Swim Out (Xbox One) Review

Originally released on PC in 2017, Swim Out is a trial-and-error puzzler that features a ton of levels and introduces new puzzle elements throughout. You can check out our PC review of Swim Out here.

You control a swimmer from an overhead perspective and the goal is to reach the ladder while avoiding other swimmers along the way. The entire experience is very chill as each move is turn based and there is no timer.  When you move, all other swimmers move; bump into one and be welcomed with an instant restart. The gimmick is acknowledging pattern recognition and having the tenacity to keep trying until you figure it out.

Swim Out seems to understand its own repetition which is why a new “enemy” swimmer or item often gets introduced. Sometimes swimmers will dive from the edge or move every other turn. Sometimes the player will need to pick up a kickboard that occupies two vertical tiles instead of one or a pool noodle which fills two horizontal tiles. A life ring can be used to “stun” a swimmer for a turn or the dive goggles can activate a turn as you remain still. The player is also encouraged to collect optional collectables and finish each stage below a certain number of turns to earn stars. Fulfill these tasks and the player is rewarded with Achievements.

Even though new mechanics are thrown at the player, the visuals and looping background sound effects repeat. Not that a puzzle game like this needs outstanding presentation values but there is no denying hearing the same noises and whitewashed backgrounds grow a bit weary by the second or third batch of stages.

I agreed with the opinions stated in our companion PC article of Swim Out. It is a simple puzzle game that anyone can play and immediately understand but the try-try-again gameplay isn’t for everyone.

SCORE: 6/10

Also Try: Tiles
Not As Good As: Active Neurons
Not As Charming As: Inbento

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz

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