Editors’ Choice Games
Review by Angie Kibiloski
Metamorphosis ($24.99 on Steam) is a fun exploration adventure game, from Ovid Works and All in! Games, which sets you on a journey of discovery, through the unconventional POV of a bug. You don’t start out as a bug, but as you make your way through the first few rooms of your environment, your character, Gregor, transforms from a man into a tiny scuttling beetle. You’ll need to make your way through challenging terrain, be that a kitchen drawer or a sludgy cave, limited by your new insectoid form, to solve problems and try to figure out how to get back to your human self. As you might already be thinking, this game was inspired by the work of Franz Kafka. If you haven’t ever read his novella, The Metamorphosis, maybe this game will inspire you to crack open a copy.
The plot of the game is pretty simple, from what I can tell so far, though still intriguing. You wake up in your friend Joseph’s house, a bit disoriented, to find a note from him in your room, telling you only to find the door key. Through your newly unlocked door, you wander out into the hallway, and begin to transform, fairly unnoticed by yourself until you’re pretty far along the road to bugdom. You keep finding notes in each room, helpfully pointing you in the right direction, and finally make it to your friend’s bedroom, now fully bugged out, to discover a policeman in there, searching the room while Joseph sleeps. What is going on? Why are they there? How can you help your friend? What is The Tower that the notes and other characters keep referencing? And how can you regain your humanity? To find clues and answer all of these questions, you’ll need to navigate a whole slew of obstacles in your new micro-environment, getting some surprising help along the way from other talking bugs. You’ll soon discover a whole hidden world just beyond the edges of your known, human dwellings.
All of the hand-painted scenes are detailed and interesting, making it fun just to roam around and look at every dusty corner, giant pencil, tin can label, and cracked floor board. The game, fortunately, isn’t timed, so you can explore at your leisure. Not all the environments will be real-world based, launching into some truly surreal spaces, like inside the void between letters on a sheet of paper. These places are notably trippy, and therefore pretty darn fun. The imagination that went into this game is awesome. You CAN die, mostly by falling from heights, so be careful as you crawl along edges or jump between pieces of furniture. You’ll come back near the same spot, though, so dying isn’t too terribly frustrating. The puzzles are all environmental challenges, trying to figure out how to get from Point-A to Point-B, and any action is narrative-driven, gathering information through reading, listening to the humans in the room, or talking with other bugs. Being a bug, Gregor is physically limited, so you’ll need to figure out how to progress without using tools or hands. Instead of being able to move something around by holding it, you might come across round objects you can move by standing on top and rolling them with your feet, or buttons you can hop on to activate something. You’ll also find pools of sticky glue around, which you’ll need to walk through to climb vertical surfaces. This didn’t make a ton of sense to me, since most bugs have vertical climbing as a natural ability, but I guess the game wouldn’t be nearly as challenging without this element. It’s a First-Person perspective game, so you see the world through his buggy eyes, instead of seeing Gregor as a bug himself. You DO get to see 2 exoskeletal legs tick-tick-ticking on the ground in front of you, like you often see 2 human arms out in front in other First-Person games, which gave me a good chuckle the first time I noticed them.
I was charmed by this game from the very start, as I first walked down increasingly surreal hallways while I made my human-to-bug transition, and as my perceptions began to shift to the unfamiliar. As I got into the main game play, I was still held captivated by the unique perspective of an insect, traversing the usually unseen pathways through walls, inside drawers, and between furniture. Metamorphosis is a super fun, unique indie title, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys exploring interesting environments, and following a creative narrative. It’s available for PC through Steam, as well as PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, and can be played in a number of languages. If you’d like more information, or to see more screenshots and trailers, head to their main game site at https://metamorphosisgame.com. When you’re ready to buy it and start your buggy journey, head to their Steam page. You can also connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.
Minimum System Requirements:
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: Intel Core i5 (2nd gen) or AMD FX 6350
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or AMD R9 270X
- Storage: 12 GB available space