Swarm is an arcade game similar to that of Lemmings. Much like in Lemmings, your objective is a guide a swarm of little beings through numerous levels and make sure they all survive the deadly obstacles that are placed in front of them. It can be quite a hectic job trying to save all the little critters from death.
Can this next-generation Lemmings offer something new to the plate? Is Swarm an easy game that anybody can play? Let’s find out as we take a look at the HOTs and NOTs of Swarm.
The first few moments I played Swarm I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. This is because there are many funny ways the little blue critters can unfortunately meet their demise. You will start off with 50 blue critters called Swarmites as you try and navigate them through each level to safety. As I said before, they will die along the way and you may end up only left with 1 Swarmite.
The are many dangerous obstacles that stand in your way which can lead to many fatal consequences. In my first few moments of gameplay I lost some swarmites to a gas full of poison. After that I did not know how to jump properly and all of them fell to their death!
The game is more like an action-platforming game than a puzzle game like Lemmings. You will have to jump around the levels a lot making sure none of your swarmites die. Other deadly traps include chainsaws, fire, robot drones, electricity and a whole lot more.
You can still complete a level with only 1 swarmite remaining but if all 50 of them die it’s game over.
Helpful Hints And Checkpoints
Unlike in Lemmings, you will have checkpoints and respawn points along the way to make your job a lot more easier. The game would have been difficult if you had to do it all in one go. Trust me, the levels get a lot more harder and the dangers that you will have to face are no walk in the park.
One of the levels you had the navigate your way through the dark while trying to collect some light bulbs to illuminate the path ahead if you. Again, had it not been for the checkpoints and respawns I would have never been able to complete the level. You don’t want to know how many times I fell to my death in complete darkness…
Unlike with most platform games, this game is not all about jumping and bashing bad guys. The swarmites have to work together in order to make sure that they all survive. First of all, if you hold and let go of the right trigger, the swamites will band together and sprint. This is a very helpful technique as there times you will have to literally run away from traps such as blades and chainsaws coming at you! The left trigger spreads the swarmites around so you can collect the purple fragments that are littered throughout the game to garner a higher score. The A button is your jumping button, Not only does this allow your swarm to jump but if you hold down the right trigger as well, the swarm will stack themselves up like a totem pole to reach higher places. While B allows you to interact and pick up certain objects. The controls may be hard to master at first, but once you have been able to master them the game will be a much more enjoyable experience.
I was surprised that a game like this even had boss battles. The first boss you will encounter is a huge fire-breathing mechanical-like boss. He’s quite hard to defeat as he has big chainsaws that can slice your swarm to pieces. Not only that but he has bombs that he can detonate you too! It may have been difficult but I finally managed to beat him. It was quite a lengthy battle but nothing short of an epic one. Boss battles are nothing new but it was a nice surprise to see bosses featured in a puzzle-platformer like this game.
High Score Is Annoying
The main annoying thing about the game is level progression. In order to unlock more levels you need to at least get a certain high score on the previous level. It can be very annoying getting to the end of a certain level just to realize that you have not scored enough points yet to get to the next level. As I was only 2000 points shy once and had to do the level all over again.
Not only this but to unlock boss levels you also have to collect a certain number of DNA strands is each level. The first boss requires you to attain 15 DNA strands while the next one has a quota of 30.
It’s a little frustrating factor about the game as it would have been much more easier of you could only just complete a level to progress like in every other game. But no, you have to get high scores and collect DNA strands to advance in this game. It may not be too bad for so many gamers but I’m sure some casual gamers will hate this feature of the game.
Swarm is one of the most unique and ambitious titles I’ve played recently. The gameplay is unlike what I’ve seen before and is arguably more enjoyable to play than Lemmings. There are a number of levels to keep gamers occupied and the animations of the many deaths the swarmites will face are very funny. The only downside to this game is the annoying level progression system. If you can get past that, you have yourself a very fun and unique game.
[Editor’s Note: Swarm was reviewed on the Xbox 360 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]