Arkedo Series - 02 SWAP! is the second game in Arkedo
's "one game per month" experiment. The game was released on October 23, 2009 for Microsoft
's Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace
. Starring King Kat
, SWAP is a puzzle game in the same vein as Tetris Attack
and Pokémon Puzzle League
. SWAP is described as a "dual stick puzzle game," differentiating it from the other games that it shares similarities with.
The single player game consists of five different chapters, following King Kat after he had too much "Milk on the Beach" the night before. The five missions follow his search for his castle. When the adventure starts out he finds himself in a gloomy village, but quickly finds himself in a desert dying of thirst. After finally finding the swamp surrounding his castle, the dog guard doesn't recognize him. In the final chapter, King Kat shows the dog guard who's boss in a final puzzle showdown.
SWAP is a block matching puzzle game, where lining up four or more blocks in a row deletes those blocks. Blocks are constantly moving upwards, and if they reach the top, the game is over. Instead of only being able to match blocks horizontally, they can be combined horizontally and vertically (e.g. three blocks on top and then seven blocks in a horizontal line would make all ten of them disappear).
The key mechanic of SWAP is its controls. Instead of only being able to move blocks left and right (e.g. Tetris Attack), in SWAP the player can control the movement of the block with one control stick, while moving the cursor with the other control stick. This not only changes the way the game is played, but also makes it easier to set up complicated combos and attach score boosting items to chains.
As the game progresses, not only are more colors of blocks added, but numerous items that serve a variety of purposes. There are blocks that are essentially "bombs," which (when matched) destroy a large amount of blocks within its vicinity. Other blocks will freeze time when matched (varying amounts of time, depending on the amount of blocks in the chain), and many other blocks (e.g. coins, treasure chests, etc) serve the purpose of boosting the player's score. In order to take advantage of the many score boosting items, however, these must be attached to another chain of blocks, rather than linking these items together independently.
In addition to adding progressive levels of complexity, the game is constantly moving at a faster speed as well. This makes it imperative to move quickly, build up combos, and take full advantage of any special blocks that come onto the playing field. The level of speed on which the game is depends on the player's score, so building up large combos and linking together many blocks makes the game move faster.
Other than the traditional single player story and endless modes of play, SWAP has a challenge mode which essentially serves to extend the replayability of the game. This challenge mode has challenges of a varying degree. Initially, challenges are relatively simple (e.g. lose the game without gaining any points, get a x2 chain combo, etc), but they become difficult towards the end of the challenges (e.g. beat the developers, get a x10 combo, etc).