Saturday, 29 June 2019

Asylum Reviews: Verlet Swing [Xbox One].

Verlet Swing is a fun, yet mildly infuriating game. Each level sees you swing through what I can only imagine an acid trip to feel like, with the goal being to reach a big shiny sphere at the end.

Despite the bizarreness of each setting, everything is weirdly beautiful. To swing, all you need to do is grapple on to certain items (not everything can be swung from) and aim. With every tight gap I would angle myself (actual real world me!) to fit through. Too close to an object above? Better duck. This transported me back to the good ol' days playing Need for Speed and swerving round corners, angling my controller and my whole body with it. No matter how much I try not to do it, I can't help it. I'm painfully aware of how much I'm moving - and how it has no impact in game - but I. Can't. Stop.

Levels start off fairly straightforward, with not much in the way of hazards to block your path. As you progress however, levels require a bit more forethought, as well as some intense concentration to time swings, perfect your release and aim quickly to the next swing point. Sometimes the grapple will latch on to something in the distance, particularly when aiming at smaller moving objects which can be a bit of a disaster. I failed plenty of times due to seemingly perfectly aimed grapples attaching to other objects and causing me to swing straight into the ground (and similarly by grappling something and not letting go fast enough and swinging back round to hit the item!).

Art style, as mentioned before is absolutely bonkers. With levels ranging from simplistic shapes and rocks to wacky art pieces and retro video game paraphernalia. It's all stunning to look at, and keeps a level of interest of what's to come in an otherwise predictably designed game. Additionally, completing each level gains you a ranking ranging from one teapot to four. Online leaderboards are available also, to allow you to feel complete and utter shame once you finally complete a really difficult level (gaining just one teapot in the process) to see just how much faster other people are.

There's 100 levels to complete spanning across five "worlds": Checkmate, History; Mobymart; Nimis Non Laute; Wondercon 1998 and Crimson Court. With twenty levels in each world, and subsequent worlds only opening upon completion of the previous one, you may find yourself stuck in one world for a heck of a long time. This takes a bit of the fun out of the game, as a difficult level will just leave you frustrated and with no option to move on (and come back to this one later), progression grinds to a halt. Of course, you could re-play earlier levels in an attempt to refresh your mind and relax but chances are you're just gonna get stuck at the same point again upon your return.

Overall, I felt that whilst the game had some enjoyment to it, the steep difficulty curve and fairly repetitive play just didn't give me enough to want to keep coming back. So we decided to give Verlet Swing the Collecting Asylum rating of 5.5/10.

Have you played Verlet Swing? What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

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