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User Reviews

An experience in actual exploration, tedium free – rare and worth playing. Kyle Levesque (935) 4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 3.8
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 4.3
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 4.3
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 4.3
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.8
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 4.3
Overall User Score (6 votes) 4.2


Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
100
Push Square (Oct 15, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan is the second generation-defining downloadable from Sony in eight months. Giant Sparrow’s debut is a confident, creative tour-de-force – and it’s one of the most imaginative adventures you’ll ever play.
100
The Escapist (Oct 15, 2012)
If you're looking for emotionally-stirring, minimalistic experiences the likes of Journey and Flower, you'd regret not diving into The Unfinished Swan the moment you can.
100
The Unfinished Swan is a dream, a dream journey that you can recollect when you wake up and want to share with all your friends because of how unlike reality was. The game constantly changes as you play through it, lending a feeling that anything can happen. It doesn’t pigeonhole itself into any particular style or type, it simply does what it wants as you tag along for the ride. The word unique gets thrown around a lot in gaming, but The Unfinished Swan is truly unique, an experience not to be missed. It will show you that games don’t need combat to be engaging, and they don’t need color to strike a chord with your imagination. Simply put, this is one of the best games of the year, and my very favorite gaming experience of 2012.
100
Game Arena (Nov 07, 2012)
There are very few games which are able to buck trends with aplomb and do it this gracefully. Pick it up when you can and give it the time it deserves.
95
TotalPlayStation (Oct 15, 2012)
The latest in an outstanding crop of indie art games that we've seen this generation, The Unfinished Swan lives up to that legacy and provides yet another sublime experience that transcends the usual confines of video games.
91
Gaming Age (Oct 22, 2012)
If you’re a sucker for artsy indie games that tell an interesting story and feature unique gameplay, then you’ll certainly love The Unfinished Swan. If you’re not quite sure what you’re getting in to, than wait for the demo or check out the trailer at the very least. Either way, The Unfinished Swan is a PSN game worthy of your attention.
90
IGN (Oct 14, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan is short and the challenges you face in the two-hour game aren't all that challenging -- but they don't need to be. This is a storybook for you to open up and get lost in. Playing The Unfinished Swan is best paired with a cup of cocoa, a comfy blanket, and surround sound headphones. Tuck yourself in and enjoy.
90
Playstation Universe (Oct 15, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan is a fairy tale told beautifully through the cooperative effort of the game's graphics, sound, and intuitive gameplay. Polished beyond belief, its hard to believe that this Picasso is going for a PSN price.
90
G4 TV: X-Play (Oct 18, 2012)
In case it's not clear, I loved The Unfinished Swan. It's the sort of experience that requires us to further refine the definition of the term "video game." While there are certainly elements of play here, I don't think that Swan qualifies as such. Instead, it slides in along the likes of Goodnight Moon and the Shel Silverstein library as the latest modern classic in the realm of children's fiction.
90
Games TM (Oct, 2012)
It’s a game you can play to completion in a single day – leading some to dismiss the game as poor value – but that really is to miss the point. Every minute of The Unfinished Swan is beautiful to behold, stunning in its elegant inventiveness and, thanks to the way it constantly changes right up to the end, it holds the attention like few other games are capable. There’s a reason you’ll finish it in a day: because you won’t be able to tear yourself away.
90
Console Monster (Nov 06, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan is best seen as an interactive bedtime story. There are no enemies to kill, the threats to Monroe’s safety are few and far between and there’s nothing too taxing to figure out, but that’s not what this title is all about. If you sometimes tire of the triple A titles and enjoy seeing what else the medium of games can offer, or you have enjoyed creations like Journey over the past few years, then Unfinished Swan should be on your list of games to purchase.
90
HonestGamers (Oct 29, 2012)
It’s difficult to review this game. If I describe or explain too many things, that would be doing a disservice to you, the reader and potential player. This review may feel more like an endorsement than a proper critique, and for that I apologize. The Unfinished Swan is one of those rare gems that manages to evoke an emotional response through very simple means: simple graphics, simple characters, and a simple story. Nothing that I've specifically mentioned in this review extends beyond the first chapter, and it’s a great first chapter that is followed by three more great chapters and a bittersweet ending. The Unfinished Swan is not to be missed. Do yourself a favour. Clear a couple of hours from your schedule, download it, and play through it in one sitting. Perhaps you'll even come to understand my vagueness by the time you're done.
90
Cheat Happens (Oct 30, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan is one of those games that you won't expect to love as much as you do. It's a game about discovery, about growing, about taking chances, and it's also one of my favorite games of the year. It's a game that you absolutely need to get lost in. Pining for originality in games? Put your money where your mouth is and play this game.
89
Gaming Nexus (Oct 15, 2012)
Giant Sparrow delivers one of the most unique games of the year. Sadly, The Unfinished Swan is a little too easy for its own good. Players can easily blow through the game in a couple hours. Still, the game's story is strong enough to keep you engaged from beginning to end. You've never seen anything like The Unfinished Swan before!
89
GameTrailers (Oct 16, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan is a treat for the senses, with thoughtful music and a poignant, elegant, and ever-so-slightly enigmatic story with tinges of the bittersweet, as well as humor and hope. This is the sort of game that offers up that rare spark of ingenuity that manages to thread both its form and function between narrative, aesthetics, and game design.
88
You could argue that the unsatisfying ending leaves some room for a sequel or downloadable content (DLC). But gamers are not necessarily a forgiving lot. If you ask them to spend hours playing a game, and then deny them an interesting ending, the result may not be good. Just as the folks at BioWare who created the ending for Mass Effect 3. This ending isn’t as bad as that one, but it is ambiguous. This game started out with two people and grew to 12. And all of them get some extra-generous credits at the end. But it is astounding to me that such a small team can create a game that is as moving and inspiring as The Unfinished Swan. It is the kind of game that big game studios won’t make, to their loss.
86
NZGamer (Oct 23, 2012)
While the talented (and surprisingly small) team of developers at Giant Sparrow deserve immense credit for their efforts here, I think Sony also deserve a pat on the back for publishing unique art-house titles like this. In a similar vein to Flower, Linger in Shadows, and Journey, it’s these unconventional gaming experiences that broaden the mind and encourage imaginative discovery. While I certainly have a destructive side to me, it’s refreshing to be creative in a game rather than just blowing everything up. Here’s to more releases like this.
85
PlayStation Lifestyle (Oct 15, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan is a storybook, more endearing and entertaining than those old picture books. If you’ve got a child, or still know how to get ahold of your inner child, there’s a lot to love.
85
ZTGameDomain (Oct 17, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan is a wonderful experience that drew me into its world and never lets go. I am still thinking about it long after finishing it, and that says a lot. The impact it leaves is memorable, and it will go down as one of the most unique experiences I have had this year. I recommend anyone who enjoys stepping outside the box of traditional gaming give it a chance. You will be surprised just how much it sticks with you long after the credits roll.
85
Jeux Vidéo Network (Oct 15, 2012)
A partir de quelques concepts simples et audacieux, The Unfinished Swan marie parfaitement fond et forme. Il lui manque un peu de substance pour devenir inoubliable mais le jeu de Ian Dallas dégage un charme irrésistible.
83
Defunct Games (Oct 18, 2012)
Giant Sparrow delivers one of the most unique games of the year. Sadly, The Unfinished Swan is a little too easy for its own good. Players can easily blow through the game in a couple hours. Still, the game's story is strong enough to keep you engaged from beginning to end. You've never seen anything like The Unfinished Swan before!
80
Game Informer Magazine (Oct 15, 2012)
Similar to Journey, The Unfinished Swan is brief, visually stunning, and more focused on the experience than with testing combat skills or platforming prowess. Some collectibles are available in the form of hidden balloons and storybook pages, which might bring completionists back for additional playthroughs. While I feel that the overall experience didn’t impact me as much as Journey, and won’t stay with me as long, it still has plenty of unique ideas to offer.
80
Joystiq (Oct 15, 2012)
Those seeking a literal interpretation of Monroe's journey may be left wanting as well, though I would argue such a pursuit misses the point anyway. The power of The Unfinished Swan – not unlike a Terry Gilliam film, coincidentally – lies in its engagement with our imagination, in its ability to remind us of that capacity for whimsy and fantasy. If your life could use a little less logic and a little more fascination, The Unfinished Swan should not be missed.
80
GamesRadar (Oct 15, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience. Some may find issue with its two- to three-hour length, while others may find its focus on discovery to be boring. But there’s a lot to be found in that world made of invisible ink, and for those willing to experiment and approach it with an open mind, the act of uncovering it all is an exciting experience--even if you do have to get your hands dirty with a little paint in the process.
80
Digital Spy (Oct 15, 2012)
While some could rightly criticize The Unfinished Swan for what it is lacking, sometimes an empty space can still speak volumes. Just spray a dash of paint, and you may see that it isn't all that empty after all.
80
AusGamers (Oct 19, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan is entirely satisfied with being extremely interesting and lovely, rather than being the sort of larger, more crucial experience it occasionally seems like it might turn into. Its greatest ambitions are met with just enough enthusiasm and creativity to assure a fantastic experience, though, one worth pondering on just as much as it’s worth playing.
80
GamezGeneration (Oct 24, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan zieht einen von Anfang an komplett in seinen Bann und versteht es, den Spieler bei Laune zu halten und ihm immer wieder neue, besonders optisch ansprechende Erfahrungen zu bieten. Mit vier bis fünf Stunden Spielzeit ist das Erlebnis zwar vergleichsweise kurz, doch dafür weist das Spiel auch keinerlei Längen oder künstlich gestreckte Passagen auf. Dennoch ist der Preis aufgrund der geringen Spieldauer mit 12,99 € etwas zu hoch angesetzt.
78
4Players.de (Oct 17, 2012)
Ich habe The Unfinished Swan richtig genossen! Jede Minute in der ungewöhnlichen Kulisse ist aufregender als das Kartografieren herkömmlicher Spielewelten. Denn obwohl die Umgebung nur mit wenigen Strichen gezeichnet wird, schaue ich genauer hin: Ich muss die Architektur interpretieren, um voran zu kommen. Die Kulisse selbst gibt mir zu denken – meine ungewöhnlichen Möglichkeiten, sie zu beeinflussen sind der spannende Mittelpunkt des Spiels. So richtig passen die Elemente allerdings nicht zusammen, weil die Kapitel wie unabhängige Gedankenspiele wirken, die auf eine große Collage geklebt wurden. Die Suche nach dem Schwan hätte sich stärker auf clevere Rätsel stützen müssen, um durchgehend so zu fesseln wie in den hervorragenden ersten Minuten. Dass die liebevoll erzählte Geschichte ihrem Anspruch einer bedeutsamen Metapher nicht gerecht wird, unterstreicht das Gefühl der Leere.
75
Destructoid (Oct 15, 2012)
As it stands, The Unfinished Swan is a good way to casually wile away some spare hours. You can't complain too much about that.
75
Jeuxvideo.com (Oct 15, 2012)
De conceptuel, The Unfinished Swan se transforme en une forme d'apaisement à mesure qu'on progresse. Sans atteindre la maestria globale d'un Journey, le titre de Giant Sparrow trouve toutefois une véritable légitimité dans sa somptueuse approche visuelle, son histoire touchante et l'aspect fusionnel entre cette dernière et son gameplay. Si on lui reprochera une durée de vie limitée et une rejouabilité inexistante, il serait néanmoins dommage de passer à côté de cette expérience picturale issue de l'art avec un grand A et les contes pour enfants.
70
The Unfinished Swan deserves high praise for being inventive, unique and absolutely beautiful. But this shouldn’t obscure the fact that these things apply more to the look and the core mechanic than the gameplay and how said mechanic meaningfully develops. The engagement with the narrative and characters isn’t on a par with that of the top titles in a similar vein, and there’s a lingering sense of what might have been. All of that said, £10 for two hours messing about in a beautiful dream world is pretty good value – certainly compared to a VIP night at the Playboy mansion, or a 3D showing of Rise Of The Guardians at your local Odeon.
70
Thunderbolt Games (Oct 22, 2012)
But where Giant Sparrow’s narrative vision is clearly focused, The Unfinished Swan’s gameplay deviates rather rapidly from that opening castle of wonder. It never sticks with any of its admittedly varied and occasionally interesting ideas long enough to expand and iterate upon them in any meaningful way, and, after the twenty minutes, it simply never manages to reach the wondrous height of that initial gameplay zenith found in Dallas’ genius blank canvas opening.
70
Adventure Gamers (Aug 23, 2013)
At 3-4 hours in length, you can easily play through The Unfinished Swan in one sitting, and the sense of wonder that comes along with exploring this strange, unrealized place may lead you to do just that.
60
videogamer.com (Oct 15, 2012)
This short-lived, artistically-worthy slice of downloadable eccentricity fails on that most crucial of fundamentals – it's just not much fun to play.
60
Eurogamer.net (UK) (Oct 15, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan is gentle and beguiling, but also thematically patchy and insecure in its own merits, choosing to constantly introduce less interesting new gameplay systems rather than fully explore any single motif. Impeccably produced and stunningly presented, it's worth playing just for the artistry of its construction - but it's a real shame that in attempting to lead video games in a more poetic direction, it can't quite finish the job, and ends up feeling as intellectually unfinished as the Jungian symbol it asks you to chase.
60
Edge (Oct 17, 2012)
If The Unfinished Swan didn’t do such a marvellous job of tantalising players with its patiently evolving visual signature, it would be easier to sense the messy whiteboard of ideas churning beneath the surface. It’s not that the game feels unfinished, just ungainly. What appears to be a swan during that opening stroll through the garden evolves into an admittedly handsome breed of chimera.
60
Game Critics (Dec 04, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan isn't without its charms, and there were moments in the abandoned city, with the vines overgrowing walls and bridges in all directions, that I almost loved it. However, in its very short runtime The Unfinished Swan introduces too many different ideas and doesn't sufficiently explore or refine any of them—not even the bad ones. That might suit the theme, but it makes for a game that feels frustratingly incomplete.
60
Retro Spirit Games (Mar 04, 2013)
The Unfinished Swan is a curious experiment in game design that initially impresses, only to lose its way over the short duration. It's a nice way to spend a couple of hours, but it is nowhere near as inventive or magical as some would have you believe. Stick with the far more engaging world offered in ThatGameCompany's epic 'Journey', or if you fancy some head scratching first person puzzles, look no further than the two Portal games. I am afraid I am too old for bed time stories.
60
AllAboutTheGames.co.uk (Nov 11, 2012)
The balance just isn’t there. There are parts of this game I am glad I have experienced, and would easily make the list of great gaming moments. Unfortunately, the game as a whole is a tougher sell. In that sense, it really is unfinished.
50
Metro.co.uk (Oct 17, 2012)
Not a very satisfying or enjoyable video game to play, but still a fascinating one to experience – with some beautifully stark imagery and ideas.
50
Gameplanet (Oct 23, 2012)
The Unfinished Swan is a beautiful puzzler and conceptually strong, but developer Giant Sparrow hasn't explored the concept far enough.