Verlet Swing sets you free in open spaces, tasking you with swinging around them until you can reach a goal point somewhere in the stage. As long as you don’t hit something, you’re doing all right and are free to keep swinging about however you want as you try to move toward the goal.
It seems like a simple premise, but the developers at Flamebait Games have designed some devious courses for you to work through, demanding you thread yourself through the tiniest of places near the end of the game. That said, the game often leaves you free to find any route you like through its hazards, using momentum and angles as you work through its first-person puzzle levels.
That sense of freedom and motion makes Verlet Swing a compelling experience. There is an instant appeal in firing your hook onto some distant object and letting your speed carry you forward, hurtling up as you look for the next thing to grab before you fall or hit a wall. It is challenging, but gradually teaches you how to use your momentum and aim to sneak through tiny spaces or cross massive distances. You respawn quickly after failure, ensuring you’re right back into the action in a hurry, which cuts down on any sense of frustration you might feel from repeat crashes.
Verlet Swing‘s landscapes also carry a certain playfulness with their surreal imagery. Swinging around huge ice cream cones as pizza float by, or grappling onto stone busts that litter the game’s colorful environments, make everything seem light and fun even when you’re smashing against a wall for the hundredth time. It encourages you to look around and explore rather than just hammer it to the goal.
Verlet Swing captures a dizzying sense of freedom with its motion, and takes you to delightful places to explore, as well as devious lands that will push your swinging skills beyond their limits. It was difficult to stop playing, asking you to savor that feeling of high flying swings, and easily one of the best games at the show.
Verlet Swing is available for $14.99 on Steam.