There are plenty of puzzle platformers out there, but few are as unique as SwingWorm. SwingWorm is one of four games produced by 10tons LTD. The game features Swingy the Swingworm, who wants to climb the tallest tree in the forest. Unfortunately for Swingy, he has to collect rubaberries for the big bug in order to get permission to climb this tree. So you are tasked with collecting all the berries in the level as quickly as possible. The faster you collect those berries, the more gold stars you earn. The maximum number of stars you can earn are three per level. Once you earn enough gold stars you can proceed to the next chapter. There are ten levels in each chapter and six chapters in total. This game can be downloaded and played on Android, iOS Devices, MacOS, WebOs Devices, BADA store for Samsung phones, and from the Nokia Ovi store. Sorry, Windows Phone 7 gamers, this isn’t available for you yet.
To control Swingy the SwingWorm, you must grab Swingy’s head or tail and fling it towards a leaf. When you get either appendage close enough to the leaf, Swingy will grab on to the new leaf and let go of the old leaf. You then inch your way up the level, constantly flinging Swingy along the way and collecting the berries as he approaches them. After you complete the first few challenges, the game throws in new obstacles including spiked beetles, ice blocks and wood planks to increase the difficulty. The game seems to pay homage to Rovio’s Angry Birds with the smashing through ice blocks and wood planks to get to what’s underneath. Unfortunately, this element doesn’t change up the gameplay as much as originally intended, since we are all so familiar with these concepts. We can appreciate the attempt to mix it up by adding something more challenging, but we would rather have seen moving platforms or something that most other platformers use to mix up their games. We think the unique way Swingy can move was enough to keep this game interesting, but the similarities to Angry Birds ultimately hurt this game. Even the scoring system, built upon Angry Birds’ three-star system, just reminds the player that they have seen these concepts before.
Unfortunately, there are more problems than just the similarity to Angry Birds. We found the soundtrack to be a big issue, as the music was bland and repetitive, ultimately leading to us having to mute the soundtrack. Since the overall tone of the game is happy, we would have expected something a little more upbeat and engaging. Instead, we are treated to some guitar riffs and some pan flutes taking turns playing chords. We would have preferred something more structured and upbeat.
Finally, we really had a problem with the way you pay for this game on the Android version, as we hate having to buy pieces of games. If you make gamers sign up for an eHarmony account or apply for a credit card to get more levels and continue the story, that is just plain weak. We would much rather just pay a couple of dollars and get the full game instead of wasting time signing up for products we don’t want or need.
As an avid mobile gamer, we appreciate that the game is available on numerous mobile operating systems. 10tons really put in the effort to make sure that this game was available to almost everyone with a mobile device. We also appreciate the fact that the control scheme is different to anything we’ve seen before. Few games allow you to control each individual appendage as you can with Swingy. Unfortunately, there are a number of factors holding this title back, including a poor quality soundtrack, overwhelming similarity to a more successful title, and the fact that you have to purchase levels. Despite all the negatives, we found that with this particular game, we are still interested in what 10tons has yet to show us.
This review is based on a review copy of the iOS version of SwingWorm provided by 10tons, Ltd.