Swim Out is a turn based puzzle game that originally came out on mobiles and steam last year. Its laid back and simple at its core, on loading up the game you head straight into the action. There is no story here and no text or assistance, enabling anyone that speaks any language to pick this one up and play.
Swim Out is a laser focused, stylish game and the audio reflects this. The sound effects are very well done, each stroke in the pool sounds right as does the background noise which captures the sound of a bustling pool perfectly.
There are splashes for divers and a lot of little noises for each unique action, completing a stage plays a short ringing sound which works well. There is no music in the game or talking and I can understand why – the fact that there is no text lets this game be completely international but as you play it would have been nice to have some background music to mix things up.
Visuals & Performance
Swim Out’s visuals are elegant, reminding me of the early 1900’s, each swimmer wears stylish swim caps and swimsuits and the pools have a French Riviera feel with light blue shades and minimalistic backgrounds. The interactive elements are easy to spot which on some of the later, complex pools makes it easier on the eyes than it could have been otherwise.
As a game originally made for mobiles there are no performance issues as the game doesn’t pack a punch visually.
Your objective is to literally Swim Out of the pool by making it to the ladder. The game is set across 7 regions, each with 15 pools to escape from for a total of over 100 levels. Each pool is grid based and you move up, down left or right – one tile at a time. The quirky catch is that other swimmers in the pool are going about their swim with blinkers on and if you bump into them its game over!
At first you don’t need to think too hard – you are dodging one or two swimmers with simple patterns that can be avoided easily. As you get further things start to get more complex, more swimmers with overlapping paths are added that make you take more time and make more mistakes.
Swim Out does a good job of adding difficulty at a steady rate, at first different swimmer types are added like divers that hang around the edge for a number of turns before diving in. Additional accessories are also added from the comical floats that you can throw at other swimmers to stop them for a few turns, along you to swim past to floats and crabs!
Each pool has a number of medals awarded for achieving a low number of strokes to get out which will keep collectors interested.
The game plays well on the move with simple touch controls that are responsive, for me this was the better way to play.
As you will fail quite a lot and some of the pools take 80 or so strokes to complete it could be quite annoying not to have an undo button.
I found Swim Out to be fun, certainly for the few regions it kept me entertained. After that its one of those games that you can pick up for 5 minutes – much like a mobile experience.
At $5.99 in the US and £5.99 in the UK this game is priced fairly. Its a simple puzzle game that doesn’t distract from the main objective of which there are over 100 levels.
Well laid out puzzles
Simple and repetitive
lacks a soundtrack