Swarm Arena – Does this Indie Action Shooter Transcend its Influences?

Swarm Arena – Does this Indie Action Shooter Transcend its Influences?
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Platforms:

PC

Game Name:

Swarm Arena

Publisher(s):

Dedication Games

Developer(s):

Genre(s):

Action/Shooter, Casual

Release Date:

19 Aug 2010

Developer Summary:

Get ready for a brand new experience! Take control of a virtual organism, develop your moves and become one with the swarm – then the game has only just begun. Swarm Arena’s fresh and deep gameplay is a journey from relaxing aesthetics over mind-blowing action to pure tactics. Be fast. Be precise. Or simply enjoy the experience.

What We Think:

It is too easy to compare this title to the very popular particle pyrotechnics shooter Geometry Wars, so let’s see if we can consider it on its own merits:

In Swarm Arena you take control of a virtual organism (whatever that means); in turn, your organism takes control of a swarm of…glowing space slugs? Radioactive grains of rice? I don’t know. Doesn’t matter. For some reason they find your organism irresistible and will be attracted to your sphere of influence, following your every command. Must be love.

Swarm Arena Screenshot

When I say every command I really mean TWO commands, because that’s all you get. You can either use your power (which comes in two flavors: shoot and circulate), or make the little guys stop dead in their tracks. Shoot causes your swarm to fly away from you in whichever direction they happened to be pointing when you hit the button and circulate causes them to swirl around you in a widening spiral.

Each arena has one or more opponent organisms for you to do battle with. Grab power-ups to switch between powers, become more attractive to your swarm, or gain more little glowy buggers.

Swarm Arena Screenshot

OK, you say, but how does it play? Well it’s pretty fun in short bursts. There’s something about getting the little guys to zip around the screen that’ll give you the warm and fuzzies. It would make a great smartphone app for a few bucks.

That, my friends, is where the rubber meets the road with Swarm. With a $10 price tag it’s just not worth it on the PC. You might get an hour of gameplay out of it, then you’ll shelve it and occasionally play it as a distraction. I hate to see a fun little game get killed by price, but there you have it. If you’ve got cash just burning a hole in your pocket, I recommend it. If the devs can make a phone version of it, I might even pay $10 for it. OK probably $5.

Download the free demo for Swarm Arena at Steam

Visit the official Swarm Arena site

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHPLjTRwQ0E

Patrick Bartholomew

Patrick is a freelance multimedia developer specializing in Flash development and animation. He has been programming and making games as a hobby since the age of 7 and has been an avid pen and paper role-player for at least as long.

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