The Swindle is a game of intensity, challenge, reward, and satisfaction. The core of the game is great, yes, and the visuals and music are fantastic as well, but it’s the sense of stakes that the game has that puts it over the top into becoming a true indie classic – though, sadly, plenty is not perfect.
In The Swindle, Scotland Yard has created a revolutionary artificial intelligence program called The Devil’s Basilisk, which will give them total surveillance. You, as a master thief, must infiltrate Scotland Yard and destroy the program before it goes live and ends your thievery for good. This really isn’t a game focused on plot, but it sets up the scenario perfectly and gives you a reason to be worried about that 100 day timer.
Gameplay is in the style of a 2D stealth platformer. You can run with the D-pad or control stick, and jump with B. You’ll open or close doors by hitting X while near them, and hit Y to swing your weapon and take out an enemy or window. You can also wall jump, even on a singular wall. That’s about it at the start, though as time goes on you will add additional tools and abilities to your arsenal.
Every level, you are sent on a randomly generated mission. There are several areas in London to steal from, each more challenging than the last, and each has different types of enemies and level designs. In the levels are stacks of bills to pick up, as well as computers with massive rewards to hack. Your goal is to steal this money and get back to your ship without being killed.
It’s absolutely thrilling. You will wait behind a door, waiting as an enemy turns its back, before bursting through and hitting him on the back of the head. You’ll jump onto walls, hanging there, until you can crash through a window undetected and take out the guards. You’ll explore the environment, discovering the locations of money, computers, and other areas of interest, and discover the best routes to get to them. ...