Swing the Bat is a casual high-score game that borrows from favorites like Tiny Wings and the Hook Champ series. Using physics-based swinging to move your character across treacherous landscapes, Swing the Bat tries to keep you hooked with different objectives and unlockable content–but does the sum of two amazing games equal a Must Have?
As the title says, this is a game about swinging a bat. This particular bat lives in a bamboo forest and has decided to use these trees, rather than his wings, as his method of transportation. By tapping on the screen, you extend the bat’s grapple-feet and, if you snag a tree or cave wall, you begin your swing. A swing gauge on the screen helps you determine the best time to release.
Another excellent swoop.
Using his grapple-feet, the bat can move from tree to tree, gaining momentum and height if he moves gracefully enough. This forest has many layers, each separated by a cave. The deeper you reach into the forest, the more points you earn. However, this bat is not completely flightless. If he eats enough of the fruit scattered throughout the forest, his wings will grow large and he can soar above the bamboo for a limited time.
You gain points not only for moving forward, but also for eating fruit or swinging perfectly. The forest is not without its predators, though. If your bat should hit the bottom of the forest floor, a vicious tiger will chase and pummel him. Evil pandas lurk in the forest as well, bashing the bat with planks of bamboo. All of these obstacles slow down your bat, limiting his score.
As this is a high score game, there is no end to each level, only a timer. Swing the Bat has two modes, both similar but with their own styles. In ‘Dusk til Dawn,’ your bat must outrace the sun, like any good nocturnal animal should. The faster your bat moves, the more points he can earn before sunup. In ‘Night Fire,’ the bamboo forest is burning, and your bat must avoid the fire. If he touches the forest floor, he burns and it’s game over.
Each mode also comes with various objectives that can be completed to unlock different looks for your bat. Objectives may include reaching a certain number of points or eluding the tiger two or three times. You must complete three objectives in any round to unlock a new look for your bat, like a football helmet or emo haircut. Completing these objectives also increases your score multiplier.
It’s difficult to not compare this game to its obvious inspirations. The gameplay, repetitive backdrops, and score multipliers clearly come from Tiny Wings, while the swing mechanic is akin to that of Hook Champ. There’s a fine line between copying a game and an homage, and Swing the Bat straddles that line. The only real gripe we have is that Swing the Bat doesn’t improve on these elements. In the end, Tiny Wings is more fun.
Swing the Bat isn’t a bad game by any means. It’s simple, easy, and entertaining. But it’s not original or innovative, which is why we think you won’t regret playing Swing the Bat but you also won’t rave about it either.