I used to love the old eight bit computers, with the bedroom coders, free of any strictures of company rules and management using their full creative talent to enrich the industry. Lost to the gaming world for a while these inventive times of experimentation and the making of imaginative games are coming back most notably in the mobile phone gaming world as well as in the form of games like the refreshing The Unfinished Swan an indie game for the PS3, PS4 and PS Vita, that manages to delight and surprise in equal measure and is so far removed from the usual stuff that it puts your faith back in not only gaming but imagination.
It’s very rare that a game moves me enough to write about it but I was watching my friend play this at the National Gaming Museum (more of which in a later post) on a big TV with brilliant surround sound and it was the best thing I have seen in games in years, relaxing, fascinating and gentle. Returning back to Tom’s house we immediately got a copy and proceeded to play it through like the dedicated people that we are.
The story is like an interactive bed time story, a boy’s mother dies and leaves lots of unfinished paintings because she hated to finish anything, the boy, Monroe is allowed to keep one, he chooses The Unfinished Swan. One night he wakes up and the bird has disappeared out of the painting but there is an open door which he hasn’t noticed before…
The screen fades to white and being impatient the first thing we did was press buttons – because that always helps the game load quicker – but you are already in the game. As seen in the above trailer, paint bombs are thrown to reveal the hidden world around you. It’s that surprising inventiveness that grabs you and ignites that child like feeling of being able to explore the magical unknown which is as addictive as it ever was. Read the rest of this entry »