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For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
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Full code for Swigian. Usable under (CC BY 3.​0 US) license.

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Swigian

by Mathbrush (as Rainbus North) profile

2017

(based on 27 ratings)
8 member reviews

About the Story

I don't like talking. Let's build a fire.

Swigian is a minimalist game. It is long, but quickly finished, with few words and few complications.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: Inform 7
IFID: 1B3ACF0D-54DE-4F00-A2FA-1C28E2B15B29
TUID: cu0aiddqv6c2iati

Awards

21st Place - 23rd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2017)


News

Updated Cover Art July 15, 2019
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Editorial Reviews

The Breakfast Review
At the very least, the minimalist approach produces a stylised effect quite in keeping with the subject matter. Like those painted scenes on ancient Egyptian murals, or mediaeval iconography. It taps into the sense of the mythic.
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catacalypto
The prose is stark, and spare, and pitched evocatively for the genre it’s evoking. If you’re a literature person, I absolutely do recommend giving it a go.
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Dhakajack

In the Epic Age, heroes didn’t ramble on, they just did stuff. In this game, that’s how it works. Why? Because that is how it is done. Period.
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Narrativium
Swigian is delightful. The game hits the sweet spot between puzzle adventure and story-driven interactive fiction. It will appeal to those who hark back to the "classic" Infocom days just as much as those with a more "literary" sensibility, and that is a rare feat indeed.
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These Heterogenous Tasks
The things you are actually doing are very simple. Mostly the correct act is obvious, and if not then the narrative voice will quickly remind you. The resulting continuous flow of action is just about right for a dream-like experience.
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(6)
4 star:
(11)
3 star:
(10)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 3
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A minimal escape, October 18, 2017
by verityvirtue (London)
Related reviews: phlegmatic

Swigian is a text-sparse parser game. You are an outdoorsy person of no distinct description (“You look like me” is… suggestive) and… well, let’s start by building a fire.

The player’s only stated motivation is escaping an unnamed group: “them”. I would usually prefer more explanation, but here, in this style, that is enough. You are running from them. That is all I need to know.

Objects are barely described – “That is what it is” – encouraging the player to take the writer at face value. Object manipulation for puzzles is simplified, though most of the usual parser commands have been preserved.

Solving puzzles opens up new areas of the map. While the in-game map actually covers a large area, you only ever spend a short time in each area; often, there is exactly one thing you need to do there. The writing is evocative, but firmly rooted in reality – no metaphor for this, unlike, say, baby tree, another text-sparse parser game.

Overall, a solid game which I enjoyed playing, set firmly in parser’s traditional penchant for object-oriented puzzles.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Extraordinary and unique, March 14, 2021

Swigian has a limited vocabulary, a limited range of expression, at every level: the text level, the story level, the gameplay level. This doesn't sound promising, but in the end it's the key to making this game extraordinary and unique.

Descriptions could not be shorter. Things are named with simple words, but there are almost no adjectives, and no details besides the things that there are. "It is what it is". The character doesn't like to describe things, so he gives them unambiguous names. But, despite this sparse and precise language, there is an amazing degree of ambiguity, because of the lack of details. A name may be enough to understand how to use a thing, but not enough to understand what it is.

The story is also full of fog and ambiguity. The narrator knows what they are and what they need, but they never explain it to the player. Fantastic worlds are generally over-explained, particulary in games, where you need to manipulate them; but in Swigian, the world is wonderfully under-explained. Players don't know what they face, or why they have to do the things they do. The puzzles are simple, but intuitive instead of logical. This heightens the myth-like feeling.

And the limited vocabulary of the text also fits perfectly with a limited parser with very few available options. That is of great help to players not very good at parser, like me.

My only complaint is that I wish it was longer, with more puzzles. I wish I could play a longer game like this.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Not a "text adventure"., October 7, 2017
by Marco Innocenti (Florence, Italy)

This game is about being inside a simple, animal-like, childish mind. And so, it all revolves around this premise. The minimalism is not plainly esthetic. Guessing who you are may be simple. Guessing at what it's happening still puzzles me, instead. Very nice at setting... the setting; very low in putting up some fight (the game is ridiculously easy).

As a side note: this game would really love having some old-style, pixelated graphics as room descriptions. I would do those for free. :-)


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Games with easy English by Fitbos
I'm a Chinese guy who is really interested in text-based stuff, but my English is not very good for me to play games with hard English. Especially games with slangs every where. So I'm just looking for games that really written in easy...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible individual puzzles of 2017 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2017 which you think might be worth considering for Best individual Puzzle in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible individual PCs of 2017 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2017 which you think might be worth considering for Best Individual PC in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. Games not mentioned here will remain eligible. This is not an...

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This is version 16 of this page, edited by Zape on 12 April 2021 at 10:25pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item