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.
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (2,933 reviews)
Release Date: May 30, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"A beautiful puzzle game which involves using clones of yourself to traverse obstacles. But what mystery lies beyond? A gloomy, ambient experience."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“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 This 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

System Requirements

PC
Mac
Linux
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
19 of 20 people (95%) found this review helpful
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 11
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Unique puzzle gameplay and extraordinarily refined presentation serve as the vehicle for one of the most chilling and cerebral science fiction stories that I have experienced in any medium.
Posted: April 25
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
The Swapper is a pure puzzle platformer, you are not going to fight any enemies here. Only "weapon" you have to solve its puzzles is experimental device able to clone the user and swap control between them. Nice visuals and soundtrack make your exploration of vast space station Theseus very deep and atmospheric. However, it's short and has no replayability. Recommended for everyone who likes puzzle platformer games with interesting sci-fi story and lonely desperate atmosphere.
Posted: August 18
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
I could write a lot about this game, but lets just say that if you love Braid (mindblowing puzzles and philosophical story), you would definitly like Swapper. Dark and mysterious, beautiful and puzzling, depressive and truly smart. Swapper, Ladies and gentlemen.
Posted: July 1
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Rating: 9/10

What is it?
2D Puzzle platformer

The Good:

+Very creative puzzles and gameplay. You create clones of yourself that follow your every moment. You can also swap to them and take control.

+Puzzles are nicely layered getting progressively harder and require more creative thinking. The puzzles are really well done and solving them feels really nice.

+ Clay graphics and animation really adds to atmosphere

+Surprsingly good story and plot

+ Nice music


The Bad

- Won't be getting any of the achievements without a walkthrough

- Some of the later puzzles are incredibly hard and most likely require a guide

Conclusion:
This is a fantastic game that I kept hearing people rave about and I can safely say that this is a great game and deserves all the praise it gets. You really need to play this game.
Posted: July 19
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180 of 203 people (89%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4nyZkwycEo

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 25, 2013
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