Generally favorable reviews - based on 66 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 66
  2. Negative: 0 out of 66
  1. Aug 23, 2013
    The Unfinished Swan is a creative experiment that’s worth a play, even if some aspects feel incomplete.
  2. Dec 10, 2012
    The Unfinished Swan is a beautifully crafted, unconventional, sophisticated and provocative game denying the gameplay stereotype by a constant surprising of a gamer. The game is resisting to deplete all of its interesting themes in quite possibly the most annoying way - it ends itself in the middle of the road, at the place where the gamer is willing to submit to it completely.
  3. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Nov 9, 2012
    Yeah, the puzzles are moderately difficult, and (we think) the levels are linear, but there's simply no denying childlike wonder Unfinished Swan engenders, nor the indelible mark it leaves upon your heart. [December 2012, p70]
  4. Oct 24, 2012
    More a missed opportunity than anything else, The Unfinished Swan is a pleasant fairytale story with a some good ideas and one or two magic moments. In the end though it is easy to come away with the feeling that this was a brief and very linear experience that just hinted at something that could have been truly great.
  5. Oct 22, 2012
    Where Giant Sparrow's narrative vision is clearly focused, The Unfinished Swan's gameplay deviates rather rapidly from that opening castle of wonder.
  6. The Unfinished Swan deserves high praise for being inventive, unique and absolutely beautiful. But this shouldn't obscure the fact that these things apply more to the look and the core mechanic than the gameplay and how said mechanic meaningfully develops. The engagement with the narrative and characters isn't on a par with that of the top titles in a similar vein, and there's a lingering sense of what might have been.
  7. Oct 20, 2012
    The Unfinished Swan tries to touch the player with a special aesthetic and a unique gameplay concept, but it only succeeds on an average level. It loses itself too much in trying to be something special and never really grabs the player because of it. It lacks unity and continuity and therefore doesn't let its beautiful mold settle, which leaves the game with a pretty aura, instead of a soul.
  8. Dec 4, 2012
    The Unfinished Swan isn't without its charms, and there were moments in the abandoned city, with the vines overgrowing walls and bridges in all directions, that I almost loved it. However, in its very short runtime The Unfinished Swan introduces too many different ideas and doesn't sufficiently explore or refine any of them-not even the bad ones. That might suit the theme, but it makes for a game that feels frustratingly incomplete.
  9. CD-Action
    Nov 29, 2012
    More of an artistic experiment than a real game. Its visuals are beautiful and it offers various gameplay mechanics but none of them is particularly engaging. [CD-Action 13/2012, p.67]
  10. Oct 17, 2012
    If The Unfinished Swan didn't do such a marvellous job of tantalising players with its patiently evolving visual signature, it would be easier to sense the messy whiteboard of ideas churning beneath the surface. It's not that the game feels unfinished, just ungainly.
  11. Oct 16, 2012
    It's a shame that in the end, it's quite apparent that this project started as a tech-demo. As much as the bitter-sweet music and the story of an orphaned boy, his dead mother and a king that never seems to finish what he started try to get an emotional reaction out of you, it always stays a mess of themes and symbolism. If it had something to say, the message somehow got lost under a heap of its own metaphors. If your heart burns mainly for artistic visuals, though, this graphically visionary little game has a lot to offer.
  12. Oct 15, 2012
    The Unfinished Swan is a nice tale, nicely polished and visually interesting, but the build-up of the story takes too much time for such a short experience, and setting aside the last minutes of play, there isn't really any smart or neat gameplay ideas; others were able to give a more powerful story or experience before it, and it shows.
  13. Oct 15, 2012
    The Unfinished Swan is gentle and beguiling, but also thematically patchy and insecure in its own merits, choosing to constantly introduce less interesting new gameplay systems rather than fully explore any single motif.
  14. Oct 15, 2012
    As it is, though, The Unfinished Swan is little more than a pretty picture.
  15. Oct 30, 2012
    The Unfinished Swan might be a very arty game. It's not a Van Gogh by a long shot. The gameplay stays the same throughout the game, and that's just plain boring. A big thumbs up for the idea, it just lacks a finishing touch, the hand of a master painter, so to say.
  16. Oct 22, 2012
    In fairness, the fairytale nature of The Unfinished Swan's story strongly suggests that this is a game aimed at a younger audience, and when considered in that light, it does well to introduce the basics of the puzzle genre at a level that children will easily pick up. Unlike the best children's stories, however, there isn't much going on beneath the surface, and those intrigued by the game's unique premise will be left wishing there was more to it than just a few clever ideas.
  17. Oct 17, 2012
    Not a very satisfying or enjoyable video game to play, but still a fascinating one to experience – with some beautifully stark imagery and ideas.
  18. Oct 16, 2012
    Beautiful visuals, clever ideas and a pleasant story can't make up for a shallow and overly linear gameplay. Condensed in an experience that lasts about an hour and a half, The Unfinished Swan can't show its true potential nor can it satisfy the player. We really wish things were different, but you can go ahead and ignore what could otherwise have been an indie masterpiece.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 112 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 112
  2. Negative: 9 out of 112
  1. May 28, 2014
    While I give Unfinished swan credit for being something refreshingly different, it also seems to rub that point in a bit too much. The gameWhile I give Unfinished swan credit for being something refreshingly different, it also seems to rub that point in a bit too much. The game seems to be trying too hard to be artsy to the point that you are not sure if you should be playing with it or just looking at it..

    But, once the novelty wears off, the game does feel a bit barren and very basic. The art style is pretty, and the story cute, kind of like a kids story book. But, like kid's storybook it gets a little dull after a while.

    Unfinished Swan is clearly a milestone in gaming opening up many future possibilities, but it is also just the beginning and requires a bit more substance to make it more than it is.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 28, 2013
    The Unfinished swan had plenty of potential and after Journey, big things were expected of it. Unfortunately, The Unfinished swan is tooThe Unfinished swan had plenty of potential and after Journey, big things were expected of it. Unfortunately, The Unfinished swan is too pompous. It's like a videogame art snob waving it's arms around and crying "Look at me! I'm an artistic masterwork!" Whilst it doe gets kudos for presenting an interesting idea and a nice visual aesthetic, it ultimately fails because it's gameplay is duller than dishwater. Do not be fooled. This is not a worthy successor to Journey. Full Review »
  3. Nov 6, 2012
    A good but not great game. It has some very creative ideas but it doesn't do alot with them.The story has some charm but it doesn't really goA good but not great game. It has some very creative ideas but it doesn't do alot with them.The story has some charm but it doesn't really go anywhere. It can be very pretty sometimes and it it's very unique but it just seemed to be missing that extra something that would have made it great. It's also over before you know it without that much reason to go back. Not a bad game but I would have felt much better paying $10 or less for it. Full Review »