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Metamorphosis Indie Video Game Review : A Kafka Adventure

Video games allow you to enter a world that you never though possible. You can be a warrior, a ghost, heck even a teacup. Metamorphosis allows you to play as a bug. Complete with creepy crawl form, eerie bug voice and special insect-only powers. It is safe to say that if you are not a fan of bugs, spiders or insects this is probably not a good game for you. For the rest of us, All in! Games brings to life this bug filled masterpiece. Let’s get into this Metamorphosis indie video game review.

What is Metamorphosis video game?

Metamorphosis is an adventure video game. You play as Gregor Samsa, a salesman, who shortly after the game starts turns into a creepy, crawl bug on all your many legs.  You wake up after a hard night of drinking with you forever BFF Josef, to find things aren’t quite like they were before.  There is something very strange happening to you. As you change slowly from a human into a bug, you realize very quickly how much you took your human life for granted. Open a door with a key from that desk? That is now a huge expedition. You need to travel great distances, solve many puzzles and figure out what is happening to you and your buddy – Josef. Before we get any farther into the metamorphosis indie video game review we need to pause and review the Frank Kafka novel of the same name.

Who was Frank Kafka?Frank Kafka

Frank Kafka (1883 -1924) was a German writer who is referred to as “the Dante of the twentieth century” or “the one of the greatest writers of the 20th century”. His work is often filled with anxiety and alienation, and his characters often face absurd situations. He is  known for – The Trial, where a man is charged with a crime that is never named, and The Metamorphosis, in which the protagonist – a sales man wakes to find himself transformed into an insect. The story itself is pretty interesting and haunting. If you want to check that out ( I recommend it before you play) you can have a look here. This Metamorphosis indie video game is based off those very novels. There are some differences and its not a “direct” play through of the story, but it holds true to many of the elements of the original from the character names to the portrait of the lady clad in fur you see through out the game. During cut scenes you will frequently see Frank Kafka quotes that help you to get a picture of who this man was.
metamorphosis indie video game review

Metamorphosis Gameplay and Controls

This is actually pretty cool. The mechanics of playing as a bug allow you to think outside the box and how you are going to navigate and solve the puzzles you are presented. As you progress their is an in game tutorial that happens that allows you to use a “new ability”. This is seamless and allows you to learn you abilities step by step, master them by solving a real puzzle, and not overwhelming you. As you progress of course you will need to combine these abilities. Although these seems straight forward, I’m surprised how many games mess this part up. They either give you all your abilities and let you have at it, or they go way to slowly with learning them. Here in Metamorphosis for example, you are presented with a glue like substance, a pop up appears on screen saying you can now climb walls. Lets you do a tiny bit of that, and then you realize quickly the glue runs out. Now you have another puzzle of trying to find the glue again to deal with the next puzzle. It’s fun, a part of the game and not a boring “this is too easy” or “too hard” experience.
metamorphosis indie video game review
You are a bug. You can’t fall from too high up or you will die. You also move REALLY fast when you run. Most games make you move so slow, running often having a penalty. Not when you are a bug. You will have to navigate moving CRAZY fast and not falling off the edges. Initially you might move very slow, but as you get use it, by the end of the game you are going to be speed running everywhere. What a fun mechanic.metamorphosis indie video game review

You are able to have a top down view of the map you currently on, as well as all the places you have walked to. This little tool is very helpful to help you figure out how to “get to the other side”. Use it often.

There are tons of characters that you meet along the way. They all play a role in helping you get through the next set of puzzles and experiences. There are female sexy bugs, old man crazy lawyers and more different bug personalities than you can shake a stick at. Each is unique and well done.

The Voice Acting is Amazing!

Oh my gosh! The voice acting really can make or break a game when it exists. When you are in a bug world, you need to have bug voices and this game manages to create an entire new bug language that is just creepy crawly to listen to with slight elements of “English” mixed in. You will read the text captions for most of this game. One of the initial scene where Gregor turns from human to bug and the voice changes that go with that! Woo. It had me hooked into this game.

The Graphics of Metamorphosis

Alright, You are human turned into a bug. You need a pretty magically looking world to go along with that. They get this part right in spades too. What would it be like to be a bug in a desk drawer? The developers come up with some crazy situations, and backgrounds to really make this something special. Each part you progress to is a whole new magical experience. You really feel like a bug between the background, and voice acting. Very well done.

metamorphosis indie video game review

Puzzles, Puzzles and more Puzzles – Like Adventure Games of Old

Adventure games have become a kind of lost art form. An amazing story with interesting characters, a bit of humor, and some fun (not annoying) puzzles to progress through the experience. This is what we want, and Metamorphosis delivers. The game reminds me of 80s classic of storytelling like Quest for Glory, Myst or Maniac Mansion. The puzzles you are presented with require you to think like a bug. You need to figure out how to travel to a location on the other side of the map. It does look like in many instances there are quite a few ways to get where you might need to go, so its up to you to figure out how to cross that big chiasm to the next area. In some instances, you will get stuck. You should get stuck. You should want to immediately turn to the internet to figure out what to do next, but RESIST! Before the days of internet cheats and you tube playthroughs you would spend days, weeks, months trying to figure out what you have to do next. Metamorphosis brings those feelings back. The puzzles are the right amount of challenging, frustration and ‘OH I GOT THIS ONE’.

Final thoughts for Metamorphosis Indie Video Game Review

If you love classic adventure games, this is sure to be a big win for you. If you’ve never tried that type of game before then this is a good one to start with. You literally turn into a bug and based on amazing graphics, voice acting and story you will be traveling in a brand new bug filled Frank Kafka world. Its a great trip and I fully recommend give Metamorphosis a play. I enjoyed every minute of metamorphosis indie video game review from start to finish.

metamorphosis indie video game review

Check it out on steam today!


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