THE UNFINISHED SWAN is a 2012 video game in the vein of Flower or Unravel, with puzzles, nice music, and an emotional story that centers around a boy named Monroe who — like Alice, Dorothy or Coraline — enters a magical, mysterious and sometimes dangerous world where everything is a metaphor.
THE UNFINISHED SWAN begins with a white screen. Scenery becomes visible only with the strategic lobbing of black blobs of paint, then the world becomes progressively more complex, introducing new colors and mechanics with each level. As Monroe pursues the titular swan and explores his surroundings, he learns the story of a lousy, self-centered king in need of a good therapist.
I bought this on sale for $2.99. Full price is $14.99, which seems a bit much for only four or five hours of gameplay. After completing the entire game and collecting every balloon, you can replay individual levels with new game features such as a fire hose or sniper rifle that shoots paint. The game mechanics were original, the levels interesting, the artwork lovely and the levels fun, but so much of THE UNFINISHED SWAN depends on discovery and puzzle solving that, once discovered or solved, I don’t really see the point in playing again.
I completed the first two out of four chapters during Try-It Tuesday and finished the game the next day. Here’s the second half:
Nominated for three BAFTA awards for Original Music, Game Innovation, and Debut Game. The Original Music award went to Journey but THE UNFINISHED SWAN won the other two categories.
Available for Playstation 3, PS4 and PS Vita. Rated “E 10+” for everyone 10 and up.
~ J.L. Hilton
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