While I am a big fan of puzzle games, but it’s extremely evident that there is an overwhelming emphasis on the mechanical side of the action in the majority of titles, while immersive aesthetic design is left at the wayside. Games such as Threes! ($5.99) try and inject some character into their otherwise generic sliding blocks, while You Must Build a Boat ($0.99) and others add RPG elements to feel as if you’re actually accomplishing some sort of swashbuckling feat through the puzzles – however the vast majority just rely on the mental stimulation of the challenge and leave it at that. As a result, Swim Out is an anomaly amongst its peers, as its complete intrinsic embrace of its swimming concept gives the game an accessible edge while also providing abundant charm. Amidst England’s wretched wet and windy summer months, Swim Out looks like the perfect tactical escape into a lush digital paradise, and is set to launch on the App Store on August 10th.
Amongst the beautifully drawn environments of Swim Out, you must learn the pattern of numerous different swimmers and obstacles in an attempt to escape the pool and reach dry land. Other oblivious swimmers move in varying patterns based on the stroke they choose to use, and crabs, waves and jellyfish will use their disruptive powers to stop you from reaching the stairs at the end of every level. There’s even kayak riding – I’d be interested to know what swimming pools the developer Lozange Lab has been visiting that are so lax on their rules to allow vehicles and dangerous animals to roam free. Nevertheless, Swim Out may have a relatively simple turn-based puzzle mechanic at its heart, but the way they have incorporated aquatic elements into every facet of its gameplay is mightily impressive, and results in a radical strategy game fit for the summer months. Swim Out will release on iPhone and Android on August 10th, but until then take a look at our forum thread for more details on the game.