing ethical cues and impressive puzzles, even for non puzzler enthusiasts.

There is no tutorial at all (except for the basic commands) but the learning curve of the puzzle mechanics isn't really steep and almost always you immediatly figure out what you need to do, and spend most of the time finding out how you're supposed to do that.
Sometimes are required platforming skills, but one of the mechanics of the game makes jumping and landing extremely easy.

The only one thing that I loathed was the achievements.
(It isn't a spoiler, just an explanation of how to get them, but maybe somebody doesn't like it, so I'm gonna hide it anyway)
You unlock each one of them finding hidden rooms, and this could be fine, if when I say "hidden" I actually mean you have absolutely ZERO clues to how to find them. The only practical way is check guides (on Steam Community there are a couple very well done) and just looking those you notice that they're absolutely impossible to find.
I honestly don't know what's the point of this kind of stuff. Meh.
Posted: November 25th, 2013
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