Release Date:March 21 2011

Review: Swarm – Nave360


Published on March 28th, 2011 | by Daniel


Review: Swarm

Release Date:March 21 2011

Genre(s): Action, platforming

Developer: Hothead Games

Publisher: Ignition Entertainment

Rating: Teen


  As a lone Swarmite stands in the menu of Swarm, a warning below reads “DO NOT PRESS Y”. A swift press of Y sees the poor little guy brutally and senselessly murdered in a variety of ways. Impaled on a bed of spikes, electrocuted, gassed until he explodes, the list goes on. And that’s just in the menu. The basic idea of Swarm is that you control a group of 50 of the little mindless blue fellas called Swarmites. They (see: you) have to amass enough points throughout the perilous levels before they reach their “Momma”, see, she needs a new hat. It sounds simple, but include in a number of factors and it makes for a rather complicated experience. The levels of Swarm are filled with dangerous and hazards, enough that can kill a load of Swarmites, if you so choose. Huge jumps, exploding cubes and flamethrowers to name a few all offer ways at murdering some of your Swarm. Along with managing the number of Swarmites in your Swarm, you’re required to gain a significant amount of points before you can beat the level. You also have to control and monitor a multiplier and strategically manage checkpoints and points where you can “resupply” your amount of Swamites. Sounds complicated? I told you so. Swarm initially starts off quite simple with the first level easing you in to the mechanics of the game and how to maximise your score, but it quickly escalates into a frantic, chaotic battle with at least one of the game’s elements to be successful. If you manage to complete a level first time, I salute you. From the second level onwards the game tasks you with raising a lot of points, I mean a lot. Doing this while also keeping a mindful eye on you’re multiplier, the amount of Swarmites you have in your Swarm and strategically using the checkpoints and environmental hazards to your advantage, turns the game into more of a management and strategy game, rather than an all out mass murdering session of Swarmites all for our entertainment, which is what I would have preferred.

Aside from the over-complicated gameplay, there’s not much else to Swarm. The graphics are decent, but not as vibrant as HotHead’s other Xbox Live Arcade release DeathSpank, and there’s just leaderboards for you to compete with your friends, it all seems a bit bare for 1200 Microsoft Points. Swarm doesn’t fail in it’s concept, it just fails to realise what makes it fun and what makes it frustrating. Murdering Swarmites in a variety of ways = fun. Having to keep track of a multiplier and reach a score total at the same time as managing Swarmites and controlling them to perfection = frustrating. If Swarm was more about just amassing the highest score possible in the fastest time possible, creating competition on the leaderboards with friends, just like Bulletstorm’s Echo mode i’m sure it would be a great deal more fun to play. But in it’s current state, Swarm is more frustrating and annoying than fun and frantic like it should be.

Sure, Swarm sounds fun to play at first, but when you delve a little deeper into this already shallow game you find not all is good in the world of the Swarmites.  

The Good

  • It involves murdering!
  • Fun to play… For the first level.

The Bad

  • Frustrating management of numerous factors.
  • Over complicated.
  • Very shallow.

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