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Video Game / Hiveswap

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Hiveswap is a Video Game developed by What Pumpkin and written by Andrew Hussie and Cohen Edenfield. Set in the Homestuck universe, the game is about a fourteen-year-old girl named Joey Claire and her brother, Jude Harley, as well as several Alternian kids.

Joey is playing with her dog, Tesseract, in the yard one day, when her house is suddenly attacked by terrible monsters. Joey escapes inside, climbing up to the attic, and her brother hides in their tree house. In the attic, Joey finds a strange machine that switches her with an alien kid named Dammek. Joey finds herself on Dammek's home planet, Alternia, a dangerous, dystopian Empire that is teetering on the brink of civil war.

More information about the game can be found here and on the official website.

A trailer was released on October 6th, 2016, a second was released on April 13, 2017, with a tentative release date, after the game didn't release in January as said in the first trailer.


Hiveswap: ACT 1 was released on September 14th, 2017. ACT 2 was confirmed to have a Spring 2018 release on November 11th, 2017. During the prerelease period, new trolls were unveiled via a "Troll Call", which can be viewed here. The developers have also confirmed that a sister game, called Hauntswitch, will be released after Hiveswap's done, and is set to show the story from Dammek's point of view as he is sent to Earth.

To tide over the wait until Act 2 is finished, Hiveswap Friendship Simulator was announced for release on April 13, 2018, a Visual Novel-type game focusing on the characters introduced in the Troll Call.


This game provides examples of:

  • Adorable Evil Minions: The monsters shown in the beginning are kind of cute, in an Ugly Cute way.
  • Adorkable:
    • Jude Harley, with his enthusiastic love of conspiracy theories and his pigeons.
    • And Xefros, of course. Just look at him!
  • Adult Fear: Being the babysitter of two children that are alone in the house when it's broken into by harmful animals while you're out doing errands.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In the beginning of the game, monsters overrun the Harley mansion.
  • Aliens and Monsters: Trolls and whatever those black things at Joey and Jude’s house were.
  • Alpha Bitch: The Heiress is shaping up to be this, considering she stole Cridea’s #LOLSHRIMP meme and claimed it as her own, on top of being the descendant of Her Imperious Bitchiness herself. And her reason for destroying the neighborhood Xefros and Dammek live in and slaughtering its residents? No, not to crush the Rebellion, it was to get a good backdrop for a selfie.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Taken to extremes by Joey's poster for BLOCK HUSTLE, which depicts a block wearing a trenchcoat and holding a gun; she comments that she could only find the American version of the poster.
  • Anachronism Stew: Alternia has television and internet and guns, but some characters still use bows and swords.
  • Androcles' Lion: Joey is initially terrified of Dammek's lusus, a huge cat-like beast with deer's antlers, which she runs from every chance she gets. After deducing the creature is following her because it's wounded, not aggressive, she uses a vet's kit to remove a thorn from its paw. In return, the lusus allows Joey to ride on its back.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Jude appears like this at times towards Joey, who gets exasperated with his bizarre, nerdy obsessions and frequent paranoia. However, he and Joey do seem to be quite close.
  • Apologises a Lot: Xefros, to the point that Joey asks him to stop because it's kind of annoying... for which he apologizes.
  • Artifact Domination: The Heirloom Key is largely inanimate, but it causes Joey to be more forgetful or know things she thinks she shouldn't know when she tries to use it on anything. This effect gets more powerful the closer she brings it to the portal, culminating with a compulsion to use the key to activate it.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • It appears that Alternian Imperial Drones are going to be these. They were only in a few scenes of Alternia's backstory, whereas here they appear to be a major threat.
    • Trollkind as a whole, really. Even the Ancestors in Homestuckacted as mostly just exposition and small amounts of lore building, meaning trolls outside the main twelve were mostly just cannon fodder for Vriska's lusus or barely mentioned. Now, interacting with the variety of Alternia's population is a plot point.
  • Ascended Meme: Pre-release the fans had been in a constant debate over whether Xefros and Dammek's band was spelled "Grubbels" or "Grubbles" due to contrasting art on the OST. In-game, one of the things Joey can find is a note by Dammek angrily trying to pin down how to actually spell it. The game also has two Steam trading cards depicting the band, each named with a different spelling of the band name.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Dammek is implied to be one towards Xefros, considering that pale romance is supposed to be a more or less equal relationship where partners stabilize and protect each other. Instead he literally treats his moirail like a butler and subordinate; taking his stuff, and constantly "testing" him.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Five months prior to the events of the game, Joey laments in her diary that she needs a vacation from humanity. She sure gets one!
  • Bloodless Carnage: Despite buckets of the stuff being spilled in Homestuck (hell, blood showing was sometimes used as a plot point), it seems to be played straight here, considering Xefros outright saying he's passing out from blood loss when crushed by rubble, but when Joey finds him, all he has are a few bruises.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Joey and Jude work together in the first half of the game against the monsters in their home. They bicker frequently but it’s obvious that they do care for each other’s wellbeing.
  • But Thou Must!: Not only do the Dialogue Tree entries not influence the plot, often the playable character will take them in the same direction regardless of what you choose, which means you don't get to choose their personality either. The last choice you can make in Act 1 is literally that between "no!", "No!" and "NO!".
  • Clown Species: Almost the entire purpleblood caste of trolls follows an unnamed religion— they wear juggalo makeup, drink faygo, have honks in their theme music, and are otherwise very clown-adjacent. Apart from background characters, every one so far has been a member of the church.
  • Crapsack World: Alternia, once again. It’s examined in more detail here than in Homestuck.
  • Cypher Language: The Alternian language from Homestuck returns, but with a new alphabet based loosely on the original comic's "upside-down Daedric" to avoid copyright issues.
  • Death by Newbery Medal: Referenced by Joey, who is not too fond of the trope, when examining her bookshelf.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Joey shows shades of this when she's thrown by the fact that Xefros is a boy with a crush on a boy, though to her credit she does get over it quickly. The rest of Alternian society proves somewhat harder to swallow.
  • Developers' Foresight: You can use almost any item you acquire on other items, as well as interactable objects you find in each location. This will result in amusing descriptions, and even a few achievements if you're playing on Steam.
    • If you go to the trophy room before getting the power back on, you get a really dark, creepy scene where Joey can't see anything in the room but can hear something breathing. Then, once you leave, something crashes into the door from the other side, blocking it. If you get the batteries from the kitchen first, something slams into the door from the other side and blocks it before Joey can even go in.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Alternia punishes almost everything with death, from refusing to fulfill one's career assigned in infancy to dreaming about defacing the Heiress' portrait. We know what subjugs can do from Homestuck; the latter's not an exaggeration.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • Even leaving out the fact that as far as we know everybody will be wiped out by SBURB and The Vast Glub (provided they even live that long), Trizza is more immediately doomed considering the fact that Gl'bgolyb does not allow two adult Fuschiabloods to be alive at the same time - and Trizza is not too far from adulthood. Trizza probably only has about a sweep or less left to live. Even then, it'll probably only be a while until Feferi enters the picture.
    • The rebellion headed by Dammek is destined to fail, due to Alternia in Homestuck still discriminating by blood. See Foregone Conclusion.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: More like "earn your game over", but during the scene where Joey is chased up to the attic, using the wrong item on the door, switching to Jude, or generally just screwing around too long will cause Joey to be caught by the monsters and eaten.
  • Evil Matriarch: The Condesce, again. Even though she is the Heiress’s ancestor, she would not hesitate to kill her if she had the chance. The current heiress herself also counts.
  • The Empire: The troll empire as a whole ruthlessly conquers several alien civilizations, but on a smaller scale, Trizza is treating Alternia, the troll homeworld and breeding ground, like her own.
  • The Empress: Her Imperious Condescension and Trizza Tethis.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Returning from Homestuck is the troll hemospectrum. The castes are based on their blood color, which are one of twelve different shades based on colors of the rainbow (Burgundy, Bronze, Gold, Lime, Olive, Jade, Teal, Cerulean, Indigo, Purple, Violet, and Fuchsia), with burgundy being low peasantry and fuchsia being high royalty.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Jude and Joey have shades of this, with Jude as the foolish sibling and Joey as the responsible sibling.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Considering that Alternia in Homestuck still discriminates by blood, there's only so many things the rebellion is going to affect, and the enforcement of the spectrum probably isn't one of them. Possibly a case of History Repeats.
  • Gaiden Game: The game is designed to work independently of Homestuck's plot, so non-fans can jump in and still understand the story. Characters from Homestuck proper are mentioned and discussed, but the main Hiveswap cast is as of yet wholly original.
  • Garage Band: Xefros and Dammek are in one called the Grubbles (or Grubbels). The former acts as the vocalist laying down pro-rebellion raps with an auto tuned microphone, while the latter provides instrumentals and backup singing.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Joey is a girl despite having a typically male name.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The current Alternian heiress is threatening people who don't laugh at her jokes with death.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Unlike in Homestuck itself, almost nothing than 'crap' is uttered; Joey often makes use of 'heck', 'jeez', and 'gosh, reflecting the fact that she’s a kid growing up in the 90’s. Strangely averted when Joey calls Byers 'The toughest son of a bitch she's ever met'.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: The primary detail of anything pertaining to Alternia. The interface details (when they aren't captchalogue cards), the Rebelgram background, the background for Troll Call entries and even compact disks are all hexagons. Interestingly, Alternia appears to use advanced bio-technology.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Nearly all Strife text involves puns related to an item you use or the method of dealing with the enemy.
  • Improvised Weapon: Joey uses a simple flashlight as a weapon. She is also an Improbable Weapon user, as she apparently uses her dancing talents to get out of scrapes as well. She uses her dancing skills to escape danger, and her flashlight to distract or provoke enemies.
  • Infant Immortality: Once again averted, Alternia is still a Crapsack World populated by children who are culled and cull each other on a regular basis. Joey can also die from being swallowed whole by monsters in a rare bad ending.
  • La Résistance: Alternia is once again on the brink of civil war, with one character being described as a rebel leader.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: Frequently used for both comedic and dramatic effect.
  • Mission Control: Jude acts one for Joey at the start of the game, communicating with her over walkie-talkies. He guides her on what to do against the monster invasion, with the primary goal of getting her to the attic where she would be safe from them.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Dammek's Lusus is a deer crossed with a big cat, and Joey refers to it as a "Deercat."
  • Mundane Made Awesome: There's an "Item Get!"-type scene for acquiring a stale cracker from the kitchen cabinet.
  • Mythology Gag: Endless ones to Homestuck. They have their own page.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Trizza, although it's a Justified Trope with fuchsia being the color of her royal blood.
  • Promotion to Parent: Both Joey and Roxynote  seem to have gotten some of this with Pa barely ever being around. Joey worries for her brother on his behalf, but can’t help getting into standard sibling squabbles with him. Roxy however, as noted by Joey, is frequently drunk while babysitting and neglects some of the more basic duties like housekeeping and keeping the fridge stocked.
  • Rainbowspeak: Not usually, but when Joey mentions "The Man" speaking abstractly, her text color changes to green with a white 'a'.
  • Royal Brat: Trizza, dear lord.
  • Save Both Worlds: Per the pre-release material, there is a superweapon threatening both Earth and Alternia. It is yet to crop up, though Dammek thought it was the portals.
  • Scenery Porn: Jeez Louise does it have gorgeous backgrounds (and character art and everything).
  • Shared Universe: With Homestuck.
  • Shout-Out: Hiveswap is so heavily steeped in '90s references that they get their own page.
  • Take That!: Joey has quite a few games, which she proceeds to list, starting with Bubsy... And then gets queasy immediately after mentioning the game and wants to lie down afterward.
  • Taxidermy Is Creepy: As per Harley tradition, the mansion is lined with stuffed animals. (And mummies.) The animal-loving Joey is understandably freaked out by their presence.
  • Teenage Wasteland: Alternia, as in Homestuck, is populated solely by troll children and teenagers, as once they reach adulthood they are sent off-planet (to lessen the risk of rebellion).
  • Urban Segregation: Alternia is separated along blood color. The lower castes live in much smaller houses than the upper-castes. Xefros’ neighbourhood, Outglut, is largely populated by lowbloods.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Joey and Xefros are riding off on Dammek's lusus to another member of the resistance. They've escaped the destruction of Xefros' neighborhood and seemed to have earned each other's friendship, to which Joey happily decides to take a photo of the two of them to commemorate. Hey, what's that battleship in the background?
    • Earlier than that, we have the upgrade to Xefros' communication device that he receives by Sendificator...which, based on the logo and company name, was apparently created by Doc Scratch. Joey and Xefros' adventure just got a whole lot more interesting.


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