Unfinished Swan

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Posted: 9 months ago, last updated 5 months ago.

Author: Andy Robertson.

OverviewOverview

The Unfinished Swan invites you to explore a world by splashing paint on it. The tactile experience leads you into a fairy tale about an unfinished painting that leads a child back to his parent.

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

DetailsDetails

Release Date: 16/10/2012

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle.

 

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 3 hours and 5 hours to complete.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

PEGI 7+ with fear.

This game has been rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Accessibility for this game is as follows:
System Settings

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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Similar Games

The following games are like Unfinished Swan. They address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to Unfinished Swan for younger age ratings.

Unfinished Swan is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Unfinished Swan in the following lists:

Wake Up Your Emotions

Video games are known for high-octane, adrenaline-fuelled entertainment, but there are many that address the player’s emotions as much as their dexterity. Often overlooked by younger or more competitive players, these experiences can provide a helpful variety in the diet of games your family enjoys.
The games selected below create emotionally rich spaces in which to explore scenarios with feelings rather than facts. In some games this is achieved with beautiful or soothing interactive visuals; others create charged relationships and settings that invite players to take a role in processing these emotions.
 

Unusual Locomotion

These games offer worlds you explore in unusual ways. Maybe it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other, or maybe you get a chance to climb and jump athletically. These games put you in touch what it’s like to move more easily or more difficulty than real life.
 

Commit No Violence

While a significant portion of video games focus on combat and competition, these titles offer a less aggressive way to progress and win. None of these games enable or require the player to cause harm to another living thing -- even Mario's merciless campaign to stomp on every Goomba he meets bars him from this list. Or then there's catching and selling fish in Animal Crossing that rule that one out.

Many of them are aimed at children and families, but you'll be surprised how many explore deeper, more mature themes in their narratives, or require just as much skill as a fast-paced first-person shooter. This means there's plenty of offer for parents who might lack the reflexes (or interest) to survive a round of Fortnite.

We've focused on the games you might not expect to be played non-violently here, but you can find the full list at Non-Violent Games Of the Day curated by James Batchelor.
 

Space For Grief

Games include interactions, narratives and characters dealing with all aspects of life (and death). This means that some care is necessary if players are sensitive to losing significant people. But also, games can provide a helpful space in which to process, consider and understand death and loss.

Image 162 I've come up with some games that explore this topic, along with help and suggestions from Gaming The Mind (Twitter), an organisation of UK-based mental health professionals who aim to promote positive mental health within the gaming community. By focusing on the intersection between gaming and mental health, they want to raise awareness of mental health challenges and reduce the stigma surrounding these issues.

"We express grief in different ways depending on our age," they said. "To help children cope with loss, it is important that they receive honest explanations about death, appropriate to their level of understanding. With these games, players may find valuable space in which to acknowledge grief as a completely normal reaction to bereavement."

"The games we have selected don't necessarily offer an ideal way to cope with death but tackle the topic of death openly and with a positive attitude. They can help show the player that they are not alone in what they are going through. Playing these games with young people, and answering questions they might have along the way, can be a useful starting point for important conversations about grief."
 
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