March 30, 2011

Press Y to Kill

Lasting First Impressions of Swarm from Hothead Games

Swarm Logo

Another title that I had the pleasure to receive a preview of while attending PAX East was the recently released Swarm, developed by Hothead Games.  The developers and minds behind the brilliant DeathSpank have delivered a new game similar in nature to games such as Pikmin and Overlord, but with a very distinct difference; instead of controlling the mob through a single central character, you control up to 50 cute little swarmites directly.  The Swarm itself is the central character of this game.

Interestingly enough, however, is the fact that Hothead Games not only delivers a game whose goal is to get the swarm to the end of each level, but also to discover every unique way of killing the swarmites en mass.  Sounds like two opposing goals, doesn’t it?  As long as at least one swarmite reaches the finish line, you’ve succeeded; so have fun killing the mob every which way you can!  While it can definitely be fun and quite humourous to find ways to kill the swarm (and get rewarded for doing so), the real challenge is in escaping the ever increasing danger of each level.  There is, without a doubt, a reason the player is rewarded for failing by killing the swarm: this game is far from easy and you will die.  You will die often.

Swarm Screenshot 2 

I only played a small portion of the game at PAX East and discovered a few of the unique was to control the warm (huddle them close together, spread them out across the screen, piling them up into a tall stack.) in order to collect the goal number of DNA strands that litter the area.  Knowing the game was only a couple of weeks away from release, I was anxious to get my hands on it once again and play it in more detail.  My small introduction to the game at PAX did not prepare me for the intense and demanding challenge that the full release would bring me.

Swarm is a cute and enjoyable game, worthy of those who enjoy a great platformer and thrive on a challenge.  In my first play through on the game I became very frustrated near the end of only the second level as I just wasn’t fast enough to escape some fiery contraption chasing my swarm.  The game, however, is not frustrating enough that I didn’t want to come back to it and try it again.  It is certainly quite a demanding game, but one worthy of repeating until you get it right.

Hothead Games, I gave you an hour and, while I was definitely given a challenge, I am still loving Swarm! I’m IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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