Developed by Hothead Games, Swarm was a bit of a surprise title for me. My gaming expertise has as of late being stretched across both AAA and digital titles, and Swarm is definitely one of my favorite digital titles of late.
Swarm is by no means a challenging concept, yet it’s decievingly to master. You’re assigned to you at the start of each level 50 ‘Swarmites’ – cute little blue blobs that are extremely nostalgic of Lemmings.
Each level is fairly unique and each level is packed with numerous challenging obstacles that at times actually require you to kill some of your precicous innocent Swarmites. Placed at helpful places throughout each level is a Swarmite generator that allows you to create new Swarmites, and by killing them off you gain a higher combo multiplier. Coupling your combo with various gems allows you to unlock new levels and gain higher scores that can be tracked through online leaderboards to compete against your buddies and the world.
One of the most appealing features for me in Swarm was the excellent way the death of your directly controlled Swarmites is handled. Similar to the Call of Duty medal system, you’re awarded new medals for killing your Swarmites in different ways whether it be through fire, falling or even being impaled upon sharp objects.
Unlocking new medals and awards, plus the default achievements and trophies, always gave me something to aim towards which did wonders for keeping the gameplay fresh and unique. However if you’re still concerned about the length of gameplay in Swarm, stress no less.
Each level has a score quota that you need to fill in order to advance to the next stage however it’s at times quite challenging to make the quota yet still efficiently manage your Swarmites. Killing too many might make the level incompletable, yet killing too few will prevent you getting a high enough combo to advance to the next stage.
My only major grievance was that of the often repetitive and mind-numbing soundtrack. In an overly polished package, the definitely major gripe of the whole ordeal is the music. Whilst it’s not enough to warrant being muted permanently, it’s definitely nothing to write home about.
Some of my favorite download titles were from the likes of Ninja Bee and Twisted Pixel, however I can now proudly put Swarm and Hothead Games up on my shelf, too. Great gameplay, hours of replayability and an extremely polished gameplay mechanic makes this a must for any download title fans.
+ Great platforming gameplay
+ Medals system is great
– Repetitive and boring soundtrack
– Gameplay is slightly too easy at times
Swarm was released on the 22nd of March 2011 for the Xbox 360 Arcade and Playstation Network. Our copy was provided by the publisher for the purposes of review. Singleplayer was played to completion. Played on a 23″ ASUS VG236h monitor via HDMI connection.