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Swindler 2 Game Review

Swindler 2

Swindler 2 is the follow-up to the fantastic, if not questionably titled Swindler by Nitrome games. Have they done enough to keep the sequel feeling fresh? Have they made it tie in more with the title? Let’s find out.

More of the Same

Upon loading the game for the first time, I didn’t feel like anything had changed in Swindler 2. Quality-wise, it looks and sounds exactly the same. The level backdrops have a slightly different theme, so there’s that, I guess. This time it’s as if you’re making your way through a grand and complex stone building – not unlike one that you’d get as an ornament for an aquarium.

If you haven’t played the first one (give it a try, it’s great) Swindler 2 is basically a platformer with puzzles. Your green blobby dude or dudette dangles from a bungee which you can reel in or extend, and you can also somehow rotate the entire level to get around corners. The goal is to get to the chest at the end of the level, picking up stars along the way for a better score if you can.

Many of the mechanics from the first game make a return - which certainly isn't a bad thing. The enemies have been given a different look (to tie in with the underwater ornament feel), although most of them act in the same way to enemies from the previous game. That being said, there are a couple of completely new ones with completely new tricks.

You certainly don't need to have played the first game in order to enjoy this one, but I think if you haven't, you're missing out. Not only does the first one break mechanics to you in a more forgiving way - it's also an excellent game. I believe that playing Swindler 2 first and then going back to the first one would be less enjoyable.

Old Blob, New Tricks

Swindler 2: Old Blob, New Tricks

Early on, you're introduced to the ability to cut your cord and bounce around the levels, your character controlled only rotating the screen. Just to make things even harder - it can't breathe without its cord, so you can't be off it for long (unless you can find some green bubbles, which provide oxygen). Finding a second loop will make a new cord with a fresh anchor point, which can be essential for completing the levels. I'm glad they introduced the cord cutting so early. It instantly separates it from the first game and gives returning players a new experience. It would have been easy to just create more of the same. My only gripe is that I don't feel like this mechanic is used often enough throughout the game, which does mean that Swindler 2 falls into that trap just a little bit - especially considering that the sounds, looks and music have barely changed.

Other new mechanics include pulley systems that you have to create using your cord. They will remain active while your cord is wrapped around them, like the switches, and are needed to move otherwise unpassable and lethal walls.

Given that you’ve come to a robbery-themed games site – probably looking for robbery-based games - I still don't feel like they've addressed the actual 'swindling' theme issue. Like the first game, it doesn't feel like you're Swindling anything from anyone - you're just collecting things. This is where some kind of story could help - and if they do decide to move onto releasing a game for Steam, it would be something they have to consider if they don't want to go the route of just naming the game after the blob – although given the work that’s gone into the animation of the character, that wouldn’t be a terrible idea.

Wrapping Up

So, both Swindler and Swindler 2 are great platform/puzzle games. However, other than your character wearing a thief's eye mask, there's very little in it that feels like robbery. You're not sneaking around, using stealth, disabling security systems, picking locks or really stealing anything in general. So if you're looking for that type of game, these aren't it. Otherwise, they are refreshingly good.

Play Swindler 2

Review written by Ian Wakefield from integritas.link.

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