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Sway Review

Sway LogoSway is a 2D platformer for iPhone/iPod Touch with a spin. As the title indicates, the game developed by ReadyFireAim and Illusion Labs will have you swaying back and forth to move across obstacles and platforms to reach your goal.

Sway offers 25 levels which are unlocked progressively and broken down into four worlds. Each world has a unique terrain style - either stone, grass, wood or metal - and features a different combination of obstacles such as spikes, spinning platforms, slippery walls and big jumps. Read More…

One of the 25 Levels Sway OffersThe premise is very simple and is presented as a comic strip at the beginning of the game. Your starting character, a colourful lizard named Lizzy, must search the galaxy to save her lost friends which were blown away in an explosion.

What sets Sway apart are its multi-touch controls and physics. In order to move around towards your goal you must swing using your character’s arms. You do this by holding both thumbs down on the bottom left and right corners of the screen and making semi-circles to swing. Your left thumb controls your character’s right arm (the character is facing you) and vice versa.

It is important to move in a consistent rhythm to reach maximum height and speed. You must spin your character on one arm and let go at the right time to send it flying over large gaps. Holding both thumbs down and will make your character hang with both arms, which is useful if you need to take a break or survey your surroundings. If you slip and let go, your character will plunge to its death forcing you to restart from your last reached checkpoint.

The goal of each level is to finish under the time limit while having collected a minimum of pink stars in order to earn bronze, silver and gold medal rankings. Other levels will also have you find three keys to save your friends. Completing these levels will unlock new characters for you to use.

Each of the seven characters have varying attributes. Some have longer arms or greater speed when spinning which will come in handy to successfully complete certain levels. However, this feature is never clearly explained and was only discovered late in the game in my case.

A View of the World Map in SwaySway is an attractive and brightly-coloured game that shines with its cartoon style. The characters are all very cute and remind me of Sackboy from LittleBigPlanet. The game’s presentation would be excellent if it weren’t for its incredibly repetitive sound design. Each level features the same 30 second loop of cheerful island music which quickly becomes annoying. It would have been interesting to hear different songs for all of the game’s four worlds. Otherwise, I did crack a smile hearing my character yelling as it fell to its death the first time.

Finally, my biggest complaint is a problem that made me scream in rage a few times. If you accidentally press the home button you will lose your current game progress. Since you are always sliding your thumbs near this button while playing it would be incredibly helpful if the game paused if pressed by mistake. This could easily be fixed with a patch which we will hopefully see in the near future.

I enjoyed most of my time playing Sway, though I found its difficulty uneven. Some levels were very simplistic and easy while others had me pulling my hair out in frustration. I have yet to complete some of the last levels which are still causing me problems.

Sway is an innovative 2D platformer which effectively uses the multi-touch capabilities of the iPhone/iPod Touch platform. Though mastering the controls takes effort, Sway is a quality title which fans of the genre will surely enjoy.

Positives:

+ Unique Multi-Touch Controls Work Well
+ Lots of Levels and Characters to Unlock
+ Good Physics Engine


Negatives:


- One Music Track Loops Constantly
- Uneven Difficulty Curve

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Game Forward Score: 4/5

Nathalie Caron > Game Forward

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Sway (iPhone/iPod Touch) Quick Facts:

Genre: 2D Platformer
Developer: Illusion Labs / ReadyFireAim
Publisher: Illusion Labs / ReadyFireAim
Release Date: Februry 23, 2009 (v1.1.0)
Price: $4.99 US/CAN
iTunes Rating: 4+