By Andy Na / May 17th, 2013
With funding provided by Indie-Fund and more than two years of development, Finnish studio Facepalm’s The Swapper is being released on Steam on May 30th. The Swapper is a dark and atmospheric 2D platformer. It involves a lone man exploring the depths of an alien cave, using a tool that allows him to clone himself, scale obstacles and solve puzzles.
The game was presented at this year’s PAX East and boasts a lot of awards. You can watch the trailer below:
The game looks gorgeous, as the trailer combines lighting, art, and sound design with ambient music to demonstrate a chilling atmosphere. The clay models are animated incredibly well and possess life-like movements, which add a lot of value to the abnormality behind the aesthetics from clay animation. The amount of detail behind the level designs give the game a haunting appearance. Using the flashlight creates a sense of mystery and dreadful anticipation that is appropriate for the game’s setting.
Fans of suspenseful 2D action-games like WayForward’s Aliens: Infestation, or Super Metroid may find familiarity in The Swapper. There are foreboding areas like caverns, laboratories, and abandoned mines that are isolated from all signs of normal life. The game requires full awareness of a level’s environment, and includes a map screen reminiscent of Metroid in the trailer. The cloning feature looks like a unique twist, however; as the players assumes the role as a squad leader role by using at his command.
The Swapper‘s initial release is on PC, Mac, and Linux. Facepalm has hinted at bringing the game over to “something else”, presumably on other platforms or home consoles. Facepalm co-founder Olli Harjola is open to porting it to other platforms that doesn’t require “compromises regarding the experience”, but has nothing planned so far.