Swing By Review – Swing through Space for that High Score Chase

Swing By, by ANIQ

Swing By takes a lot of inspiration from classic arcade cabinet games with a focus on surviving long enough to get a high score.

Back then, this really was enough of a goal: get the high score to see your name (or three initials) on the leaderboard. There is always something gratifying about that: a high score is usually a marker of how good we are at a game. A simple concept and design approach, yet very approachable, and classic arcade games nailed that.

Luckily, in Swing By’s case, the same applies. The goal is to go as far as you can while staying within two vertical lines. It sounds easy, but your ship is constantly moving forward.

Swing on Through to the Other Side

On top of that, there are planets and obstacles in the way, and the further you go, the more the game throws moving satellites, speed modifiers, and black holes at you. The only way to get by these objects is to hook onto them and swing around them in a circular motion. Letting go at the right time sends your ship in a particular direction.

Its simple design philosophy extends to its controls. Swing By only requires the press of one button to play. I appreciate the simple approach, and it makes the game more accessible. Anyone can easily pick up and play this and understand what is going on after a couple of minutes.

Swing By game screenshot, Swing Gif

Unfortunately, Swing By can be a little too simple. I was hoping for more game modes to keep things interesting. There is a local multi-player option – basically to see who can survive the longest – and developers ANIQ say that online multi-player is coming soon, but besides getting the high score, there isn’t much else.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you like the high-score chase, but more variation or game modes could’ve helped make it more engaging.

Ship Shapes

There are at least ships to unlock as a goal other than getting a high score. Green gems, collected by playing or leveling up, can unlock different ships.

These change up the look while also affecting the hitboxes slightly – a wider ship I unlocked was more susceptible to clipping a planet – but other than that, this is more of a cosmetic option than a gameplay variation. This was a missed opportunity to mix up the gameplay further.

Swing By game screenshot, Ships

Visually, Swing By opts for a simple, clean style with no flashy effects or blurry objects to obscure the view. It’s clear and easy to make things out, and thankfully the game’s performance is very smooth and responsive, giving it a nice overall feel.

The Verdict

My hang-ups regarding depth aside, Swing By is effective at what it sets out to do. More game modes or interesting mechanics would have kept me playing more, but that isn’t its focus.

It’s a simple game that you can hop on and see if you can beat your high score (or someone else’s) – as arcade-y and old-school as it gets. It’s not meant to be a deep experience, and it’s still just entertaining enough for those score-chasers out there.

Swing By is available via the Nintendo Store, Google Play, Steam.

Check out the official trailer for Swing By below:

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