The Unfinished Swan
Developer: Giant Sparrow
Platforms: PlayStation 3
Release Date: October 16, 2012
The first few seconds of The Unfinished Swan define the very heart of an indie experience. It thrusts the player into a brand new world in which their traditional understanding of games no longer applies and encourages them to explore that world by quite literally feeling it out, piece by piece, with their intuition and a magical silver paintbrush.
The Unfinished Swan really is unlike any other game on this list because it doesn't ape any known genre, but simultaneously feels so natural that it almost immediately makes sense to those who play it; experimental gamer or not. Its heartfelt story about the orphaned Munroe is touching and sentimental and the more players engross themselves in the hidden backstory of the game's world, the more real the fairy tale becomes.
What the team at Giant Sparrow have created is a living storybook, filled with all of the magic and mystery we fed on as children. It's poetic in its simplicity and with each new blind turn, there are secrets to discover and surprises to delight. Above all, The Unfinished Swan delivers a youthful sense of wonder that reminds us what it's like to discover a world, one step at a time.