Developer: OVID Works
Publisher: ALL IN! GAMES
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Version Reviewed: eShop Download
Category: Puzzle, Adventure, Platformer
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: August 12, 2020 (Worldwide)
Price: $24.99 USD
Developer Ovid Works has been around since 2015 and is based out of Warsaw, Poland. On their own site, they state: “We’re an independent video game studio from Warsaw, Poland, making story rich and immersive games for PC, consoles, and VR. Our passion is telling expressive stories through fun moment-to-moment gameplay” They have one other game under their belt, the 2017 VR adventure title Interkosmos. What started as a team of two, grew into 17 talented developers!
Their latest game is a very unique first-person puzzle action platformer! Metamorphosis is based on the famous story by Franz Kafka of the same name. You wake up like any normal human and slowly realize you have become a bug! The publishing company behind this game, ALL IN! GAMES is also based out of Krakow, Poland. They have a great variety of independent titles in their library as well, such as Paradise Lost, Alaloth-Champions of the Four Kingdoms, and Tools Up!
The perspective of being a bug really added a new depth to level design as the team created this unique experience. The team explains: “We absolutely wanted to emphasize the feeling of being a bug. A lot of things were tried unsuccessfully. We finally managed to set the scale and guidance in a way that expressed the ‘buggy’ feeling of movement. We are very proud of the locomotion we ended up with. But what we are most proud of is the consistency of the art gameplay, and story that we maintained. Such a unique combination of these elements is found nowhere else.”
Metamorphosis is all about Franz Kafka’s story of the same name. You awake as a mild-mannered Gregor ready for a normal day. Nothing different, just the usual day to day experience. Suddenly, things around you start to get bigger and bigger and you feel strange. You have transformed into a bug! This tale of transformation and discovery is a great setting for a first-person puzzle-platformer game. After transforming into a bug, the first thing you want to do is to change back to normal! This can only be achieved by reaching TOWER. The seemingly dystopian all-encompassing government entity that seems to have all the answers you are searching for.
Anytime a video game takes on literature or history or art is a sure-fire gamble. Kafka’s tale of transformation is truly teeming with trepidation and total self-discovery. What better way to explore this than by literally experiencing what it feels like to virtually transform into a six-legged insect. You almost feel powerless, helpless even. But you still have the intelligence of a human and you must use your wits and cunning parkour tricks to traverse the great world before and try to transform back into mild-mannered Gregor.
Playing from the perspective of an insect truly has its challenges. Literally everything is bigger than you and as stated before you must traverse the world you knew before from an entirely different perspective. You can sprint, fit into small nooks and crannies, jump, and use any sticky fluid to climb on to walls. You cannot, however, climb upside down. Every time I did that, I fell flat on my back! The platforming and level design keep you hooked throughout. Some puzzles can be a bit more challenging, and being a bug, you must think outside the box, quite literally.
This title uses excellent physics and platformer level design to make your adventure quite engaging. The life of a bug is a unique one for sure and having the opportunity to play as one really puts a lot of things into perspective. The gameplay is simple, and yet challenging. Metamorphosis proves that there is beauty in simplicity when it comes to basic gameplay mechanics for a bug.
CONTENT & FEATURES:
As of this writing, there are no extra features or multiplayer. Metamorphosis is a single-player experience on multiple platforms. I am sure eventually there will be more challenging modes or extra features revealed later! This is just a simple single-player, first-person, puzzle platformer.
The music is very well done for the setting, however, in the main game itself, there is mostly no music. It is rather interesting when there is a complete lack of background music. It really brings in the realism into a world in which you have transformed into a bug. For example, in the opening scenes, there are some creepy background music and sounds as you begin your transformation. After that, silence. However, much of the dialog between the normal-sized (yet way bigger than you) humans is sometimes pretty forgetful. It almost feels like banter to kill time as you’re solving your platforming puzzles.
You hear the two men arguing as you try to make your way out of a drawer, but all you hear is the scratchy scurrying of your bug feet and the occasional creepy tones of your bug voice as your transformation continues. It can be rather unsettling, and to me, that is a great facet of audio engineering for this independent game! The background music in some levels is just barely heard enough to affect the atmosphere. From a haunting bassoon to a screeching violin, it’s very unsettling and helps you feel even smaller as you crawl through the sewers.
The quality of the audio could be a little better, sometimes when your bug voice talks it can be a little too loud or jumpy. I found myself jumping a few times when he would talk. The environment sounds are well balanced, however. Once again, for a small independent studio, the quality of sound is good, but it could use some improvements.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE:
The graphics for Metamorphosis run smoothly in docked mode. Being a bug means everything is much bigger than you. I’m sure having to create giant books and bottles and even a pack of cigarettes was quite a unique world-building challenge but I was quite impressed with how they managed to make the world we sometimes take for granted seem so gigantic. The movements and scurrying legs you see as you walk are a visual treat sometimes, but it can also be a little annoying. Some details on bottles can be a little scratchy and like many Switch games, this game runs better in handheld mode.
The overall art style is decent for an independent title. I am by no means an artist, however, some of the worlds and even the giant humans could use a little polishing. When running and jumping from platform to book to bottle, there are no hiccups, however. Overall, the graphics are decent.
Metamorphosis is a pretty unique take on a literary classic and I hope this means more independent developers attempt to take on more literature. Even if it is a gamble, I think video games attempting to take on literature or even art is worth the shot. This tale was unique and fun and challenging and I would honestly recommend this to anyone who enjoys the thought of being a bug and trying to make their way out of a random drawer that we usually stuff full of things.
If you are a stickler for graphics or depth or any of the sort, you may not enjoy this game, however, as I have always stood by, the graphics do not always make the game. This game is a great, unique addition to any switch library, and it might even help you study Kafka’s story if you must do that for your literature class! (although I do not think your teacher would approve…you should probably read it anyway….)
If you are into buggy (the good kind…) platforming and literary exploration, then check this game out!
Metamorphosis is not perfect, but for an independent title from a small team, I’d say it’s a pleasantly crafted job well done and worth looking into! Even if you hate bugs…
THE VERDICT: 7/10
*A download key was provided by the Publisher for the purposes of this review
To check out more reviews by the Miketendo64 Review Team, feel free to click here.Tags: #NintendoEurope, ALL IN! GAMES, Gaming, Kaftka, Metamorphosis, Metamorphosis Review, Metamorphosis Switch Review, Miketendo64, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, OVI Works
This post was written by themassey18