Swim Out is a turn-based puzzle game designed to be mentally stimulating while also relaxing the nerves and refreshing the soul. You can backstroke your way through a few levels to unwind after a stressful day at work, or perhaps enjoy a dog paddle after some guided meditation without harshing your mellow.
Swim Out Review PC
The game offers new players almost no tutorial. All you get are a couple of arrows to guide you to the exit. New elements are introduced one at a time, steadily increasing the complexity of the puzzles over time. The team at Lozange Lab does a nice job of making the elements feel intuitive, with their visual design complementing how they interact with the board.
Getting to the other end of the pool requires thinking a couple of moves ahead. You’ll need to first learn the pattern of behaviour for each different element in the pool. You will encounter different varieties of swimmer, ranging from elegant divers to kids doing cannonballs. Then you have to negotiate around the many types of environmental hazards, such as snippy little crabs or big waves that will delay you (or other swimmers) for a turn. Some puzzles include items that you will need to solve the puzzle, such as beach balls that can be used to stun nearby swimmers.
Relaxation is the guiding principle for the entire game. There is no timer. There is no move count and no “world average” like many other turn-based puzzle games. The game tracks your progress of which levels you’ve completed and gives bonus objectives on select levels, but there is no traditional score.
Handcrafted With Love
When you make a mistake, like running into another swimmer, the lifeguard will blow a whistle. It’s a sharp sound that could pull you out of the relaxed state. This is a minor quibble, but the sound might make some players hesitant to try out new strategies (or mute their audio).
Some of the puzzles are challenging and you might find yourself getting stuck. One of the nice features that Lozange Lab included was to unlock every level from the start. So, if you find yourself starting to feel frustrated, just skip back to the menu and try a different puzzle. That is a rare choice that fits nicely with the entire design ethos.
Swim Out’s gentle nature means that it might not be addictive in the traditional sense. The game doesn’t put you on a treadmill of accomplishments where there’s always some quest left unfinished. While that might be a downside for some people, this choice is another element in a cohesive design.
Swim Out feels like it was handcrafted by a group of people who genuinely love puzzle games. When life starts to feel too stressful and chaotic, this game might be the perfect choice to bring you back to centre – and for less than the price of a margarita or mojito.