Follow that bird
Take a trip you'll never forget to the stark and beautiful world of The Unfinished Swan. You control a young orphan called Monroe, who is allowed to take only one of his mother's paintings to the orphanage, so he chooses The Unfinished Swan – her favourite work but one she never managed to complete before she died. One night, the young lad wakes to find the swan has disappeared from the painting, leaving only a trail of golden footprints. He decides to follow...
Transported to a mysterious kingdom, Monroe must discover why it has become abandoned. Inching his way through the pure white surroundings Monroe meets the selfish, arrogant king who built the realm. Convinced no colour was good enough for it, the king created the world in his own image, yet to Monroe it's a totally blank canvas ready for him to explore.
The Unfinished Swan is one of the most striking games on PlayStation 3. Its simplicity and starkness is its strength, with parts of the environment revealed piece by piece in black splashes against the bright white canvas. You may spot the edge of a wall or a shadow cast by an unseen building though you still have to pick out the way ahead by splashing paint around.
Look out for storybook pages and collect hidden balloons to buy extras from the Toys menu such as concept art and an in-game balloon radar in case you missed any first time around. There are also one or two surprises to uncover, including a reference to fellow PlayStation Network puzzle game Journey. We won't spoil things by telling you more...
Film fans may also recognise one of the game's narrators as Terry Gilliam, the animator and movie director .
Paint it black
The Unfinished Swan is played from a first person perspective, with an on-screen indicator showing where you can throw balls of black paint. When the paint splats on the white canvas it reveals shapes and parts of the environment around you, thereby uncovering the way forward as well as any puzzles. You can also use the PlayStation Move motion controller to lob the paint with a deft flick of the wrist.
Later stages mix things up and keep the gameplay fresh. On one occasion your paint is replaced by water, which you use to entice vines so that you can climb them. In another puzzle you paint and stretch items in one reality so that you can use them in another reality to reach previously inaccessible areas. Plus enemies such as spiders are introduced, where you must splat lanterns to light the path in order to keep them at bay.
Helpful golden swan footprints are there to guide you through the landscapes. There are also no restrictions on how many balls of paint can be thrown, and you simply aim and fire to do so, leaving you free to explore the world and soak up the beautiful yet melancholy environments.