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iPhone Game Reviews: Sway

Sway is a new kind of game for the iPhone OS. If you’re a gamer like us and you’re looking for something new, you should definitely consider this game.

After much anticipation, Illusion Labs released Sway into the iTunes App Store on February 25th, 2009.

The story’s main character is Lizzy the Lizard, a resident of a fictional place called…you guessed it, Sway! The evil character, Wiz, has destroyed the land and now your job is to help Lizzy find her friends somewhere in the Galaxy. Once you save Lizzy’s friends (such as Ninja Man, Stitches, Box Boy, and more…) they become unlocked and then can join in the swaying.

Here at AppSmile, we haven’t seen any other game for the iPhone that has controls like this. Illusion Labs takes a chance by introducing a new type of game control. Hopefully, it’s not to polarizing for their casual gaming audience. Character movement is accomplished by swiping your thumbs across the screen. This swings the character around as you progress through each level. Don’t let go of the screen too long or you could fall to your doom! Admittedly, there is a learning curve to the control scheme. If you don’t have the patience to learn it, you’ll get frustrated quickly. But the controls can be learned rather easily and then it’s up to you to master them and save your buds. If you need help, a tutorial video is included.

The game’s replay capability is enhanced by the addition of medals which gauge how you did in each board. Is it worth it to collect all the stars for a higher metal, or just manage to make it through the board? You decide. Either way, Sway provides you with an opportunity to go back and do better next time.

Interestingly, Illusion Labs has altered the finger swipe reaction of each character, so its worth is to unlock and try them out.

It’s clear that these developers spent a lot of time and effort on the graphics and movement of the game (more so than the storyline). The characters are very doll-like and it’s as if you can almost feel them in your hands. The textures are well implemented creating a handsome experience.

If you want a game that will show off your iPhone prowess to your friends, Sway sounds up your ally.

Here’s a run-down of what we like and dislike about the game…

AppSmile Favorite Features:

  • Control experience like no other on the iPhone
  • Amazing animation of character movement
  • Music matches character and overall game feeling of cuteness
  • Multiple characters to unlock and control
  • Wonderful menu UI design

What AppSmile wants improved:

  • We would like to see a broader soundtrack (so far one song spread across all levels)
  • Better character development (these guys look great but it would be nice to know them a little better)
  • No enemies during game play -- only obstacles
  • More levels please

Update: On March 2, Illusion Labs contacted us to say that they are “already working on an update that will not only include new levels, but also new game elements.”  Hurray for Sway!


Sway gets our AppSmile 4-Dimple rating:

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