If you’re looking for a quirky puzzle game to play on the Switch then look no further than this. Green Game: Timeswapper is definitely the game for you. Aside from its rather bizarre name there isn’t a whole lot else to say to introduce this game. So, let’s just get into it.
Honestly, I’m not sure if there is a story for Timeswapper. From what I could briefly gather from the game itself, a mad scientist has created a time travelling bird. Not a real bird, it’s a robotic bird that can switch time zones in order to solve each level. Now, this in itself is quite a clever idea. But, it isn’t much of a story. I really wasn’t sure what was going on, and there isn’t any clues either. You control this weird robot bird to get from one end of the level to the other by controlling time. Which from a gameplay point of view works.
It is difficult for me to really review this because there isn’t a whole lot for me to work with. So, for that reason alone I have to be quite harsh. I do love puzzle games but they really could have added more of a story to it. I understand why the developers haven’t but it feels rather unfulfilling.
I really want to praise the gameplay for this game. As it is a Switch game I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ll admit when I first loaded up the game, I wasn’t sure how to even play it. Then I realised that it was touch screen only, which I thought was odd for a Switch game. That being said, when you start playing the actual mechanics are quite good. So, you swipe the screen left or right to change the time zone. The robot bird will only fly in straight lines and can only change direction if it is hit with a blast of steam. The steam canons (as I have fondly come to call them) don’t work in every time zone. You need to figure out which way to swipe the screen in order to get the right steam canon to push the robot bird in the right direction.
The early game is very easy, but a little confusing to start with. When you don’t know how to play, figuring out that there are symbols on the steam canons to show you which time zone you need to be in. But, trying to focus on that as well as swiping the screen the right way and keeping an eye on where the bird is; it is a little overwhelming. Especially in the later levels. Eventually, I stopped bothering picking up the collectables and just focused on getting through the level. It isn’t be any means bad but it is mildly frustrating to play.
Graphics & Sound
The graphics I thought were very reminiscent of Limbo. Perhaps not as artistically resonating but it has the silhouetted style that is quite nice to look at. There also feels like a bit of a steampunk vibe to it. Perhaps because of the use of cogs and steam (I obviously don’t know much about steampunk, please don’t judge me). It looks quite nice considering the type of game Timeswapper is. The level design is rather simplistic for the most part though so it would have been nice to see some different visual aspects. The sound design is rather well done. The music is very fitting and nice to listen to. It feels like it doesn’t really add to the experience but the effort is appreciated nonetheless.
As previously stated, the only control is swiping the screen. It feels very much like a mobile game because of this. It didn’t feel like a game that works for the Switch, personally. If they had implemented different control options for the Switch, I perhaps could have gotten behind it a bit more but as I said, it just feels like a mobile app game. This isn’t a bad thing, I just think that it isn’t worth getting for the Switch because of this. They’re very basic and sometimes difficult to use because if you accidentally swipe the screen you can mess up the entire level and have to start again. I don’t like saying bad things about indie games if I can help it, but truthfully I really didn’t enjoy the control system for the Switch specifically.
As you would expect with most puzzle games the difficulty gets increasingly more challenging. The first fifteen levels felt very easy to navigate and then it quickly becomes ridiculously hard. It doesn’t feel like a gradual change either, it is a rather sudden jump from “I can do this” to “Oh God Why!” within a couple of levels. Just to be clear though, I am not the greatest at puzzle games, as much as I like them. So, others may have better luck with this than me. There are bound to be people who found the entire game easy, which it probably is to be fair. That being said, I didn’t think the learning curve was fair and it adds things into the game without any warning and you have to suddenly figure out a new way of navigating a level.
This made it frustrating and tedious. More than once I found myself having to put the game down and come back to it later once I’d calmed down. Which isn’t really how I like to play a game.
There could be some movement here for replayability. If you wanted to challenge yourself to get a flawless run on every level then you can certainly replay it for that reason. Of course, you would have no need to replay the entire game as you can pick which levels you want to retry. If you’re the sort of person that enjoys replaying levels over and over again to 100% them, then this is definitely for you.
If you are interested in getting Green Game: Timeswapper on the Switch you can download it from the Switch eStore now.