Review – Swigian

It is ironic that the “verbose” command even works in this game of few words.

In the Epic Age, heroes didn’t ramble on, they just did stuff.

In this game, that’s how it works.


Because that is how it is done.


[No Spoilers.]

There is a real art to creating the perception of a light parser. For all the hand waving about “limited parser” games this year, it’s worth noting that the best of them are deeply implemented, and in fact do not ignore broad input, but redirect it seamlessly. In fact, a game like Eat Me has extensive procedures for dealing with whatever the player tries, but it is done with such finesse that all the player remembers are their successes with the key verb. Here too, the terseness is studied. Objects are not under-implemented, they are implemented as much as they need to be. Input is not ignored or rejected, but almost anything the player tries will elicit a custom, if brief, response.

This is a game that paints in big strokes: there is maybe one action per location and then it is time to move on. It is the polar opposite of an apartment-style game, where the puzzle involves sifting through every mundane object in sight and fiddling with subparts of subparts of finicky devices.

If you find a spear, you will use it when you need to.

The spear isn’t there to evoke a flashback to a moral dilemma.

In keeping with this style, the description of the player character is limited and figuring out your identity is part of the game’s puzzle. Motivation is not explicit either, but your actions make it clear that you are a standard-issue colossal cave spelunker, nor a part-time whip-wielding archeologist on a plunder quest.

That’s a lot of review for a game of few words, and I think the fewer said, the better.


Story: 8

Voice: 10

Play: 10

Polish: 10

Technical: 6


Evaluation: 9.8

Transcript: swigScript


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