PS3 classic The Unfinished Swan game makes a splash on iOS

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Unfinished Swan
A storybook set in a monochrome world.
Photo: Giant Sparrow

A great game is worth waiting for! Eight years after it debuted on the PlayStation 3, Giant Sparrow’s critically acclaimed 2012 game, The Unfinished Swan, landed in the iOS App Store (without much in the way of warning) this week.

A first-person puzzle adventure game set in a largely monochromatic, storybook universe, this is a gaming experience you won’t soon forget. Check out the trailer below.

Describing The Unfinished Swan is a tall order. It’s one of those titles you need to really dive into with as little context as possible. Describing the game (a boy pursues a swan which has escaped from a painting, while discovering the story of a king voiced by Terry Gilliam) will only serve to confuse you. Trust me, though, it’s worth checking out.

Here’s what the App Store preview for the game says:

“[Players get to] explore a mysterious all-white landscape by splatting paint to reveal the world around you. As Monroe, a 10-year-old orphan, you’ll follow a swan that’s stepped out of an unfinished painting and wandered off into a surreal, storybook-inspired kingdom. Each chapter brings surprises, new ways to explore the world, a host of bizarre (and sometimes dangerous) creatures, and encounters with the eccentric king who built this empire.”

The hard job of describing The Unfinished Swan

While it’s a very different gaming experience, one comparison that could be made to The Unfinished Swan is with the exquisite Monument Valley. Like that classic iOS puzzler, this game is a beautiful, abstract, masterpiece full of unforgettable imagery. Expect labyrinthine puzzles, serene soundtrack, and plenty of surreal, stylish minimalism. Like that game, The Unfinished Swan is also a relatively short gaming experience. It will likely only take you a couple of hours to play through. However, that’ll certainly be enough to enchant you.

I haven’t yet had a chance to check this out on iOS. It’s also a few years since I last played the original. But I’ll certainly be interested to revisit it. Interestingly, the game also launched on PC yesterday, although no sign of a Mac release just yet. (It’s a great week for classic games arriving on iOS. Just yesterday, the brilliant strategy game Company of Heroes also made its way to iPhone.)

The Unfinished Swan is available to download on iOS, priced $4.99. It requires iOS 13.4 or later.