Thanks to Two Tribes for the review code
Title: Swap This!
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 11/02/2018
Swap This, being a game from 2011, looks pretty similar to most mobile games that launched during that period. Having grown up with tons of mobile games during that time period, this felt like nostalgia of both the good and the bad parts of a Mobile game from this time period. On one hand, you get a very simple UI that brings you quickly into the action, with no microtransactions or anything of the sort, but you also get generic music and a visual style that isn’t that appealing, looking like a generic tropical island themed game you’d find on Facebook.
Swap This has several game modes on offer. The main mode is a one minute time attack, where you can learn the simple controls and gimmicks to the game while chasing a higher score, and there’s also a similar mode where you must keep scoring high in order to stay away from a shark. Regardless of which of these you choose to play, the goal of the game is to switch frozen tiles of fish around by touching two tiles on the touchscreen, making groups of 4 or more in order to break them and clear the way for new ones. The bigger the group, the more points you get, and if you go with more groups to pair up, then it’ll increase even more. Depending on how you organize things, you can make some chain reactions, but they don’t really do too much, so I recommend sticking with clearing tons of group as soon as possible.
Besides the three score attack modes, there’s also a single player puzzle mode, where you must clear the entire board of pieces in a limited amount of turns, earning a record of Gold, Silver or Bronze for doing so. It’s a tried and true Puzzle mode that you’ve likely seen in plenty of other games by now, so there’s little to note here outside of how it introduces powerups that can also be used in the main modes to shake things up. Every now and then, there’ll be a pokey Sea Urchin that will reduce your timer if you happen to touch it on accident, but some powerups like a hammer or the ice block can make them much less of an issue, and using the power ups is what can lead to those chain reactions I mentioned earlier.
In conclusion, Swap This! Is a relic from its time. It plays pretty much like a typical 2011 Mobile game, which means it’s not a pay to win nightmare, but also lacks much of a purpose outside of being a time killer for car rides. However, on a system with so, so many more games that fill this void while offering even more to engage the players, I really can’t recommend Swap This much at all, save for high score chasers who really like matching games. This isn’t an addictive score chaser like Magical Drop, but rather just a return to the past of old mobile games.
However, I do hope that this is a sign of Two Tribes porting more of their older games to Switch, since some of their other titles such as EDGE and RUSH excel at being mobile friendly while offering the engagement sorely lacking from Swap This!
I give Swap This! a 5 out of 10.