Swarm as a playful, overtly sadistic embodiment of the phrase, "like lambs to the slaughter." That's a confusing message, because the game casts you in the role of both the shepherd, who must guide an oblivious blue flock to the end of the level, and the slaughterer, who extracts a real benefit from every minced-up minion.
The swarmites are clearly designed to be extinguished -- and to extinguish even the smallest blip of sadness or guilt you might feel upon seeing them crushed, burnt, electrocuted or disintegrated in one of the many death traps scattered across the universe's least hospitable planet. Their eyes project no intelligence, their doughy bodies are devoid of gross internal organs and there's not a single personality in a group of 50. They look like stupid, disposable jelly beans.
You'd think that the game would invite you to revel in their torture, what with all the "death medals" you unlock and an ever-increasing online counter that keeps track of all the splattered simpletons. A good score is crucial to advancement in Swarm, and the only way you'll get one is by building up a time-sensitive multiplier that's fueled by point orbs or sacrificed swarmites. If your blue blob is racing across the screen and you don't see any points, you're encouraged to steer a peripheral peon off a cliff or into a fire. It's like swerving your car through a puddle to soak a roadside pedestrian -- it's a dick move, but it's a guilt-tinged delight and on your way.