Verlet Swing Review
By Gregory Rodney
When Spider-Man for the PS4 came out last September I didn’t think anything could compare to its web swinging.
I’m happy to say that even though there’s no webs in site, the game still manages to make swinging around amazingly fun. With the games’ four worlds you swing through fascinating environments that are just as busy as they are well designed. Different paths are considered on every map and you’ll find multiple ways to finish every stage.
And even though the game seems simple, it
takes some precise timing and familiarity with the mechanics before your swinging with confidence.
There are 100 levels, four worlds, and unlimited numbers of ways to fail at each one. With 100 levels I found myself exhausted with the difficulty spike as you reach the end of the 2nd and 3rd worlds. The stages are a mix of both stationary and moving objects, some of which you can attach and swing on and others that are obstacles.
The goal of each stage is to reach a blue sphere that is placed somewhere in the area. The sphere can sometimes be a little difficult to find, in a couple of instances I failed
stages right as I approached the end because I couldn’t find the sphere. If I could use one word to describe the game it would be momentum. It pretty sums up the most important aspect of gameplay.
Where you attach to objects for each swing is extremely important because you gain momentum. Timing the release of every swing at the perfect point is extremely important, and just one mistimed swing results in a restart of the whole level. Very rarely was I able to make a comeback from a mistake, but when I did it took a lot of creativity to fix my mistake. The way the stages are designed they don’t expect perfect runs on the first play through.
But as time goes on you can definitely see your skills and
ability to observe and plan routes increase.
One big downside I had playing was the precision to attach on to objects before your able to swing. I found that I’d miss the point I wanted to attach to or just miss the object completely.
This can be frustrating as your traveling 90mph and each stage can feel like the luck of the draw if you’re struggling. Certain stages I could comfortably get through the beginning of stage just to struggle to get past a small section because of the tiny object they give you to attach to.
The creators definitely were going for a game that didn’t take itself too seriously. A testament to that is some interesting things you’ll find on the stage, besides the giant sized toilets. One world is almost entirely food, hotdogs, meatballs, pizza, fish, all fly and move around as you try to figure out what’s going on. One stage even had a joke on one of its harder stages saying, “Don’t buy this game”, which by the time you get to that level your already too deep to turn back.
Personally this game scratched an itch I didn’t know I had. It was difficult but enjoyable and very unrestrictive with its levels. The creativity from the stages, along with the creativity allowed in gameplay
makes for a fun experience. A VR experience for this game would do very well, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it come to VR in the future. The 100 levels can take you time, and if you puzzles that require skill then this game is a great pick.
Verlet Swing is available on MacOS and Windows, but plans to release to consoles soon. Its currently $15 on Microsoft and Mac’s store, but you can also get it for 50% off on steam.