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Feb 18

SwapQuest is a Puzzle-RPG Mix Coming to PS Vita on February 23rd

Constantin Graf's Avatar Posted by Game Designer, Rebusmind

SwapQuest is a mix of a retro RPG with a tile-swapping puzzle game, inspired by classics like Pipe Mania. The idea behind it was to take many of the elements I loved as a child in console RPGs from the 90’s and blend them with a movement system more reminiscent of a puzzle game.

SwapQuest on PS Vita

Out came SwapQuest on PS Vita, an easy-to-learn yet hard-to-master gaming experience that combines the development of your own character with puzzle levels that feel fresh every time due to their procedural nature. The game started small, but the concept took on a life of its own as more and more RPG elements found their way into the game.

The plan was to have SwapQuest ready after six months of development, but as the concept expanded the scope of the game became bigger — in the end it took more than two years to finish. In the beginning there were only the levels with treasure chests, enemies, and NPCs that would heal you or sell new weapons. As development progressed, the NPCs were removed to give them a more prominent role in the game. Additionally, a big overworld was added that the player visits between each level.

In order to increase the RPG aspect of SwapQuest even further, the Caravan was created to give the player the option to buy new weapons, upgrade abilities, or enchant equipment. All these additions helped expand SwapQuest from a puzzle game with RPG mechanics to an equal blend of both genres.

SwapQuest on PS Vita

The PS Vita version of SwapQuest got almost a year of extra time to make it the most refined experience possible. To make it even more special, there is a lot of new content, including three new levels located on a mysterious group of islands, a massive new boss fight, and a new character class called the Tinkerer. The game started purely touch controlled, but by now the button controls have become my favorite way to play SwapQuest. As a life-long console player it feels natural and efficient, and I hope you’ll agree.

One thing I’m very proud of and would like to highlight is SwapQuest’s visuals by pixel art wizard Jussi Simpanen and the wonderful soundtrack by Symphonic Square. Without those two I could not have made SwapQuest, and they have my eternal gratitude for that.

The art style successfully manages to have a look reminiscent of the 16-bit days, while also creating a vibrant and rich world. Each level has a distinct feel to it and it greatly helps to make the game come alive.

SwapQuest on PS Vita

For the soundtrack we purposely did not go for the typical 8-bit inspired chiptune music in order to have a more opulent scale fitting the big world you travel through. It gives the levels room to breathe and creates an excellent atmosphere to get into the flow.

SwapQuest started small but has grown so much in those two years, both in scale and in what I see in the game as a designer and player. It has become the most ambitious title I’ve worked on and I sincerely hope it will find many fans on PS Vita. Please let us know what you think of the game in the comments below. We’d love to get in touch with the PlayStation community.

Have a wonderful time with SwapQuest when it comes out on February 23rd!

Add Your Own

Mercenary09 said:

February 18th, 8:07 am

Looks interesting guys. Can you tell us the price for it yet?

    Constantin Graf's Avatar

    Constantin Graf said:

    February 18th, 6:57 pm

    The game will cost $6.99. There will also be a 10% discount for PS Plus members in the first week!

Cthulhu said:

February 18th, 8:38 am

Looks like the boardgame Labryinth. Definitely will be getting this!

    Constantin Graf's Avatar

    Constantin Graf said:

    February 18th, 7:00 pm

    Haha, thanks, I hear that comparison a lot. (although to be honest, the biggest inspiration was probably the hacking minigame in Bioshock, and of course classic RPGs)

Kodax_ShC said:

February 18th, 8:39 am

A vita exclusive? You have my purchase!

pablikenemy79 said:

February 18th, 8:52 am

Same here, day one purchase …
Thanks for support the Ps Vita!

NinjaMicWZ said:

February 18th, 9:14 am

Sweet. Didn’t know it was coming out so soon. Looks great.

MyDeadSoul said:

February 18th, 9:19 am

I am interested in this game. I would like to know, if you are planning on having viewable hints in game? I am so tired of these new games for ps4 and ps vita that tell you to look at the instructions online or on the cartridge outside of the actual game. If I get a game that has no in game help.I usually just stop playing it. I know for a fact that printed instructions do not cost much printed in bulk.Game companies charge way too much for the lousy half finished products they pump out.I wish Sony would care more about the consumer than letting a company save a couple of cents. I do like the 16 bit style on the vita. I don’t like seeing retro looking 8 bit crap on the ps4. It is a waste of technology and my money.

    Constantin Graf's Avatar

    Constantin Graf said:

    February 18th, 7:05 pm

    Hey there, thanks for your interest! The game has two tutorial levels at the beginning, one that’s mandatory and showing the most basic gameplay and an optional second one that introduces more elements. You can also look up the controls anytime by pressing Select. Additionally, there’s a digital manual guiding you through all the elements in the game.

vanillamoose said:

February 18th, 11:00 am

It is apparent that a tremendous amount of thought went into the making of this game. As a fan of RPGs and quality puzzle games, I look forward to playing SwapQuest in the near future.

WillianMiguel said:

February 18th, 11:10 am

Meanwhile, 3DS owners have Xenoblade … but they are equivalent games ( ironic ) . The powerful vita ! how can Sony do not be ashamed to announce these games as if they were the best. Any free game android is better than that .

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    Constantin Graf said:

    February 18th, 7:12 pm

    You mean New 3DS owners have Xenoblade (my normal 3DS won’t play it). The Vita is a powerful machine and games like Persona 4 and Uncharted: Golden Abyss show that, but I’m playing a lot of indies (and PlayStation classics) on my Vita and love it for that. :)

    Elvick_ said:

    February 23rd, 6:55 am

    A port of a Wii game? Vita has a few of those, and you don’t have to buy a revision to run them either~

Superstone said:

February 18th, 11:43 am

Thanks for supporting the Vita

    Constantin Graf's Avatar

    Constantin Graf said:

    February 18th, 7:18 pm

    I love to play with my Vita, so it feels really good to support it!

Figboy said:

February 18th, 1:13 pm

This sounds fascinating. Love the look of it. Nice, clean sprite work that’s easy to read (it’s amazing how many “retro” themed games are overly busy with the sprite work).

The concept is unique and original. I’ll keep an eye out for it’s release next week!

    Constantin Graf's Avatar

    Constantin Graf said:

    February 18th, 7:16 pm

    Thanks a lot, I totally agree with you, Jussi did an awesome job with the sprites! :)

HussamFelimban said:

February 18th, 3:00 pm

Looks great! How much would it cost? Will it be PSTV compatible?

    Constantin Graf's Avatar

    Constantin Graf said:

    February 18th, 7:16 pm

    The game will cost $6.99 and unfortunately there won’t be PSTV support.

bernardblack73 said:

February 18th, 6:34 pm

PS4 as well? Or only vita?

    Constantin Graf's Avatar

    Constantin Graf said:

    February 18th, 7:17 pm

    I’m currently looking into a PS4 version. If there will be one, it will definitely be a CrossBuy title.

AwRy108 said:

February 18th, 7:59 pm

Looks like a fun title that’ll be a great fit for the Vita. Day one!

Loved Heroes of Loot on the Vita, and I can think of a number of other mobile titles–especially the Rogue-likes from RocketCat games–that would be so much more enjoyable on the Vita with its physical controls; in short: I hope to see more of these kinds of ports coming to Vita.

    Constantin Graf's Avatar

    Constantin Graf said:

    February 18th, 11:11 pm

    Absolutely! I’d love to see Wayward Souls on the Vita.

    dancingmind said:

    March 2nd, 1:32 pm

    @AwRy108 Ever since I bought a Vita I have dreamed of a ported version of PunchQuest by Rocket Cat. That game would be AMAZING with button controls!

luvtoseek said:

February 18th, 9:12 pm

Looks fun! Thanks for the announcement, Constantin!

JaguarCRO said:

February 18th, 11:37 pm

This does look cool. Looks just like the kind of game I would like on my Vita. Unfortunately I can’t pre-order it yet. I really wish the PSN store would let me pre-order some of these cool looking Indie games.

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    Constantin Graf said:

    February 19th, 1:04 am

    Yeah, pre-orders would be nice, but I’m not sure many people will use it for smaller titles. Having access to my wishlist on the Vita would already be great. :D

JeanDowell said:

February 19th, 3:39 am

I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do… Earnmore9.com

Ludusmaximus said:

February 19th, 8:57 am

I will be buying this Tuesday, looks great. Thank you for developing for the Vita. What does the trophy list look like, any chance there is a platinum? Thanks!

    Constantin Graf's Avatar

    Constantin Graf said:

    February 19th, 1:26 pm

    Thanks a lot! The trophy list is pretty big, 30 trophies to be exact. And there’s also a Platinum trophy for the hardcore SwapQuest players.

Kishnabe said:

February 19th, 9:14 am

Will this have a Platinum?

Thanks for making a Vita version, prefer my J/RPG and Indie games on that platform.

How many people worked on this game?

    Constantin Graf's Avatar

    Constantin Graf said:

    February 19th, 1:27 pm

    Yep, there’s a Platinum trophy in the game.
    Three people worked on the game, one artist (Jussi Simpanen), one composer (Symphonic Square) and me.

Reath987 said:

February 19th, 10:00 am

What will the file size be?

Salfordladd said:

February 19th, 11:47 am

This looks like just the sort of game I’d love to get into right now. I’ll be picking it up day one. Thanks so much for supporting the Vita!

    Constantin Graf's Avatar

    Constantin Graf said:

    February 19th, 1:28 pm

    Thanks so much for your interest in the game! :D

Efrengsimmons said:

February 21st, 3:17 am

I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do… Earnmore9.com

sk_fudge said:

February 21st, 3:45 pm

i remember seeing this on the App Store when it came out and thought it looked really cool but I don’t really like playing games on my phone. I don’t have a vita but if it makes it to the ps4 I’ll be buying it

Elvick_ said:

February 23rd, 6:56 am

Thanks for having a PS+ discount, that’s cool. I’ve always liked puzzle games mixed with RPG elements.

dancingmind said:

March 2nd, 1:30 pm

Hello Constantin and the SwapQuest team!

I picked up Swap Quest at launch and have been enjoying the game everyday on my daily commute. I know you probably wont visit this post so long after launch, but I wanted to share the feedback with your team.

I recommend this game for vita users looking for a good quick pick-up-and-play type game. The visuals look even better on the Vita screen. It’s cute, addictive and fun.

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