When I first booted up Green Game: TimeSwapper, I was greeted with a rather peculiar message – “Handheld mode only”. I wondered why this was until I went past the title screen; the game is controlled entirely via the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen functionality. I tried putting the Switch back into the TV dock to see if I could get past it; alas, the lack of button functionality meant that I had no such luck. I’m not sure why that’s the only way to play, but I can at least say it works. I’m getting ahead of myself, though.
The intro cutscene depicts a scientist putting a mechanical bird to work. You play as this bird as it traverses through fifty levels of elaborate maze setups that supposedly involve manipulating time. That cutscene is the only bit of story there is in this title, however; there isn’t even an ending beyond the game telling you that you beat all of it. I get that a game like this doesn’t necessarily need a story to begin with, but a bigger sense of closure would’ve been nice.
Green Game has a deliberately minimalist sort of look to it. It mainly consists of black and, well, green shapes and backgrounds. More color gets sprinkled in eventually, but that’s otherwise the gist of it. Of course, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Green Game creates a nice atmosphere with what it has, and the objects are animated smoothly.
The music for the game is entirely composed of jazz pieces, and sound effects are typically soft. If you’re not a jazz person, you might not like the lack of variety here. Since I do enjoy my fair share of jazz, I think it’s neat stuff. It alone helps make for a relaxing game, and the moderate pace and dark color choices of Green Game fit it well.
Green Game is a maze puzzler that lasts fifty levels. As mentioned earlier, the game is entirely controlled with the touchscreen. As the bird moves automatically across the level, you swipe with your finger to manipulate objects around it so it doesn’t bump into anything. The game dubs this as altering time, but I suppose that’s just a cosmetic thing. There are air blowers, walls and turbines to avoid, and collectables for replay incentives. For one of the most inexpensive games on the Switch ($2.99), Green Game has a surprising amount of content on offer. The actual play mechanics aren’t too shabby, either. There are two things it could improve on, though: The controls can be overly sensitive at times, and the game does have some bits of forced trial and error in later levels.
Overall, Green Game: TimeSwapper is a good bang for your buck if you’re willing to not use any buttons for this exercise. It has a few faults, but the amount of levels to take on and the execution of the maze gameplay outweigh those troubles. Plus, given that games like 36 Fragments of Midnight released on the eShop for the same price, it is impressive that the game is this fully-fledged in comparison.