I wasn’t sure about Swipey Rogue from the beginning. The game looked hectic and way too bright for my moody UI ideals.

Did my mind change over the course of this Swipey Rogue review? Yes and no. Read on.

Swipey Rogue Review:

Okay, so I’m a fan of dungeons. Not in a weird sense – I haven’t bought soundproofing or anything like that. I’m talking about game dungeons and the whole canon of gaming that is associated with it. From the bold text-based adventures in the 80’s through the Dungeons and Dragons of the 90’s, to the awesome dungeon crawling PC games of the 00’s, the dungeon as a setting has a bold and bountiful existence.

First Impressions

So I’m a good a person as any to be a dungeon critic. I expect a certain level of traps. I want the balance between gold and death to be pretty sharp. So yeah, when Swipey Rogue turned up, I thought I’d be in my element. Unfortunately, the game almost lost me at the first glance. Dungeons are lit by sconces and glowing crystals, not insane disco lights.

The whole UI interface is a throw back to the arcades.

Graphics and Gameplay

The graphics are o-kay. Like I mentioned a few times, the game is very bright and very in your face. However, once you’re in the game, this all starts to make sense. The dwarf in question, the eponymous Swipey Rogue (nothing Swipey about twin axes if you ask me, but hey) is a man on a mission and sprints around at a breakneck pace, often to his death.

I’d like to play this in an arcade, with an old joystick. I think that that is where Swipey Rogue should be – the necessary chat of making things “swipey” is not necessarily the guts of the game and I think the game would benefit from getting a decent controller. And a joystick at that. Something from the older style reaction games. Like how accurate and quick you needed to be on Pacman if things got messy, for example.

When you first enter a new level, you’re overwhelmed and there’s the immediate puzzle solving rush of how best to navigate this new series of challenges. There is a lot of fun to be had with figuring out how to defeat the levels – there is a gem-collecting process that you’re having to undertake and you’ll find yourself going back over levels if you want to keep the game freemium. Going back over them. A lot.

The combat, if you can call it that, is pure numbers. You just run and swipe and let the dwarf do the rest. Baddies range from the terribly weak little guys, to meatier opponents who can give you a run for your money if you’re not up to scratch with your health bar.

The bulk of the puzzle is to get to the end of the level, necessarily killing things along the way. Figure out the best route. Save the boxes in hope of a heart power up and go from there. There isn’t much to it. It’s a great way to burn through an hour or two – the pace is unrelentingly hectic and the freerunning mode was good fun (you might be best to focus on unlocking the next stage so your freerunning can be a bit more interesting). I didn’t feel that the masses of power ups were really differentiated and I stopped paying attention after a while. Not a great sign.


There are a *lot* of levels in this game. For a freemium title, you can carve your axes through all of them, if you’ve the time to unlock the necessary crystals.

For a freemium game, which I’m not a fan of, Swipey Rogue was refreshing enough to give three stars. Considering I gave three stars to World of Warriors way back when, that’s only fair.

The payment system in Swipey Rogue is a refreshing idea – pay what you want to remove in game video ads. There’s no paywall as such and the model is a new direction for freemium. We shall see what the casual gamer makes of it, but for me, it’s a nice breath of fresh air.

Definitely worth a download and a huge, crazy axe-swinging blur of a game that will take you back to the early 90’s arcades.

For half an hour.


Big Plus Points:

  • A huge, crazy axe-swinging blur of a game.
  • Lots and lots of levels. Lots and lots.
  • Fun puzzle-crunching trying quickly to work out level paths.

Big Minus Points:

  • Too bright and crazy for me.
  • The sound isn’t great and I feel that the game is a little rushed in parts.
  • Not a roguelike. Definitely not.
  • The swipe controls don’t suit the micro needed to dance between pits. You’ll understand if you play it.


Swipey Rogue
Written by: Which Button Is Jump?
Swipey Rogue iPad
Date published: 09/04/2015
3 / 5 stars