I’ve been many things in video games over the years, from a mighty pirate captain to a scared little girl (quiet in the back – I said ‘in video games’!). Many things indeed. But a swimmer afraid of touching other swimmers? That’s certainly a new experience, and yet, the turn-based puzzles in the Swim Out demo were surprisingly enjoyable – if a bit simple. At first.
Crossing a pool in a mad dash for the exit is how you survive each ‘encounter’ in Swim Out. Thing is though, you have to make sure the protagonist never comes into contact with other swimmers, or even people simply getting their feet wet. No one can be touched, or the level will restart. Oh, and everyone moves when you do, which is where the puzzle aspect comes into play. See, far as I can tell, red swimmers only move back and forth, one tile at a time.
Easily avoided, right? Sure, if you’re able to plan ahead, several moves at a time. If not, then you’ll likely have a hard time getting through the later levels – and that’s just the demo! At least you’ll be able to throw objects at ‘the opposition’ for distractions, and at some points – in the full version – it seems there’s even a rideable kayak. Very peculiar, although if it means getting out of the pool without running the risk of physical contact… sure!
Also, simply dealing with having to dodge a handful of swimmers, each with their own predetermined path through the pool isn’t enough. Or so the developer thinks anyway, as we’ll be sharing the water with water-bombing kids, various sea creatures, and of course, large waves at some point or other. Kinda makes me wonder if some kind of evil super villain is in charge of these watery areas, ya know? Maybe we’ll find the answer to that one this summer, which is the planned release window for the full version.
Unlikely though, seeing how the demo – pre-release or not – doesn’t really hint at a story-driven title at all. One with fun watery puzzles, very likely – a deep, moving story? Hardly, but a potentially fun experience full of brainteasers is still nothing to sneeze at. Unless you’ve caught a cold from being in the water too long. Or something. At which point, it might be time to… Swim Out.