Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Out of all the dumb things I did as a kid, my least clever pastime was probably going to the park and swinging as high as possible before flinging myself from the seat and landing (safely - somehow). It was dumb, yes, but I kind of miss doing it.
Unfortunately, my swinging-jumping days are far behind me. My knees are shot, and my hips aren't exactly in prime condition either. Maybe that's why I immediately started rooting for Earnest, one of the characters introduced in Kotka Games' Swing Game. He's a 94-year-old swing-jumper, and by gum, he's determined to go for the world record. Unfortunately, Earnest sails a little too far during the swing-jumping championships, and he winds up on the back of a cargo ship. Now he has to swing-and-fling his way back home, because walking is for chumps.
This is where the player comes in. Swing Game is a physics-based puzzler that's not too unlike Angry Birds. There is a key difference, however: Earnest and his friends (all fellow swingers) aren't simply ejected from a slingshot. Instead, they swing in a 360-degree arc, which drastically changes the physics utilized in similar games.
Players also need to learn how to properly use the menagerie of weird characters they're handed at the start of each level. Earnest can cling to birds for some reason, which he then uses as a secondary launching point. There's also a chain-cutting chef, an ice-melting engineer, a bouncing hillbilly, and a whole assortment of weirdoes. Players need to utilize each talent to successfully clear a path to the end-level box, which must be busted open in order to move on.
Each level of Swing Game presents a series of puzzles and challenges that often require considerable forethought. Merely powering through objects to reach the end isn't always an option; players must learn how to turn conveyer belts on and off, utilize fans for extra distance, and more.
Swing Game's combination of unique physics, strange humor, and puzzle elements elevates it above the usual flock of Angry Birds clones. It would be nice if players were allowed to skip levels they find frustrating, but hey, sometimes there's no shortcut home.