The Unfinished Swan
Games for download only are quickly becoming popular but haven’t been taken very seriously. Often these run as episodes that aren’t released on time or are filled with bugs. But every so often a downloadable game shows that they are capable of unique premises and quality gaming.
The Unfinished Swan takes a peculiar concept and invents a twisting puzzle game. A young boy’s mother dies and all he is left of her is her unfinished paintings. One day his favorite one, a swan, comes alive and goes missing. In his search for the swan he is taken in the blank canvas with only his mother’s paint brush to survive with. The boy must move through the painting’s worlds to find out the true story about his family.
This puzzle game arms players with a paint brush or garden hose depending on the chapter. At some points you must paint the scene to finish building it or make vines in the garden grow to find a new path. The outside of the box thinking is reminiscent of Portal. Players must manipulate their surroundings to get to their destination. More than just splattering paint, players must navigate dark areas and house building to reach the missing swan. These challenges flex the game play of a game that could potentially be boring.
The Playstation version is programmed for a regular control as well as the Move Controller. But the mechanics of the Move are sloppy, and it is hard for players to aim the camera in functional manner. Switching to the regular control makes the game easier and manageable. Unlike many downloadables, I didn’t run into constant bugs or issues with game play.
The game is rather short, and I blew through the five chapters easily. While there are balloon collectables, replay values is not high after a completion. Like Portal, a player has to give themselves enough time to forget the solution in order to get that puzzle solving high.
While not high on story, the unique game play and thought put into the game is a refreshing foray in a world of shooters and survivor horrors games. Giant Sparrow proves that the public loves a game that makes them think outside the box.
- The Unfinished Swan Review: A Short, Cute, Easy, and Unfulfilling PSN Puzzler (gadgetreview.com)
- The Unfinished Swan becomes visible on PSN Oct. 23, a week earlier on Plus (joystiq.com)
- The Unfinished Swan Review (godisageek.com)
- The Unfinished Swan review (poppycockreviews.com)
- The Unfinished Swan is totally done, here’s a launch trailer to prove it (joystiq.com)