review
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POSTED 31/10/14


THE UNFINISHED SWAN

Giant Sparrow/Sony



As children, we’re exposed to all manner of wondrous whimsy. But, as we trudge further into adulthood, such vital life joys tend to get pushed aside to make way for financial stress and alcoholic fugues. So, say hello to The Unfinished Swan and reclaim a smidgeon of whimsicality.

Basically a fairytale storybook dealie, it tells of young Monroe. His mother, an avid if flibbertygibbety painter, has passed away. Allowed to grab one incomplete piece of artwork before presumably being plopped into some form of government-run communal aspiration crush, Monroe picks – oh come on, look at the title! Cue escape into a fantasy world, somewhere we’d likely toddle off to quick smart too if placed in the poor kid’s position.

Seen through Monroe’s eyes, things begin in a room that’s whiter than an EB Games store (no, we didn’t think it possible either). Two actions are at your disposal, the staple jump and the not-so-staple splooge of black goop. This latter emanation daubs the white landscape hidden in the white whiteness, allowing you to suss where to toddle in pursuit of that partial cygnus.

That’s just the first of four main levels. The next sees black goop replaced with water, the next... Well, no more spoilers. Mercifully the entire game doesn’t play out in monochrome, as the likes of shadow detail and the odd other colour is introduced. Plus, there are balloons! Come on, what’s a game without collectables?

Mostly a cruisegasmic reverie, like its lovely spiritual sibling Flower there’s the odd outbreak of unfortunate incongruous nastiness. Also, beware motion sickness, and that sometimes the gamey-wamey forgets which way is uppy-wuppy, randomly reversing controls. Grumpf!

It isn’t the longest outing, but so what? The Unfinished Swan is an engaging trip back to when a sense of wonderment wasn’t confined to the dollar amount on our latest electricity bill.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.