Puzzle games have always had a place on games consoles – particularly once touch screens became commonplace. If you are matching tiles, swapping pictures or any of the other myriad of methods puzzle games use for their gameplay, the quick and easy use of a touch screen is great. However, in this day and age, simple colour matching puzzle games are much more commonly seen on phones and tablets. So the question is, does Swap This! – a touch screen tile swapping, colour matching puzzle game – justify it’s existence on your Nintendo Switch?
Well, yes and no.
Let’s start at the beginning. Swap This! is a colour matching tile game, the likes of which you have seen many times before. You have to get four or more of the different coloured fish lined up for them to disappear, and your job is to get rid of as many as possible. And that’s the core of it. If you’ve played games over the last few years, you’ve almost certainly played the equivalent of this game on any number of consoles, phones or tablets. So what makes Swap This! stand out?
If I’m honest, not a lot. And that’s not saying it’s a bad game – far from it, it’s very competently made. But it doesn’t really stand out in a crowd. For me, the biggest advantage was that you can keep swapping colours into a chain once it’s started disappearing, as it takes a few moments to do so. And that’s pretty satisfying when you get it right, so a big hand for that. The other thing that kept me playing longer than I thought I would was the different game modes. There’s a normal “Clear as much as you can in a minute” game mode, a “clear more and more each wave as it gets harder and harder” mode, a “see how long you can go to prevent another thing happening” mode, and finally the “take as long as you like but clear this screen in as few moves as possible” mode.
And they’re all pretty good fun! Again, it’s not anything particularly original, but it’s nice to have the options – though the Puzzle mode is hidden right at the bottom of the menu, personally I would have put it further up. But that’s a minor issue.
Graphically it’s nice and bright, and the sound is fine if unremarkable, but nothing about this game really screams “You must buy this”. My major issue really is just that I don’t use my Switch exclusively as a handheld, and while this game does have an option for playing on the TV, I couldn’t get it to work at all. I just ended up cycling around the “put the Joy-Con on a flat surface to calibrate it” screen, without ever progressing to the game itself. This, combined with the lack of any real long term achievements, meant that although it was a fun pick up and have a go game, it’s now been put down and I’m unlikely to do much more with it.
Having said all of that, however, if you are considering buying this, then it is only £1.09 on the eShop (at the time of writing), and many people who like games like this and use their Switch predominantly as a handheld may find good value entertainment in this game.