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Publisher: Reflexive Entertainment    Genre: Arcade
Min OS X: 10.4

Swarm Gold
January 23, 2009 | Franklin Pride

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Battle Mission
You're in the future and your prisons are overflowing, so what do you do? Send your criminals off in heavily-armed scavenging ships, of course! That is, basically, the plot behind Swarm Gold (SG). Is that enough to drive a game with over one-hundred levels? Probably not, but you never know until you take a look.

Swarm Gold's gameplay is extremely simple. You point in the direction you want to go, thrust, ram energy bubbles, and shoot anything that gets in your way. In all of the levels, there's nothing to do but that. There aren't any bosses, rescue missions, or even a single minigame. All you get are levels where you shoot and gather, levels where you just gather, and levels where you just shoot. The first level is the same as the last, only you have more enemies and more guns.

A variety in the enemy designs would be a good replacement, but all the enemies act pretty much the same. When you're off-screen they do nothing and when you're on-screen they turn to face you and shoot. There are two exceptions, though. One turns to face you and rams you, while the other just sits still and randomly shoots out babies that turn into itself. Overall, you just turn towards them and shoot whenever they get close. They're hardly dangerous at all.

If none of this bothers you and you push through, you can expect to play for around a few hours before you complete all the levels. Each level takes around a minute to complete, less if you're fast, and there's only one-hundred and one levels. There would probably be less, but the developer apparently wanted the tag line "over one-hundred levels." Not that it matters, as the levels are pretty much interchangeable.

On the plus side, it looks and sounds quite good. You can tolerate a few hours of doing the same thing when all of the in-game menus, pop-ups, enemies, and weapons are entertaining to watch. It makes it even better when you've got solid sound effects and a light tune playing in the background. It's not enough to redeem SG, but it does keep it from sliding into the garbage.

Overall, Swarm Gold is a repetitive space shooter with not much variety in levels or enemies, but it's an ok purchase if you've got nothing to play. It won't take much attention and it's quite easy to put down after just a few minutes of playing. I wouldn't recommend paying the $20 unless you don't have an alternative, though.

• Easy to learn
• Good graphics and sound

• Nothing to learn
• No variety
• Extremely short

Swarm Gold
Publisher: Reflexive Entertainment
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