Metamorphosis is a first person puzzle adventure game based on the famous story by Franz Kafka by the same name and the end result is a charming, brilliant and funky game well worth the investment to fully experience it.
I had heard nothing about this game. One day, while surfing a PR’s site, I came across the trailer for the game and I was kinda hooked. An email later and I was running around this intriguing grotesque and surreal world as a tiny insect. I love Metamorphosis. It absolutely surprised me in the best way possible.
The gameplay, while simple as the main hook is running around, platforming and solving some simple puzzles, it felt tight and when combined with the very creative world and level design it was a really good time. Running as this tiny insect is fast and jumping or leaping felt great as it should be since most of the time you’ll be jumping around platforms, climbing over books, inside drawers, and even navigating inside large surreal mechanical contraptions. Another interesting ability is that you can stick to and run across surfaces once you dip your tiny legs on honey or, later in the game, paint. The final pillar of the gameplay is the puzzles and they revolve around you moving round cylinders by running on top of them or just jumping on top buttons to activate machines and whatnot.
And all of these elements are used really creatively all throughout the game. For example, in one instance, you need to get a human’s attention by stopping a gramophone from playing music. How do you do that when you are a tiny insect? Well, the first thing you do is go inside the gramophone and find out that inside there’s a bustling insect’s club complete with a dance floor, couple of bars, lots of tables, drinks everywhere, there’s even a section where an insect is doing stand-up telling some insect puns… excuse me? Then you meet with the club owner in the VIP area and find out that he is an insect with gold chains, rings and necklaces chilling in a jacuzzi made out of a bottlecap… like what? He helps you by telling how to slow down the gramophone and how to stop it. You jump on a couple of cylinders, slowing it down and then make your way to the top by running on across gears and other mechanical elements. You reach the top and you are on the turn table spinning around as the classical music is still playing. So again, how do you stop it? Easy, just bump against the needle and the music stops, the human gets up and goes on to work.
This was just one instance of the many multi-layered creative puzzles or better say scenarios that Metamorphosis has to offer. And what’s even better is that they use these gameplay scenarios to build up this fantastical and surreal world. You play as Gregor Samsa who, after a night of drinking, awakens and finds himself transforming into this tiny insect while at the same time your friend Joseph is being arrested for some reason. So Gregor embarks on this journey to turn back into a human and help his friend in need. This journey surely begins with you running around inside drawers, but boy, you go places, like creative and surreal places. And along the way, you find other funky insects, and believe me, you’d want to talk to all of them. The writing is great, funny, completely absurd most of the time and I just loved it.
Metamorphosis is one of the coolest surprises of 2020 in my opinion. Sure, gameplay may be simple, but when combined with the surreal and grotesque setting and art style, makes for one of the most unique, charming, and at times brilliant experiences I’ve had this year. God, I’m glad I sent that email. Thanks for reading.
Metamorphosis is now available on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. The game was reviewed on a PS4 Pro using a review code provided by the publisher.