While it might have a similar aviary moniker, The Unfinished Swan is not, in fact, a more stoic take on that dang goose game. Rather, this long PlayStation-exclusive debut from the creators of What Remains Of Edith Finch has finally escaped its console exclusivity, bringing us PC folks a stark, stunning adventure through a crisp hidden kingdom – one where even the best-kept secrets can be uncovered by splattering paint all over them.
“Unfinished” Swan, eh? It all looks quite finished to be, but what do I know about birds?
Released way back in the naive days of 2012, The Unfinished Swan was a Playstation 3 puzzling explore ’em up from Giant Sparrow, the devs who’d go on to release the fantastic Edith Finch five years later. For whatever reason, their feathery debut has finally landed on PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store.
Instead of their later game’s obsessively cluttered abode, Unfinished Swan instead presents an absolutely stark, almost-monochrome landscape packed with oddities and secrets. Pulled into a surreal, painted world by a pesky bird, you explore a multitude of stunning locations – from Grecian seaside towns to folded paper neighborhoods and intimate studio interiors. To begin with, you’re inking out a whitewashed world to uncover the geometry and route out paths. That idea seems to phased out later on, but as a Gamespot review from 2014 exclaims, Unfinished Swan really put its strongest foot down first.
“While the game that follows is a satisfyingly twee Golden Book of a game, the first chapter lets the player’s imagination do the heavy lifting in a way games never do,” wrote Justin Clark. “The ink only provides a rudimentary outline for your world, and any sense of the overarching land comes entirely from within. It’s euphoric, that power. It stretches muscles that games don’t allow unless you’re playing a text adventure. Once the game starts filling in the blanks for you, giving the buildings shadows and color and concrete shapes, those muscles are laid to rest for the rest of the game.”