[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in the July Jubliee Bundle, now available at IndieGames' co-created site: Indie Royale.]

"Swift*Stitch is a game about going fast, taking the right route and trying not to crash." With that simple sentence from creator Sophie Houlden, my job of profiling this game is now moot. Let me do my best anyway.

For those of you unfamiliar with the lo-fi frenetic title, you are in for a treat. Swift*Stitch tends to defy classification beyond "going fast", but essentially it takes a lot of elements from twitch platformers and distills them into a somewhat more pure experience. If you're a fan of fast paced platformers that reward practice and perfection, Swift*Stitch offers a more unique take with all of the same satisfaction.

You control a tiny triangle that zips through a very dangerous obstacle course. The only means of control at your disposal is left clicking, which swaps your triangle's direction from horizontal to vertical. Using your supreme mastery of right angles, and a helpful bullet time mode via right clicking, your job is to reach the end of the level. Of course, the trick is figuring out the right way to go, and using various level elements to switch your direction and puzzle out the right route. Reaching the end awards you up to three medals; one for finishing and two more for avoiding a single crash or collecting all of the optional shinies.

It's a simple premise that gets reworked and tweaked repeatedly throughout the course of the game. Sometimes Swift*Stitch throws a curve ball, like teleports, speed boosts and a gate that literally curves your path. Even then, the game doesn't rely on introducing dozens of new gimmicks, instead using the limited tools to make a wide variety of creative and fun levels. It's certainly a minimalist title, but manages to look great, sound excellent and package a lot of fun to boot. For those of you with less talented reflexes, the game's zippy speed is totally adjustable, but true twitch fans will get the most out of the game at the default pace. For a real challenge, try cranking the speed up. Overall, Swift*Stitch is a really neat exercise in minimalism, but also manages to make for a fantastic game.

Rose and Time


Also on offer from Sophie Houlden's back catalogue is the finished version of her contribution to the Indie Buskers movement. Rose and Time was a 48 hour game jam title built from the premise of a stealth game in which you have to hide from your past self. Sure, lots of games have a time travel mechanic these days, but the idea of your past self as an obstacle is certainly innovative. Fortunately, Rose and Time managed to take this simple yet intriguing premise and blow it up into a fully loaded experience. It also makes for quite a challenging little puzzle game.

You control Rose, a young time traveller who has to traverse an abstract floating landscape to find a crystal. Doing so loops back time to the beginning, except now you must travel from a different starting location to a different crystal without your past self noticing. It can be a real mind bender to figure out how to position yourself earlier in order to pass by later, and some of the later levels require a whole lot of planning and puzzling. However, screwing up can be easily fixed by rewinding your actions and fixing your mistakes, somewhat alleviating the usual criticisms of repetition and reloading often levelled against stealth games.

But there's not only excellent gameplay here. The graphics are simple, but rather charming and very impressive for such a short development time. The story contained across the game's twenty levels is similarly adorable and touching, something that is always nice to see in a puzzle game. Swift*Stitich is definitely the more robust game of the pair, but this little bonus treat is a nice addition to an already excellent bundle.

[You can get Swift*Stitch, Rose and Time, Unepic, Mutant Storm Reloaded, Oniken, all five Geneforge Saga titles, and Puzzle Agent in the July Jubliee Bundle, now available at IndieGames' co-created site: Indie Royale.]