Swing King: This iOS puzzler falls short of the crown


We've already brought you a complete preview of Chillingo and Zoink's newest offering Swing King, but now that we've gotten our hands on the final version of the game, does this physics-based puzzler have what takes to top its many competitors?

Swing King offers 92 levels containing puzzles and boss fights across a variety of themed environments. From a beautiful night sky to a lush jungle and beyond, the object of each stage will be to slide and swipe your finger across your iPhone or iPad screen to send the King (a fluffy, sticky ball of fur) from one side to the other, eventually landing on the back of his noble steed. Stars are scattered across each stage, and these tend to light the correct path through which the King should travel. Actually getting the King through each stage in one piece however, is a really challenging endeavor.

Levels are full of obstacles like spikes, pillars, and the ever-present bottomless pit, along with floating enemies and columns that must be hit to create an opening in an otherwise blocked path. The King's stretchy arm will attach to nodes throughout each stage, and you'll need to send him bouncing or flying around these obstacles Angry Birds-style using a trajectory line that will, in theory, allow you to line up the perfect shot.


Unfortunately, a lot of Swing King's elements don't work like they were clearly designed to. Take moveable nodes, for instance. These nodes allow you to catch the King and drag him back and forth on a set track to line up a more precise shot, but you'll frequently find yourself pulling back to fling the King when you're still trying to just move the node. There's no block in place that stops you from interacting with both at the same time, which is annoying at best and game breaking at worst, as the King can accidentally fall to his doom midstage. Furthermore, it's impossible to play the game comfortably with a case on your iPhone that sticks up even a slight bit from the surface of the screen. When the King dangles from the bottom of the screen, your finger will run into your case and it's really difficult to line up a shot without repeated attempts of releasing the screen and tapping all over again.

Thankfully, levels reset quickly if you happen to miss a star or suffer from one of the game's issues (including obstacles that may have invisible sections that the King will hit even though the coast looks clear), and the game is actually quite lovely. Those that wish to collect every star in the game will even be rewarded with a variety of hats that the King can collect and wear.

Everything in Swing King looks like it should work, but it comes with more than a few issues that need to be fixed before the game can become instantly recommendable. Thankfully, aside from the iPhone case issue, many of the game's problems can be fixed via updates in the future, but until then, it might be worth saving your $0.99 purchase price for another physics game that works better.

Click here to download Swing King for $0.99 >

Have you tried Swing King on your iPhone or iPad? Did you run into any of the issues we did? What do you think of the game overall? Sound off in the comments!