The Unfinished Swan is the latest Playstation Network indie game to come out, and the reviews are all over its unique style and judicious use of color.
The game was an Independent Games Festival finalist and Sony signed an “incubation deal” with developer Giant Sparrow to provide funding, office space, equipment and help from SCE Santa Monica.
After showing a tech demo off in 2008, it’s been four long years of development until its final release.
The Unfinished Swan starts you off in a world that is completely white. Throwing globs of black paint reveals the world to you as you take the form of a young boy following a swan that leapt out of a painting and ran into a surreal world.
It came out as a downloadable PSN game yesterday, and the reviews have been largely positive.
Machinima fawned over it:
The word unique gets thrown around a lot in gaming, but The Unfinished Swan is truly unique, an experience not to be missed. It will show you that games don’t need combat to be engaging, and they don’t need color to strike a chord with your imagination.
The game doesn’t necessarily have a “victory,” or even points to gain. The journey, this game declares, is its own reward.
G4 TV gushed as well:
I loved The Unfinished Swan. It’s the sort of experience that requires us to further refine the definition of the term “video game.” While there are certainly elements of play here, I don’t think that Swan qualifies as such. Instead, it slides in along the likes of Goodnight Moon and the Shel Silverstein library as the latest modern classic in the realm of children’s fiction.
Those who gave less than stellar reviews didn’t seem to hate the game that was there, but found themselves disappointed in how little “game” there was to play.
Eurogamer had this to say:
The Unfinished Swan is gentle and beguiling, but also thematically patchy and insecure in its own merits, choosing to constantly introduce less interesting new gameplay systems rather than fully explore any single motif.
If you’ve got a PS3, give it a shot!