The Unfinished Swan Review
Posted: 17 months ago, last updated 11 weeks ago.
The character we play is the boy, Monroe. His exploration is driven by a desire to recover his deceased mother. She was a painter who is known to have never finished a painting, having created over 300 incomplete works. Monroe is told by his orphanage that he is only allowed to keep one of her paintings, so he chooses her favourite, a painting of a swan missing its neck.
One night, Monroe wakes up to find the swan has escaped its painting, and he chases it until he finds himself in the mysterious painted world. With the help of his mother's magical silver paintbrush, Monroe begins to explore the painted world as he chases the swan. There he finds a king and a kingdom that becomes an allegory about dealing with loss and what comes next.
Along with the unusual interaction, the black, white and primary colours of the game give it an otherworldly feel. Throwing paint to see what is in front of you has been compared to the experience of being partially sighted and feeling your way through the world. You can control the game with a normal PlayStation controller, or the motion-sensitive PlayStation Move controllers
How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.
Reaction-time Not Critical: Individual game actions don’t need quick reactions.
Low Pressure: Game tasks aren’t time-limited or with a high emphasis on performance. Or there is a low pressure play-mode available.
Save Anytime: The game automatically saves progress or you can save any time, and not lose progress.
How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.
Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required.
High Text Contrast: Text colour contrasts to background.
All Dialogue is Voiced: All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced.
How the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds and spaces.
Large Clear Navigation: The game navigation and maps are clear to read, large and with high contrast or with settings to zoom or increase visibility.
How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.
Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.
Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.
One Tap Anywhere: Play with touchscreen, tap anywhere.
Invert X/Y Axis: You can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming.
Specific button operation required to play
Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons not required or can be turned off or switched to toggling the action on and off.
Rapid Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing not required or can be skipped or disabled.
Adjust Mouse/Stick Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive mouse/stick controls are.
How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.
Bright Colourful Palette: Game uses bright colours and is generally high contrast.
No Flashes: No flashing strobe effects or you can disable them.
No Screen Shake: No screen shake effect or this can be disabled.
No Busy Backgrounds: No distracting backgrounds or you can make them static or blank.
Colourblind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colourblind friendly mode.
How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.
Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.
Play Without Hearing: No audio cues are necessary to play the game well
PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping)... read more about system accessibility settings.
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