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Quick review: Swerve and Destroy, a beautifully simple game

March 26, 2012

Have you been looking for a game that is a perfect time-killer? One that is quick to load, easy to play, addictive, but can be put down at any time? If the answer is yes, I may have found it for you.

Entitled “Swerve and Destroy”, this graphically deficient, bare-bones game for Android is one of the best I’ve ever played, and it’s guaranteed to keep you occupied for hours.

The aim of the game

In Swerve and Destroy, you control a grey dot, moving amongst an ever increasing number of red dots. The dots are supposed to represent a person being attacked by zombies, from a top-down perspective. Even the slightest touch of a red dot will eliminate your grey dot and end the game on the spot. To destroy the red dots, you have to pick up the power-ups that are drifting around. These power-ups vary from an electric shield which enables you to destroy everything in your path, to a water gun which you must skillfully aim to destroy the dots before they touch you. Some power-ups you collect, hold onto, and can even stack up for later use, such as a shields and bombs, and there are others, with more devastating (and fun) effects, about eight altogether.

Beauty in simplicity

Part of what makes Swerve and Destroy so appealing is that it’s jump-in and jump-out, with no need to sit there five minutes more than you wanted to trying to beat a level. The only objective is to try and beat your previous high-score, and, if you have to switch to another application or answer a phone call, the game pauses itself and holds in memory for as long as possible, giving you the opportunity to resume play.

There are no on-screen controls, besides the occasional tap to set off a bomb. The maneuvering of the dot is entirely controlled by the accelerometer, which can be adjusted between 0′, 45′ and 90′ in the settings, so you can play Swerve and Destroy anywhere you go. The sensitivity is adjustable too.

As you can see in the screenshots I’ve included, the graphics look like something from the early 90s. And I suppose the gameplay can be considered as coming from that decade, as well. For me, Swerve and Destroy is an example of how games don’t need to be supercharged with amazing graphics and sounds, and to require ever-advancing hardware to run on. Sometimes the funnest things are the simplest.

Try it out for yourself

Swerve and Destroy has a nearly full featured free version, and you can upgrade to the full version for a reasonable price. In fact, if you get five friends to act as your ‘referrals’ you can get the game unlocked for free! Check the game’s settings page to see how to do this.

The Play Store link to the game is here. Try out the free version to see if you like it, but I am already sure you will. Though it is designed for phones, it looks just as good when blown up to full screen on a tablet.

Altogether, I’d rate Swerve and Destroy with 9/10, because it could do with a tablet optimized version (though I expect that is in the works) and perhaps a few more power-ups. Otherwise, it’s my new favorite Android game alongside Angry Birds Space.