As a vertical endless “runner," Swift Revenge (Free) is one of my favorite new additions to the App Store, most notably due to the charming presentation and tight controls. It really doesn’t even need to add anything else to make the game more compelling, but that’s exactly what it does in each of its sequential worlds.
Swift Revenge is the tale of a determined heroic bird on his quest to defeat the evil Doctor Crow. To accomplish this, you must reach the bottom of each stage, battle Crow himself, and move onto the next conquest. At first, you’ll be relegated to the hero’s dive bombing attack by tapping anywhere on the screen, and you can enact left and right movement via tilt controls.
You can hold the button to constantly dive, but that would drain your entire dive meter temporarily — it’s with this simple mechanic that the game’s depth lies, as you basically decide whether or not to risk your meter and go for big dives, or tap it and stick with quick attacks. While I’m usually torn on tilt controls, they’re handled so well in Swift Revenge that I basically have no complaints.
Eventually, you’ll be introduced to the game’s core mechanic — power-ups, in the form of new suits. Similar to the Sly Cooper games, depending on the stage the hero will have the chance to fly through a power-up gate and don a completely new outfit, with unique powers in tow. For example, the cowboy suit grants you access to a gun, and the medieval suit allows you to swing a sword. Powers can be upgraded with coins gathered in each stage, and you can buy coins through a non-obtrusive, and reasonable IAP menu.
But even though power-ups can be highly beneficial, one of my favorite aspects of Swift Revenge is the fact that you don’t have to grab every power-up on offer. In reality, you can actually opt to skip the power-up gates, and literally just wing it with your regular dive bomb attack. It makes some sections easier, and some more difficult, and it’s up to you to decide the best course of action.
All along the way the checkpoint system is fairly frequent, which guarantees that you won’t lose a ton of progress. Due to solid level design, Swift Revenge manages to be both challenging and fair, so you’ll always be tempted to get to the next level. Some people might opt to go for the biggest coin count to buff their inventory, and others might just go for checkpoints — either way is a viable strategy.
To help mix things up a bit, when you actually make it to the very bottom of a stage you’ll engage in a pretty neat boss fight, followed by a horizontal chase bonus round. These were among my favorite portions of the game, and a satisfying way to end every challenging level.
But once you’re done with every level, you’re done with all the content, so Swift Revenge could certainty benefit from an endless mode, as the sheer amount of variety in total is pretty impressive. Personally, I would love to see a giant stage comprised of every world and power-up, but the amount of content on offer for a $0.99 game is still staggering here.
If you’ve been looking for a new endless runner, look no further than Swift Revenge. With a solid graphical style that’s easy on the eyes, extremely tight controls, and a solid amount of variety, you’ll have no problems spending an afternoon taking your revenge out on Doctor Crow.