148Apps Network Post
Developer: Kasra Kyanzadeh
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

This poor little simian has been locked away in the zoo for far too long. He misses his family and yearns to get back to his natural habitat. Then one night he finds the door to his enclosure open. Perhaps it was chance, or maybe fate, but regardless it’s the perfect opportunity to escape.

Swing Away is one of those incredibly simple but compelling games. All of the action is handled with a single tap (hold to grab a vine and release to let go), but the complexity lies in knowing when to do it. Where a vine is held will have a noticeable impact on the monkey’s trajectory, as will the timing of release. It’s not just about seeing how far he can get before time runs out, though. There are a number of fruits and candies floating around that can be grabbed for bonus points along with a special one which will add precious seconds to the clock.

I am genuinely surprised by how much fun I’ve had with Swing Away. The core gameplay is fun, sure, but it’s also got some unexpected staying power thanks to the constantly changing “missions.” Only a few are active at a time, but they help to keep the proceedings from getting dull by adding specific tasks, like swinging a specific amount of times without touching the ground, for instance. Once one is complete, another and presumably more difficult challenge will take its place. New areas will unlock after completing a specific number of these challenges, eventually leading to the jungle and (I would assume) the poor little monkey’s freedom. In a way it actually reminds me a lot of Tiny Wings.

I’m hard-pressed to find anything truly negative to say about Swing Away. I suppose it would be nice if there were a tiny bit more to racking up completed goals (i.e. score multipliers or something), but it’s a really well-constructed game that I consider a complete package. I dunno, maybe it could use more levels in the future?

I was genuinely shocked when I’d first started playing Swing Away. It came out of nowhere, but it does such a good job of incorporating many a proven iOS game mechanic (“endless” gameplay, constantly changing goals, adorableness, etc.) that I have a hard time imagining it doing poorly. Hopefully this will help to spread the word.


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