Swims a few lengths without making a splash.
Swim Out is a puzzle game that merely asks you to navigate your way through various pools without swimming into any of the other swimmers. The puzzles are turn-based, each turn sees you swim in one of 4 directions trying to avoid the obstacles which can range from women lounging on an inflatable to swimmers doing lengths of the pool, planning your route out turns out to be a complex juggling act as levels start to pile on the challenges. One level tasked me with navigating through a pool avoiding swimmers doing lengths from all different directions, getting to the middle of the pool you often find yourself surrounded by obstacles, either through trial and error or meticulous planning you can figure out a carefully crafted route.
The game just keeps on ramping things up from here though, adding freezing winds and beach balls to stun others – by the end of the game any given level will be asking you to play with several different elements. The only downside really is the lack of help regarding new swimmers or power-ups, you’re very much left to your own devices to figure out what the gimmicks are through trial and error. It’s a minor annoyance to have to fumble through new mechanics rather than get straight to solving the puzzle at hand, it’s easily forgiven and doesn’t hold up the experience for too long.
The game lacks a reason to dive back in beyond optimising your way through levels, this is very much a one playthrough kind of game for better or worse. Levels are short, you’ll breeze through early levels and, even as the challenge ramps up, you can restart levels quickly and work your way through the puzzles at a pace that isn’t frustrating or overly easy. Swim Out manages to find and maintain the sweet spot of keeping you intrigued and challenged without being obtuse.
Visually the game is nice and clean, all the swimmers and power-ups are distinct and easily identifiable. As soon as you start a level it’s easy to identify all the obstacles you need to overcome and the game does a good job of keeping things clear and not at all cluttered. Swim Out strives for the relaxed vibe, between the visuals and the music the game does a good job of delivering a relaxed experience perfect for an afternoon play through.
Swim Out is a nicely done puzzle game, the relaxed themes and well-crafted puzzles make for a pleasant playthrough, while the game doesn’t seek to innovate or push the boundaries of puzzle games what it does set out to do, it does so well. This isn’t a long game but it certainly is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.