By Eric Pankoke on Tue, 10/23/2012
In general I'm a big fan of 10 tons and the games they release. At first I wasn't quite sure if I was going to like Swingworm, because it just didn't seem to have the same polish as the other games I was used to from this company. It turns out I was wrong about that for the most part. Swingworm is actually a rather interesting game with a unique concept, cute artwork and a pleasing soundtrack. Unfortunately it suffers from one significant flaw - terrible controls. They haven't deterred me from playing the game yet, but they sure can make it frustrating.
You play a poor little worm that has to gather berries for an evil bug so that you can be free. You'll have to travel through 6 different areas each comprised of 15 levels full of fruit and plenty of obstacles. Some are harmful, like the spiked bugs that add five seconds to your time if you hit them with anything besides your spiked tail. Others can be either useful or annoying, depending on your skill and patience. For example there are boards that can spin either clockwise or counterclockwise based on how well you can shift the worm's weight. There are also certain materials that you can attach to and others you can't, so planning on the fly is imperative.
To accomplish all of this you simply need to move either the head or tail of the worm to a new position, enabling the worm to travel around the screen. It sounds easy enough, but it's way too common for whatever you're trying to move to slip from your grasp. That doesn't seem like a very big deal, but your star ranking is based on the amount of time it takes you to complete the level, so while I've managed to get three stars on most of the levels so far, many of them have taken a lot longer than necessary just because of control issues. If it weren't for this problem Swingworm would be a very engrossing game.
The graphics in Swingworm are cute. The characters are well drawn and rather expressive in a cartoony sort of way. There will definitely be a lot of appeal for the kids visually. The sound effects suit the game well, especially when it comes to the worm chomping on things. The music is decent, though I'm pretty sure there's only one tune which can get repetitive.
Swingworm went from a game I didn't think I'd care for to a game I really enjoyed to a game I've become frustrated with. It's a great concept with a fun atmosphere, but the controls hamper it from becoming truly addictive. I'm not suggesting you avoid the game because of the controls, but if you have a low tolerance level this game might not be for you.
Overall score: 7/10
App Store Link
This game was reviewed on an iPad 2 running iOS 5.1.1.