Sega Swirl is one of Sega's most interesting forgotten titles. Ported from PC to Dreamcast in 1999, it was given away for free in magazines and in a bundle with Web Browser 2.0. Lets take a look.
Story- Not too much to say. Its a basic puzzle game without a need for a story, though the Dreamcast version did add a Snake in the bottom right who cheers on the player (And dies when they lose).
Gameplay - The game has several modes, each of which based on a standard puzzle gameplay. Your goal is to match up as many swirls of the same color as possible next to one another. Once you click on one of them, it will turn into the amount of points they are worth (Which is multiplied the more swirls you stack together). There is a basic arcade mode where the challenges required to advance to the next stage become increasingly difficult, as well as a multiplayer mode where competing players attempt to rack up as many points as possible on the same board.
The most technologically impressive part of Sega Swirl is its "Email Challenge". Linking together opposing players emails it creates a form of rudimentary online play. Although it is functionally useless now, it can still be accessed through a specific setup (Check Dreamcast Live for details). This is all the more impressive as it is the first Dreamcast game to support online play (Preceding the equally impressive Chu Chu Rocket).
Graphics- They are definitely functional. Sega Swirl doesn't require 4k Ultra HD to get its Gameplay across. The shapes you are matching are flat and 2 dimensional, and serve as simple placeholders for the different colors. The cartoon snake, though, is bouncy and has different facial expressions for the players actions in game. The Graphics are servicable.
Sound Design- Not much here. It has a pretty funky opening, but it does get rather repetitive. It is somewhat satisfying to hear the pops when you destroy a large swathe of swirls.
Longevity - Its an arcade puzzler, so its longevity relies on how much you enjoy the gameplay. If you enjoy it, you'll love the near infinite number of levels and abundance of multiplayer enjoyment.
As a PC to Console conversion, Sega Swirl does a good job of retaining the features of a popular puzzle game, while also adding a ton of new twists (Or swirls).
- 1 Player
- Published by Sega
- Sega Dreamcast