Verlet Swing
Nintendo Switch

Developed By: Flamebait Games
Published By: Digerati
Category: Action, Party, Simulation
Release Date: June 14, 2019

A E S T H E T I C thy name is Verlet Swing. This little love letter to vaporwave swung onto the switch and landed square in the glittery sphere goal. You are a faceless, bodiless figure using set pieces seen in washed out pink and aqua wallpapers to get to the goal as fast as possible. All you have in your arsenal is a simple white rope and momentum. To help you navigate, you have slight control over your body as you swing in the air, which can either help you or fling you to your doom.

Before I go on, I want to explain what vaporwave is for those who missed the wave that hit the internet in the early 2010s. Vaporwave is a genre of electronic music that takes music from the 80s and 90s, mainly jazz and pop songs, and uses varying techniques and effects to transform the audio. The music is slowed down and any vocals are chopped up and transformed into something that is almost unrecognizable to the original song. For example, the song (that I feel) started the vaporwave movement, “リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー” by MACINTOSH PLUS, is actually a song by Diana Ross called “It’s your move”. I had no idea when I first heard it and I love Diana Ross.

The music genre’s visual style, dubbed A E S T H I C, uses early internet imagery, 1990s web design, Greco-Roman statues, VHS degradation, low-resolution 3D-rendered objects on a loop and anime. With how big Vaporwave was with tons of artists making their own tracks, art, and videos, it made sense for video games to be made about it. Verlet Swing is by far the strangest one.

Verlet Swing has exactly one hundred levels, some easy and some eye-lash pulling hard. Most of the levels are static pieces of statues and pillars that you desperately try to latch onto. As you go through the levels, different mechanics will make the game harder. In one level you have to cling onto a rocket while dodging obstacles, in another, you have to navigate a maze while keeping up your momentum to get your best time. Each level differs from the last and is a joy to play. There are also many challenges and a leaderboard so at 14.99 (Currently on sale at the time of writing this), you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.

Verlet Swing is the kind of game that you play in handheld mode and listen to a movie or TV show in the background. Then you go on youtube and watch speedrunners blaze through the stage in two or three seconds while your best time is ten. I highly recommend this game if you need something to chill out too.

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