STAFF REVIEW of Swarm (Xbox 360 Arcade)


Friday, April 8, 2011.
by Brent Roberts

Swarm Box art On a far off savage planet filled with dangers and traps that would drive fear into the hearts of the bravest men, we find one of the dumbest creatures in the video game world, the Swarmite. Ok now we don't claim to be the smartest group alive, but why would you trust the future survival of your race with a group of the most incompetent and worthless members of your species?

When you think of advanced alien races, maybe you think of things like Predator, Alien, or Yoda. When Hothead Games thinks of alien races, they think of incompetent creatures the size and color of Smurf poo. We understand it's for humor, but honestly you will feel your I.Q. drop 10 points just by buying this game. Originally Swarm was a contest winning idea from the Great Canadian Video Game Competition, hereby Hothead Games received a nice check for $300k to further develop this sadistic failure.

The basic story behind Swarm is that an alien race needs to survive so this mammoth glob of jelly lands on a planet and drives a tentacle deep into the planet's many layers. No we are not talking about a hentai game here, but it is through this tentacle that your Swarmites are... well... ejected. These Swarmites must venture through death dealing obstacles in a quest to collect various DNA strands that it must feed back into "Momma". By rinse and repeating this method you will successfully save your alien species.

Ok now to keep the story somewhat entertaining, Hothead Games decided to try their luck by adding humor to the game, but unfortunately that didn't go over so well. While the humor of the story is initially funny, it wears off very fast and quickly becomes more annoying as you progress. The same can also be said for the Swarmite interactions with the traps as they quickly become very repetitive. So this is what wins $300k in Canada, eh? Right, moving right along...


The gameplay of Swarm is pretty innovative and quite possibly one of its strong points. By utilizing various button combinations, you will be able to direct your Swarmites to do your bidding. Multiple actions such as: creating a tall thin tower of Swarmites, a spread out a field of Swarmites, forming a tight cluster of Swarmites, and more are all available to help you solve the forthcoming puzzles. Your Swarmites though are not without the ability to attack, when pushed, a group of Swarmites can become like a violent "Who" mob and dash forward at the target, taking it out. While the gameplay is innovative and fresh, it is outweighed by the other sub-par or below qualities of this game.

When it comes to sound, you have to make sure you deliver a pleasurable experience to compliment the graphics and gameplay, and does Swarm do this? We're sorry to say, but no. The sounds you hear from the Swarmites become so vastly annoying that you find yourself pleading with the game to end the level so you don't have to hear any more. You would hope though that things ended there and that all is well with the rest, well you would be wrong.

The main soundtrack that fills each level is so annoying that it will begin to drive you absolutely up the wall, but we here at XboxAddict.com are problem solvers so what we recommend is playing the game with your sound on mute. You quite honestly don't need to hear anything anyways so why deliberately subject yourself to unnecessary pain?

Swarm does produce some decent graphics, but nothing I would put in the plus category. There are some times when the action does get hectic and your screen fills with colorful explosions complimented with blue paste from your exploding Swarmites, but even these moments can become very annoying by almost blanketing the screen to prevent you from seeing anything. The really only significant plus in the graphics would be how the Swarmites interact with each other. With each Swarmite having its own intelligence it's just a recipe for disaster.

Hothead Games has really gone out on a limb here by creating a more sadistic twist to what is essentially a psychotic lemming game on steroids right before a week long bender. Now we do understand that $300k is not a lot to develop a quality title, however the last blow hits us below the belt and Im talking about where you put your wallet. You see if you want to lose weight, don't go to the gym, but buy Swarm instead because your wallet will be lighter by $15. Yes, thats right we saved the best for last. All this wonderful goodness can be yours for the low price of $15! How do you say ****ing rip-off in Swarmite?





Overall: 6.6 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10

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