The Swapper

I can on longer see colours!

The Swapper
Played on PC (GoG Galaxy)

On entering a new room In The Swapper I am greeted with a familiar pattern.  My character stands on one side, while my goal floats at the other – an orb that allows access to further areas of the space station.

A series of buttons and platforms separate me from my prize.  The red and blue fog that hovers in the air also limits the use of my tools and is as much an obstacle as any solid obstruction.

The mechanics have firmly been established – I need to use the Swapper gun to create up to 4 clones of myself which can interact with the different parts of the puzzle and allow access to the Orb.


The presence of the blue and red fog may be problematic.  I cannot create clones at blue fog areas, nor can I swap control to a clone while it exists in the red.  Still, I’m not too worried, I’ve conquered similar puzzles before this and though some were head wrecking, I figured them out.

So what have we got?  A couple of buttons that remove the barriers blocking the Orb.  Easy.  I’ll just have 2 of my clones stand on them while another accesses the orb.  Lets go!

Wait, one of my clones dropped down a pit.  It hasn’t died, but landed on another button that enables the other clones access the rest of the level.  No big deal, that just means I have one less clone to use for the puzzle.  Working as Intended.  Still easy, 2 buttons, 3 clones, 1 goal.

15 minutes have passed.  I need to create a clone on one platform that can then shoot a second clone at another platform that contains the first button.  This is trickier than I thought.  May as well have a glass of wine while I’m mulling it over.  I’m trying to remain logical, so I simplify the problem.  I now have 2 clones for 2 buttons and my main character to use for the orb.


The fog has become problematic.  Though I cannot swap to a clone in red fog, I can create one within and walk it out of there.  However, since all clones move at the same time, moving one causes the other step off the first button, dropping the initial barrier.

I’ve gone through a quarter of the bottle now, it has been about 30 minutes since entering the room.  I’m starting to worry that I may not figure this out.


2 buttons, 2 clones, 2 barriers, red fog, blue fog.  Time has lost it’s meaning.  I can’t tell how long I’ve been in this room.  Every combination of cloning and swapping has resulted in failure.  Either I cant clone to a required spot, can’t swap to the spot or move to it.  Distances are too far for my guys to jump and when they die I must set them up again.

Semantic satiation occurs when a word loses meaning after constant repetition.  I am now experiencing the computer game equivalent.  2 buttons, 2 clones, red, blue, fog, button.  I’m not sure I’m even seeing the level any more.  Maybe it would be healthy to pack it in.  I’m 3 quarters through a bottle of wine and hopelessly tired – my problem solving skills are not going to improve.  Maybe I will go to bed.


But I can’t.

I need to know what happens next.  Almost every puzzle is rewarded with information on what is going on in the station.  I want to discover the next piece so I can figure out what has happened to this world.

Someone tried to kill me at the beginning.  I’m compelled to know why someone would attempt to murder the only other human on ship.

I’m drawn to the voices in the air that speak as I pass through certain locations.  Voices that fill me with a mix of dread and morbid curiosity.

I want to see more of the station.  I want to see what the previous inhabitants were up to before their disappearance and how they lived.

I’m eager to explore more sections that have been designed with meticulous effort and care, such as the botanic gardens – which provides a refreshing change of tone and aesthetic to the heartless metal of the rest of the station.  Or the dangerous and vicious looking processing area, or the absolutely Jaw dropping zero gravity moments – which, though few and far between are the more stunning due to their infrequency.

I want to experience more moments whereby a nearby planet, asteroid, or exterior part of the station becomes visible in the background; it’s sheer colossal scale a constant reminder of the unimaginable size of the universe and of how truly lonely I have become.

No,  I’m completing this puzzle.  Only one other level has stumped me like this so I know I can figure it out.

I stare with blurry vision at the puzzle.  I find that I have gotten one of my clones to the necessary side, but I’m hard pressed to remember how I managed that.  I think it involved swapping, cloning and swapping again, but of that I can’t even be certain.

I move my main character towards the orb, but notice that another clone has left their spot, releasing the button.

It no longer matters, my main character has reached the other side of the barrier as it collapses.

I collect the orb.  The lights go out.  All restrictions and barriers disappear.  I exit the level and receive another small piece of space station’s history.

I’m not in the mood to celebrate or fist pump the air.  I sink back into my couch with a heavy sense of relief and achievement that can only be felt after overcoming a mental beating.  Once I finish this glass I’m falling face first into bed.