November 2, 2012

A Blank Canvas

Lasting First Impressions of The Unfinished Swan

Developed by Giant Sparrow  |  Published by Sony Computer Entertainment

The Unfinished Swan - Feature» Every so often a real gem of a game makes its way onto the scene; inventive and unique games like That Game Company’s Flower and Journey.  Another game that can genuinely be described as unique and as a must-play is Giant Sparrow’s The Unfinished Swan, available now on PSN.  The Unfinished Swan is a game of discovery and imagination that can never truly be described to someone without having them experience it first-hand.

The Unfinished Swan tells the story of Monroe, a little orphan boy whose only possession of his late Mother’s is an unfinished painting of a swan. One day, Monroe awakens to find the swan has gone missing. Taking along only a paintbrush, Monroe follows the swan through a small door that he never noticed before. There he finds himself in the abandoned kingdom of a once tyrannical King.  Through discovery and simple puzzles, the story of the King will be told like a children’s bed time storybook.

TheUnfinishedSwan_Review_1The Unfinished Swan begin with, literally, a blank slate; a white screen.  Only by ‘throwing’ paint balls will you discover what is truly around as the paint splatters on objects in the environment. Using this method of painting the blank canvas, Monroe begins to track the swan’s travels by finding and following its golden footsteps and discovering the story of the kingdom he now find himself in.

There is something simply beautiful about the simplicity found in this game and the calming child-like music that really brings one back to childhood.  The Unfinished Swan is a bedtime story complete with a fairy-tail story, fascinating discovery, and fulfilling collections.  Here you will find no death, no ammo, no monsters, bosses, or battles of any kind.  Just shear enjoyment from start to satisfying end.

TheUnfinishedSwan_Review_7The Unfinished Swan is a platformer with very simple move and ‘fire’ paint pellets as the primary mode of play.  As the story progresses, the player will be presented with simple puzzles to overcome, nothing too strenuous but satisfying nonetheless.  The black paint will give way to water pellets that will be used to cause vines to grow, bringing life back to this barren, lifeless kingdom.  Chapter after chapter, as the story progresses, the kingdom will grow and evolve and the tale of the King will become clearer.

This game is proof that we don’t need over the top graphics and realism, boss battles, and unending action to tell a fantastical story and give enjoyment to the player.  Giant Sparrow has happened upon something completely magical with The Unfinished Swan and, while it may not be a long journey, it will certainly be one that is satisfying and worth playing through more than once.  The magic of this game is in the simplicity and child-like discovery of a great fairy-tale.  The Unfinished Swan is, undeniably, the most advanced interactive story book on the market today and one that everyone, young and old alike, owe it to themselves to play.

Giant Sparrow, I gave you an hour and I am 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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