The Swindle is a steampunk cybercrime caper about breaking into buildings, hacking their systems, stealing all their cash, and quickly running away again before the police show up.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (270 reviews) - 72% of the 270 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 28, 2015

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Reviews

“Fast-paced stealth set to a ticking clock makes this a procedural platformer to savour.”
Recommended – Eurogamer

“An immensely satisfying mix of platforming, stealth, action, and resource management, with character.”
80% – PC Gamer

“But what a game it is. A complicated swirl of heists and capers which will leave you with sweaty palms, a dry mouth, and a bunch of brilliant stories.”
9/10 – PocketGamer

About This Game


The Swindle is a steampunk cybercrime caper about breaking into buildings, hacking their systems, stealing all their cash, and quickly running away again before the police show up.

All the buildings you’ll be robbing are randomly-generated, so you’ll never get the same level twice.

Meanwhile, from the safety of your rickety airship up in Outer Space, you can modify your thief with new skills, tools, and all manner of advanced technological horrors, allowing you to take on bigger buildings with better security, for gargantuan rewards!

Have you got what it takes to pull off The Swindle?



// THE_SWINDLE.GetTransmission()
-------------------------------------------------
> London, 1849_
> In 100 days, Scotland Yard will activate their breakthrough Artificial Intelligence technology,
> codenamed "The Devil's Basilisk"_

> Its surveillance capabilities will be total. If the project is completed,
> your career as a master burglar will be untenable_

> Steal it, before that can happen_
-------------------------------------------------

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 and up
    • Processor: 2.4Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 8800 equivalent or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: What is this, 1991? Yes a sound card. Onboard is fine.
    • Additional Notes: If playing on a Laptop, please make sure it has a dedicated gfx card; on-board cards will struggle.
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.8
    • Processor: Intel "Core i3" or above
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: If your Mac meets minimum specs and doesn't run well, PLEASE let me know so I can edit this!
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (270 reviews)
Recently Posted
killanoid
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
If you want to plan your next move carefully and then watch your character spazz out and fall into a bed of spikes. This is the game for you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
41nd
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 11
the game is still awful, very clunky controls, very stupid generated maps.. its just.. a forgetable and bad designed game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sleyn
( 16.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 7
I read alot of complaints about the controls, but I never felt like it was an issue. This is a game where you get in and get better, and constantly push yourself to go further and steal "just one more" with each heist... and risk it all if you fail. If you've played Dark Souls and enjoy that sense of reward and self-improvement as you master the mechanics of a game, this is right up your alley.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
St Moo I
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
One of the most clunkiest controls a game can do, with poor manoeuvribility and lots of unwanted movements
Helpful? Yes No Funny
riotAlice
( 70.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 30
I love the central idea that this game is built around. But I don't love the heavily flawed controls, and constant bugs and glitches. Just in the last few days of playing, I've encountered many glitches. I've gotten stuck in the scenery, I've had the Teleporter ability completely glitch out and freeze my character in mid-animation so I had to terminate them, I've had enemies somehow see me through solid objects and instantly kill me. When it plays well and how it's supposed to, it's really enjoyable, but when you die several times from glitches and terrain weirdness beyond your control, the gameplay feels cheap and unsatisfying.

The controls are not tight enough to serve a game which demands constant careful traversal. Sometimes I've slid down stairs onto mines, or had the jump button suddenly become unresponsive. Many of the commands sometimes feel like they're not responding. The game simply does not give you the control and polish you need for the level of skill it wants from you. I love the idea, the challenge, and the look, but the shaky controls, and frustrating glitches make it too flawed a gem for me to recommend. When I die in a game I want it to be because I screwed up, not because the game suddenly decided to get my character stuck in a wall.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheSovietProMelon
( 9.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Like 2D metal gear solid, but better.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
away for 5 days
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: April 22
Just to note, the last time I played this, the controls were pretty bad ._.

Overall though, it's an excellent game. If they've fixed the controls yet, its definitely worth buying.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Will
( 24.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 20
Any game that you can win while simultaneously sweating bullets is ok in my book.

10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Capt. D Jones
( 30.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 10
Cruel learning curve, unforgiving level generation, sparse tutorials, and spotty controls. Cant say I didn't enjoy this game though. If you buy it, you will not finish it on your first 100 days, I guarantee. You'll also get mad and throw your controller. Its very challenging, but a wonderful game. The feeling of taking your time through the banks, trying to get the last computer hacked, when you've failed the last 10 heists and are running out of time is an incredible tension.

Not for everyone, but definitely worth it for me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sociallyawkwardninja
( 9.8 hrs on record )
Posted: March 30
Super fun to play. makes you think on your feet on how to complete every level. has a few glitches every so often. but still really fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
70.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
I love the central idea that this game is built around. But I don't love the heavily flawed controls, and constant bugs and glitches. Just in the last few days of playing, I've encountered many glitches. I've gotten stuck in the scenery, I've had the Teleporter ability completely glitch out and freeze my character in mid-animation so I had to terminate them, I've had enemies somehow see me through solid objects and instantly kill me. When it plays well and how it's supposed to, it's really enjoyable, but when you die several times from glitches and terrain weirdness beyond your control, the gameplay feels cheap and unsatisfying.

The controls are not tight enough to serve a game which demands constant careful traversal. Sometimes I've slid down stairs onto mines, or had the jump button suddenly become unresponsive. Many of the commands sometimes feel like they're not responding. The game simply does not give you the control and polish you need for the level of skill it wants from you. I love the idea, the challenge, and the look, but the shaky controls, and frustrating glitches make it too flawed a gem for me to recommend. When I die in a game I want it to be because I screwed up, not because the game suddenly decided to get my character stuck in a wall.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
If you want to plan your next move carefully and then watch your character spazz out and fall into a bed of spikes. This is the game for you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 3
One of the most clunkiest controls a game can do, with poor manoeuvribility and lots of unwanted movements
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
62 of 73 people (85%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 29
The Swindle is a stealth based rogue-like heist game, being developed by Size Five Games and releasing in July 2015. The game can be related to a combination of Spelunky and Payday of sorts.

Gameplay premise is simple, break into a house and rob as much money as you can whilst remaining hidden from guards and avoiding traps. You have 100 days to reach your goal of running a final heist run called “The Swindle” on a police station. The 100 days counts down each time you complete a heist. In between each heist you are able to upgrade your skills, equipment and purchase access to the next stage of stages. All of your purchases stick with you right until the end, so it doesn’t matter if you die or get caught on one character, as you will just get a new one with the same skill set as before. This is my favourite aspect of any rogue-like as it always feels like you are progressing. In each building, you will come across a variety of enemies and traps, such as mines and electric fences, and flying bots that will shoot you if you get close. You have one ability to attack said enemies, but it isn’t always easy enough to get close to them to be able to kill them. After a couple of heists collecting smaller sums of money, you will need to upgrade your skills in hacking; this allows you to hack computers and disable traps and use them against your foes. The hacking side of the game has its own mini-game of sorts as you have to follow the QTEs on screen in order to complete a hack, fail and you will probably find your self-splattered all up the wall.

The Swindle’s art style is very steam punky. The blacks and browns suite the setting very well and lighting is also a key part of any stealth game; whilst it is only basic lighting it does its job very well. Animation of your character and enemies is really well done too, with some really smooth and fluid movements to be seen when you are jumping from wall to wall Spiderman style. Whilst the game isn’t voice acted, the sound effects are nicely done, with a lot of focus being put on the amount of sound your character makes to try and catch you out by being heard by a guard, the footstep sounds are probably the best effect in this game.

This is a really difficult game. Even the first stage of heists is really difficult and you really need to take every move you make into serious consideration. Do you break through this window now or is there a better way? Do I try and take out this guard so I don’t have to worry about him on the way out or shall I try and sneak past? Every action you take in this game will have consequences later on in the level. The skills and equipment choices you make throughout the run will also have a huge impact as to how you play out the later levels of the game. The last heist on the police station is essentially what the whole game comes down too, in order to unlock the last heist you have to have unlocked every other stage and have a spare £400k sitting around. If you fail the last heist either by dying or being caught, you have to make £400k again, this is often absolutely detrimental to your run as it can take about three or four heists to make that money again. If you are getting close to the last few days of your run, it will often mean failure.

As each run lasts can last anywhere between 80 and maybe a little bit more than a 100 days (you can purchase an upgrade that gives you more time), and this will take about an hour each depending on how quick you are on the heists. There is a very high replay ability factor for this game though, and one that I will certainly be keeping installed just because of the random factors you get thrown at you. I managed to complete The Swindle on my third run and even then it was down to the last day or two of the time limit, so you really have to plan your steps carefully.

I played the game with a controller, and I didn’t have any problems controlling the game whilst carrying out the heists, I did however have a little of trouble navigating the menu screens and skills purchasing screens, it doesn’t seem to respond very well to the joysticks motions and had to opt to using the directional pad instead, minor issue though. There are a couple of graphical options you can change, but this game shouldn’t be taxing to any computer nowadays.

The thing that grabbed me initially with The Swindle would be the art style, and that remains one of the best parts of this game. Once you get past the surface of what seems to be a very samey style game to that of Spelunky, you actually have a really in-depth stealth based game that you will find sucking hours of time out of you. The high replay ability factor really pays off for this type of game, making the retail price of £11, 99 a real steal of a buy.

Tom's Score Card
1) Stay away
2) Not Recommended
3) Only recommended when on sale
4) Recommended
5) Highly recommended
6) This is a must play

If you found this review helpful, please give it a thumbs up. If you would also like to follow my reviews more easily, be sure to join my group by clicking here.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/369110/
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
78 of 101 people (77%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 28, 2015
The Swindle is a difficult game, make no mistake about it. Sometimes the difficulty stems intentionally from its design, and at other times it's due to kinks inherent to the way it was designed. Over the course of 100 in-game days you'll sneak, steal, clobber and die your way across a Victorian Steampunk interpretation of London, on a mission to thwart the government's ultimate surveillance tool. Fail and you'll be forever out of the thieving game, succeed, though, and you'll be free to rob from the rich, the poor and whoever else you come across.


Having caught word that Johnny Law is introducing aforementioned all-seeing surveillance technology known as "The Devil's Basilisk" you and your band of thieves resolve to steal it. However, you'll have no chance of infiltrating the Basilisk if you and your crew have no working capital - you've got to start at the bottom to get to the top after all.

Starting in the slums, you'll break into people's homes to steal their savings - you won't make a killing, but the money you earn will help you buy the upgrades required to pull off more daring and dangerous jobs.

Just like Spelunky, each level you visit has been procedurally generated, meaning you'll never know what's coming next.

Money bags, robotic steampunk guards, banking computers, surveillance cameras and other devious traps will always be in different places, keeping you on your toes . Rushing in for the steal is never the best option - it's still viable, but never as rewarding.

Typically, levels play out in the same fashion:

*Survey the building from all angles
*Identify surveillance points and enemies
*Find where the cash and computers are
*Plan escape route

I found myself using the above formula throughout The Swindle, to varying degrees of success.

Enemies each have their own field of vision, breach it and the alarms will go off and the police will shortly be on the scene. Cue erratic music as you attempt to batter enemies, drain the cash from computers using a button-mashing QTE, and then make your way back to your escape pod. You'll face stiff resistance from the coppers as they sweep the building, and ocassionally crash through it in their airship.

If you fail a day will pass and another thief will take your place, succeed, however, and you'll return to your airship with bags of loot.

In the early stages of the game I found myself stuck in a vicious losing cycle :

*Identify cash
*Identify enemies
*Identify cash I can't reach because I don't have the prerequisite skills.
*Trip alarm.
*Die.

I was stuck in that loop for longer than I'd like to admit, a fact that made me resent the game's core design ever so slightly.

The beginning stages reward your skill with only paltry amounts of cash, a mechanic which brought me great displeasure. To afford even the most basic upgrades you'll need to successfully drain each stage of as much cash as you can. No easy feat given the lack of a tutorial.

Be it intentionally or unintentionally, The Swindle dangles larger cash payoffs in front of you, despite your inability to reach them. Fortunately, acquiring the hacking skill and a handful of bombs changes things for the better, allowing you a degree of freedom in how you approach things.

New challenges and enemies constantly shake things up, and you'll need to alter the way you play accordingly if you want to relieve your victims of 100% of their cash.

The game expands significantly as you acquire more loot. Enemies become faster and more abundent, security fixtures like cameras and drones appear, and more possibilities for mischief present themselves. The Swindle never closes a door without opening a window, so to speak. Likewise, your squad of master thieves also get an upgrade with better hacking abilities, stronger attacks, more bombs and jumping skills. It's up to you where you put your hard-earned (!) money.

Sometimes it doesn't matter what upgrades you have though, the game, by its very nature, can be completely unfair. On more than a few occasions I found myself completely unable to access computers due to there being either traps below or exploding/spiky enemies that kill on touch. Your experience may differ, but the game's procedural generation may require some fine-tuning.

When I wasn't tossing my controller across the room out of pure frustration, I was having a great time. Once you have breached The Swindle's tough outer shell it comes into its own. With a few upgrades on board you'll be ducking, diving and robbing your way from the slums, to luxury stately homes. Extracting the stealth gameplay of Stealth Inc and injecting it into Spelunky is the closest comparison I can give, and it works exceptionally well.

The simple gameplay loop of stealing, upgrading and moving on to the next location to pull off even bigger heists was compelling enough to keep me returning for more, even when I wasn't doing too good. The promise of a shiny new toy to play with, and the resultant evolution of each level, meant I never got bored, even when I felt the game wasn't being entirely fair.

If you can forgive its minor issues The Swindle is sure to make off with a little piece of your heart.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reviewed with a promotionsal copy. Original review here:
http://criticalindiegamer.com/2015/07/robbed-by-a-robot-the-swindle/
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
151 of 222 people (68%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 28, 2015
I love what this game is trying to do, but the controls kill it for me. They're extremely sluggish - sometimes the game will not register that you've jumped, and you'll just walk into a spike pit. There doesn't seem to be an easy way to 'drop' when clinging to a wall, and trying to jump off of a wall and attack fails to trigger pretty often. It's also hard to tell whether you can actually access an area with your current abilities - can I jump high enough to grab this wall? Not sure. The difference is only a few pixels, so sometimes I feel like I can grapple onto something, and other times I can't.

If the control issues get fixed, I would definitely recommend. Right now though, I can't.
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38 of 46 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 1, 2015
The Swindle is a game about taking things that don’t belong to you. You enter a randomly generated level, try to get through without being seen, and get out with as much cash as you can carry. You don’t have to get it all, but you get a sizable bonus if you do. If you die, you lose your cash and the thief you were using and get no second chance at that map. You use that cash on a variety of upgrades like more map information, more jumps, faster hacking, bombs, access to harder map types, and smoke screens, to name a few. You get 100 days, each representing an attempt to earn enough cash to get up to the titular highest and hardest map type. 100 days might seem like a lot of time but when an attempt can less than 30 seconds if you slip up or get impatient, it starts to feel more like a doomsday clock.

The Swindle is hard. Not cheap, not random, just hard. It will punish you swiftly and severely for impatience or poor decision making. It’s hard, but not unfair.

Every single one of my several hundred deaths were my fault. I jumped too soon, I tried to squeeze in one more hit even when I knew my melee attack had a small cooldown, or I tried to overextend myself in my greed to get all the cash in a level.

New enemy types and map features are introduced with minimal tutorials, keeping the flow of the game intact and the sense of discovery a reward for the player's efforts. When you buy clearance to visit the second map type, you better have hacking level 2 or you might not even get into the building as locked doors are now a thing. You better have bombs by the third map type because some of the best loot will be sealed behind a wall. The rewards are exponentially greater as is the potential for failure.

Unlike most games that get easier as you get more tools, The Swindle responds in kind with challenges that force you to utilize those tools in split second decisions and ups the skill ceiling. If you like games that constantly challenge you from start to finish, this one is for you.
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51 of 70 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 6, 2015
OMG THE CONTROLS SUCK
OK, first things first, The Swindle is frustrating because the controls are crap. For a platformer thats about stealth and sneaking around, the controls need to be super tight and responsive (see Mark of the Ninja for an excellent example of good controls). The controls in The Swindle are neither tight nor responsive. There's a bit of "floatyness" to the jumping, and it's too difficult to tell at which point on a ledge the wall-slide will trigger. If it doesn't trigger, then your in-game avatar likes to jump up-and-4-feet-over the edge for some inexplicable, infuriating reason. It is a real shame, because there's a good game here, marred by bad control responsiveness. Even navigating the menus using an Xbox360 controller is harder than it should be.

The Art Style is Fantastic
This is a good looking 2D game, for sure. I really like the steampunk-meets-Victorian-era-London art direction. There's some CRT scanline effects that are fitting for the overall aesthetic, but not overused. The player protagonist and enemies all look good IMO. My only complaint in the graphics department is the visual arc that's represented in the animation of your melee swing. You don't always hit what your avatar's weapon goes across (if an enemy is above or below you for example), even though visually it looks like you made contact.

Summary
A good platformer will make your character's deaths feel like your own fault. The Swindle doesn't feel like that at all. I've died wayyyy too many cheap deaths that were caused by a control scheme that's just not up to par for this type of game. I've been spotted by enemies that should never have had a chance to see me not through lack of skill, but because my character didn't move in a way that you would naturally expect him/her to. It's truly frustrating, because this could be a real gem of a game were the controls better. Hopefully the developer(s) can improve upon this aspect of The Swindle. Until that happens however, I can't recommend purchasing it.
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126 of 199 people (63%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 28, 2015
This game is absolutely lovely- most of it.
The visual look is fun and fits well with the game, the sound as well. Gameplay (for the most part) is fun, and while difficult and frustrating, is addicting. I found myself rage-quitting and then reopening the game for another go.
HOWEVER, the controls are sluggish and on a platformer in general this is rough enough, but on the forums I saw the dev mention (http://steamcommunity.com/app/369110/discussions/1/535151589902560428/#p2) that the controls are deliberately a bit off at the beginning until you buy certain upgrades. This is unacceptable to me and an artificial difficulty. I'm quite bad at platformers, and I can fail well enough on my own, thank you. I don't need intentionally slow/unresponsive controls to help me along.
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32 of 42 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 27, 2015
Welcome to London, 1849. Playing the role of a masterthief you hear word of an artificial intelligence device Scotland Yard is planning to deploy. Once deployed this device will bring complete surveillance along with ending your career and retirement plans. Considering it's stealth game from a developer who openly admits they dislike the genre, could have fooled me. Maybe it was a ruse? :)

Expands well starting with simple heists in the Slums district that doesn't involve more then dodging a few guards and picking up cash laying about the place (who does that!?). Gradually introducing new mechanics and smarter robots that quickly required both your platforming skills and wits. End goal is to stop the AI deployment which happens after 100 days. Heists use 1 day but if that sounds like a problem or you feel rushed, do have the ability to spend cash on increasing the timeframe.

Other primary goal of course is to increase your chances of success. Banking cash from successful heists can be spent on a range of upgrades, from simple double jumps to backpack steamjets that conceal the thieves presence momentarily. Character abilities can also purchased which included hacking tools, lockpicks, goggles that increase your general perception, bombs for blasting through walls and more. Progress to new zones is made by purchasing security clearance cards. Zones were uniquely themed and given the procedural nature levels designed quite well. Can't say I ran into any 'broken rooms' in my gametime and while most had familiar characteristics didn't feel like I had "Ben There, Dan That!"

Graphically the game is beautiful, supporting up to 4k+ screen resolution along with having options to disable the blur, sunrays and otherwise which should mean decent performance on most systems. Would recommend a gamepad but kb+mouse was responsive and completely remappable. Overall I can see myself spending hours playing The Swindle. Well worth checking out if you enjoy platformer/puzzle/rpg/survival...you get it. Cheers folks. :)

No commentary gameplay video below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRf0rQ0qHFY
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