Stranded in space, exploring an abandoned space station, and equipped with a mysterious device that allows you to literally create copies of yourself. This is, in a nutshell, what The Swapper is about.
But this puzzle platformer game designed by two Finnish students is so much more than that: it is an atmospheric game that pushes the player to make tough decisions that ultimately leave you struggling with some troubling philosophical questions.
Maybe it sounds fancy, but Facepalm Games’ creation manages to balance the philosophical weight of its storyline with incredibly intelligent puzzles, unique visuals and a haunting soundtrack.
The Swapper offers players a very personal method of exploration in a world entirely created from clay models and other every day materials. The result is a strangely familiar setting which at the same time hides unexpected dangers and tasks.
And this is where the troubling questions come from. This unique world can only be explored with the help of clones, which the player will create with an experimental cloning device. The player can create up to 4 clones at the same time, anywhere they have line of sight.
All of the clones move exactly the same as the character controlled by the player and they exist until you touch them or until they die doing an impossible task you could not do by yourself. What’s very interesting is that you can actually swap “consciousness” from one body to another and therefore use one clone to explore areas that you cannot reach otherwise.
And when one of these clones dies and you are faced with the image of a dead body you previously inhabited, that is when the true metaphysical problem this game poses actually strikes you. This is a game in which you will have to literally kill yourself or versions of yourself over and over. And you won’t really be able to hit “Try again” and be brought back to life for another attempt to beat a level. You will only be able to risk the life of another you until you succeed.
In conclusion, The Swapper may be one of the most intense and special puzzle adventure games we’ve ever seen. It has very ingenious puzzles that perfectly balance the level of difficulty and offer users an impeccable and unforgettable gaming experience. It will make you ask questions about life and death and morality in a way few other entertainment products dared to.
This is an absolute must for all those who are interested in a game that really challenges their brain. The Swapper is out now and is available only for PC via Steam.
[Image via The controller online]