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79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 66 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 98 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Unfinished Swan is a videogame about exploring the unknown. The player assumes the role of a young boy chasing after a swan who has wandered off into a surreal, unfinished kingdom. The game begins in a completely white space where players can throw paint to splatter their surroundingsThe Unfinished Swan is a videogame about exploring the unknown. The player assumes the role of a young boy chasing after a swan who has wandered off into a surreal, unfinished kingdom. The game begins in a completely white space where players can throw paint to splatter their surroundings and reveal the world around them. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 66
  2. Negative: 0 out of 66
  1. 100
    There are very few games which are able to buck trends with aplomb and do it this gracefully. Pick it up when you can and give it the time it deserves.
  2. 90
    The Unfinished Swan is a fairy tale told beautifully through the cooperative effort of the game's graphics, sound, and intuitive gameplay. Polished beyond belief, its hard to believe that this Picasso is going for a PSN price.
  3. Absolutely enchanting from start-to-finish, Swan is a real treat and a prime example of why bigger isn't always better. [Holiday 2012, p.77]
  4. Oct 15, 2012
    82
    A beautiful, intense but short surprise. A great experience anybody interested in games should buy, taking into account that its opening sequence feels way better than the rest of the gameplay, and that most players will only go through the story once, that is 4-5 hours tops.
  5. Oct 15, 2012
    80
    The power of The Unfinished Swan – not unlike a Terry Gilliam film, coincidentally – lies in its engagement with our imagination, in its ability to remind us of that capacity for whimsy and fantasy. If your life could use a little less logic and a little more fascination, The Unfinished Swan should not be missed.
  6. Dec 10, 2012
    70
    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.
  7. Oct 16, 2012
    50
    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.

See all 66 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 3 out of 26
  1. Oct 23, 2012
    10
    This is the most intuitive unique game that's come out since Journey. You're in an all white space and to figure out where you can go you haveThis is the most intuitive unique game that's come out since Journey. You're in an all white space and to figure out where you can go you have to throw paint randomly out there until stairs, hallway, etc are revealed. It's a blast figuring out these puzzles. I recommend this to anyone who likes fun. Collapse
  2. Jan 10, 2013
    10
    One of the greatest downloadable games of all time, imo. The graphics and art style are impossibly amazing. The gameplay is so simple but soOne of the greatest downloadable games of all time, imo. The graphics and art style are impossibly amazing. The gameplay is so simple but so clever, puzzling, creative and dynamic. The gameplay constantly changes drastically from chapter to chapter (maybe too quickly: just as you get used to a mechanic it changes). The music is some of the best out there, as well. Wonderful! The only gripe is that the game ends kinds when you dont expect it; and the white-canvas levels are scarce. Buy it now. Thank me later. Expand
  3. Oct 24, 2012
    9
    Unfinished swan is representative of its own theme
  4. Dec 12, 2014
    8
    It is just about long enough to escape dissatisfaction and just about short enough to escape an overstayed welcome. It's charming, it'sIt is just about long enough to escape dissatisfaction and just about short enough to escape an overstayed welcome. It's charming, it's creative and refreshingly family-friendly. It isn't particularly deep and is the closest the games industry may ever come to capturing the wonder and glee of a bedtime story Expand
  5. Nov 6, 2012
    7
    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. Expand
  6. Aug 2, 2013
    6
    The Backlog 2: The Unfinished Swan.

    Developed by indie team and Sony protégés’ Giant Sparrow, The Unfinished swan is a surreal, often
    The Backlog 2: The Unfinished Swan.

    Developed by indie team and Sony protégés’ Giant Sparrow, The Unfinished swan is a surreal, often beautiful but ultimately flat journey into the mind of a studio bound for greatness.

    Grown from a 2008 tech demo The Unfinished swan places the player in control of a young boy named Monroe who is on a quest to find an unfinished image of a swan as it mysteriously vanishes from a painting. 
Monroe is thrust into the world of the painting leading him into an adventure across a kingdom uncompleted by a king at odds with his subjects. While entirely devoid of people the kingdom is rich with environments and mechanics to help Monroe find the secrets of this unfinished world, the world that ultimately stays strong as the only compelling part in the game.

    While some games struggle to keep momentum leading up to a crescendo ending, Giant Sparrows debut suffers from the opposite with the very opening being by far the most compelling. Dropping you into a completely blank world you are told nothing, the stunning sound design builds an environment around the empty space you inhabit. It is with that first splash of paint, revealing part of the space, that this game grabs you. I felt immediately amazed by the concept of a blank world revealed by the user throwing paint. The feeling of mystery and exploration is fantastic and the environments pop with stunning beauty as they are stricken with scattered explosions of black. I really felt the true beauty of this game when looking back from the top of a staircase, over the world I had unveiled. The splashes illuminating a world I didn't know existed gave a feeling of exploration and discovery that was wholly natural.

    Unfortunately this does not last forever, as the game progress’ the controls are more frequently taken away from you in a manner that I felt was jarring and took me completely away from the experience. The world begins to be pre-colored and you are asked to use water to encourage the growth of vines to climb in a manner that feels like you are working your way through a puzzle, not exploring a vast mysterious kingdom.
    Driven by the lackluster story, you move through a couple of differing environments, all with their own little nuances that fall flat making you feel nostalgic toward the once innocent exploration of the first level.
    With a disappointing ending and numerous immersion breaking moments the story becomes empty and meaningless with myself feeling like I didn't really care about Monroe by the end in the same way that I did for the little boy in Limbo or the robed figure in Journey, two games that excelled at dumping you into a world to find the story, instead of being pushed through it.

    The Unfinished Swan is definitely an attractive game with beautiful moments being offset by a middle riddled with a poor, Mirrors Edge looking city that isn't particularly pleasing to the eye. This coupled with frame rate issues when climbing vines or complex environments, and strange controls when interacting with climbable surfaces leads to a thoroughly disappointing game for a studio admittedly in its infancy. While a bit of a let down, The Unfinished Swan shows great potential for the studio and at this point I have to ask myself, with a 3 game deal similar to That Game Companys’ trilogy of Flow, Flower and Journey, if this is Giant Sparrows Flow, I cannot wait for their journey.
    Expand
  7. Mar 8, 2013
    4
    I reckon the idea is really creative and original, but I felt sick after 3 or 4 hours of playing. You need to keep moving the camera around,I reckon the idea is really creative and original, but I felt sick after 3 or 4 hours of playing. You need to keep moving the camera around, and everything is 2-colors, I think that's the main reason for the dizziness. So I can't say I enjoyed too much. Expand

See all 26 User Reviews

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