The Unfinished Swan: beautiful monochrome exploration game

This tech demo for the upcoming Wii game The Unfinished Swan is certainly visually striking: it takes place in an invisible, monochrome world that can only be discovered by splattering its contours with blobs of ink. And it definitely deserves to get buzz. Unsurprisingly, though, it mostly seems to excite people who don't actually play many video games: those who do can't help but notice that it doesn't look like there's much actual game there. It's early days yet, of course, and I'm excited by the possibilities — imagine some sort of murder mystery set in such a world, where the first sight you see is a negative corpse splattered in white blood — but there'll need to be a lot more than what's seen in this video. Then again, who would have thought Portal — a puzzle shooter game about teleportation — would have one of gaming's greatest narratives?

Join the Conversation


  1. The game’s website says it’s being developed in XNA, a Microsoft technology, so I imagine it’s headed for Xbox Live Arcade, not the Wii (unfortunately for me.)

    What’s shown is definitely a tech demo, not a game, and they described it as such. I can think of ways this could be grown into a real game, though, taking advantage of the weird “darkness” and the way you have a gun-like object that makes things visible instead of killing them. (I think there was an old conception, pre-Renaissance, that the eye saw by sending _out_ rays that bounced off of objects…)

  2. @1

    It should be coming to Xbox Live Community Games which is a more geared towards independent developers.

  3. That does look fantastic, although I can’t think how you’d make much of a game from it. Maybe some sort of exploration or mystery game with plenty of suspense but not much need to run, jump or shoot too hastily?

    A great shame that it doesn’t look wii-bound.

  4. Sigh…does it always have to be murder?

    It’d be nice if there were more games with artistic and narrative flare that did *not* resort to gore.

    WiiWare and XBLA both seem like good breeding grounds for such things.

  5. Um, #4, did you see any gore in that video? There was suspense and it was certainly artistic but I think that this game was exactly what you were describing.

  6. maybe the game is you only get a finite number of paintballs and have to reach the exit before you run out and become hopelessly lost, some enemies that wander about, invisible until you paint them would be interesting too. no-one wants random dying from invisible ninjas tho.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *