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Swaps and Traps review for Nintendo Switch, PC


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Drageus Games
Developer: Drageus Games/Team Trap
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

Like a lot of other platformers, Swaps and Traps is up front about trying to kill you as much as possible. It makes that clear right from the get-go, instantly throwing you into levels that you’ll need to repeat a few times before you figure out how to get from beginning to end.

That said, I don’t think I’ve played many games that try quite so hard to kill you as this one does. Swaps and Traps features a lot of the usual tough-as-nails platformer standbys: the fast-moving platforms, the many buzzsaws, the pits full of spikes, and so on. As with many games of the genre, lightning-quick reflexes are a must here.

Where Swaps and Traps differs, however, is that this game also requires that you think carefully about how to approach each level, because as soon as you get the key that unlocks the end door, it’s going to move certain key parts of the level around on you. That means not only are you trying to dodge all those environmental hazards, you’re also dealing with sudden shifts in perspective that make avoiding death a whole lot harder. Like, you can take one obvious path to pick up that key, but as soon as you do, the game is going to take the platform in front of you, distort the screen so that the platform in front of you is suddenly way over on the other side of the frame, and then force you to make leaps of faith that you can only hope are in the right direction and at the right angle.

It’s not easy, obviously. And when the game starts turning the pictures around so that your direction will change depending on where you are in the level, that’s when it really picks things up and forces you to think spatially in ways that, personally, have always been a bit of a challenge for me.

Needless to say, I’m kind of terrible at Swaps and Traps. But I’m also kind of enjoying it. It’s the kind of tough-but-fair platformer that gives this particular genre a good name, and if you’re the type who plays platformers just to die a whole bunch, you should find it to be worth your time.

Drageus Games provided us with a Swaps and Traps Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B