Game of the Week: Swindler

What do you get when you combine a ball of ooze with looting, puzzles, and retro style appeal? – You get one of my new-found gems on the inter-webs called Swindler by Nitrome Games. Now Nitrome Games has a slew of other titles to explore, but today I wanted to exclusively focus on Swindler – but I plan on doing a Developer of the Week post for Nitrome so stay tuned in for that one if you want to see more of their games in detail!

GLOOP! GLOP! THIS IS A SLIME UP!

Now, why Swindler – what makes this title worthy of checking out? Well, first off I was immensely drawn to it by the design decision to go with a retro fit and art style. The NES/SNES and arcade style gameplay really lend to the charm of this game – as well as the accessibility of the game. The music is nice and ominous, and while it can be a repetitive track the sound definitely makes this game something special – when you hear your little slime spy splat from messing up a move it truly is a gaming joy. Now – onto the accessibility!

Dum dum dum – Ba-na-na! Dum dum dum – ba-na-na- ba- na- na -NA-NA!

Swindler is comprised of a story about a little ooze blob who’s soul mission is to steal these gold chests from the depths of every one of these puzzle levels. There’s 25 levels while the game may look and control very simply – the game is actually a cognitive problem solving tester. Swindler starts you off slow, letting you get used to the wrapping and movement physics of the little bungie blob – but once you’ve solved a puzzle or two – the game’s difficulty shifts.

S0 – what’s the story here?

Don’t be fooled into thinking a game is easy to play or solve just by mechanics alone. The graphics are simple and lovable – the adorable explosions that your little Swindler goes through as he fails to traverse the level is definitely memorable – but overall this game will definitely have you spending time and brain power on these twisting flipping puzzles.

The levels are pretty small in design, but they’re definitely hard – and I think that’s refreshing. The controls break down to simple use of the arrow keys and the occasional use of the spacebar. There is a sadness that comes along with not being able to switch to a ‘wasd’ setting – but otherwise the game plays very simple and lean with plenty of challenge to outwit your poor little blob. Avoid monsters, maneuver your way around traps and steal all the loots till your hearts content – in this lovely little Swindler that will steal your heart!

Pros:

  • Simple gameplay w/ few controls excellent for motion impaired gamers.
  • Audio not required to play the game and all instructions picture/written.
  • Colors are bright and vivid and easy to see for vision impaired gamers.
  • Engaging gameplay and 25 levels gives a lot of time to play around with Swindler.
  • Level saves after every victory, so if you have to leave, start from last save point.

Cons:

  • No opportunity to switch controls to WASD for left-handed gamers.
  • Colorblind gamers may have a bit of trouble w/ the vivid contrast color scheme.
  • Slightly repetitive soundtrack can become a bit old – but can be muted anytime.
  • Precision actions can become problematic for one-handed/motion impaired later.
  • Difficult puzzle solving can make game tough/problematic for cognitive impaired.

Swindler is definitely one of the very MANY successes in the Nitrome library of games. I’ll be giving more detail on these guys later – but I would definitely check out Swindler if you’re looking for a rewarding little retro puzzler game that has an infectious little green blob of a thief that steals his way into your heart. You can play Swindler now on Kongregate for FREE!

Take a peak – spread the word – and share in this joyful little retro gem before it steals away into the vaults of anonymity.

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