Monday, 7 September 2020



The protagonist of Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa, woke up one morning as a beetle. Doesn't it look like anything? Those who have read Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis have probably remembered it - the plot is the same. But if in the book Gregor instantly resigned himself to what had happened, and then was forced to exist in this form in the same apartment with the frightened family members, then in the game Gregor is shocked by his new appearance and goes to a certain Tower, where people-beetles are offered decent wages and always happy.

Transformation process

It turns out that Metamorphosis is not gamification of just one story, but a mixture of several works. In particular, Gregor is a friend of Joseph K., the protagonist of the novel The Trial by the same Kafka. Law enforcement officers Franz and Willem also come to Joseph, refusing to explain the reason for the arrest, then he will have a conversation with a boring lawyer. But Leni's girl caring for this lawyer for some reason became a bug in the game, like some other characters.

It is full of references to the books of other writers. In one of the episodes, you find a secret passage behind the novel "Ulysses" by James Joyce, and in another, you encounter beetles posing as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, as in the play by Tom Stoppard(Tom Stoppard) They have no idea which one is which. All this confusion does not seem to be a heap of names and events from the literary works of the last century - everything is so skillfully sewn as if it should be so.

While Metamorphosis completely ignores the Metamorphosis plot, the story is no less absurd. On his way, Gregor will meet many beetles, which, even being insects, continue to exist as before, only instead of ordinary human houses they use gramophones and tables with cabinets. They dance, drink and sing songs, and also feel on themselves all the delights of bureaucracy - for the sake of one piece of paper, the main character will have to visit several locations, help a couple of beetles, and even solve puzzles.

Locations to match this paradoxical universe - the protagonist either explore the apartment of his friend or finds himself in mysterious areas with flying paper sheets and other oddities. Since the main character is very small, the objects around him become huge - it is not so easy to jump onto thick books, pencils and forks serve as bridges to move from one table or chair to another, and tall cabinets and dressers seem inaccessible if there is no way to them from successfully scattered trash.

Beetle life

Metamorphosis is an adventure game, the genre of which changes slightly in each zone. Either this is a walking simulator (or rather, running around - the character moves rather quickly), then a simple platformer that does not require filigree precision of jumping, and sometimes the game throws up easy riddles - you need to find the way to the next area, or get to the buttons and click on them, or to do something more complex, but not difficult.

Gregor has very few abilities: he runs, jumps, and can interact with the coils needed to solve puzzles. From time to time you come across spilled honey - as soon as you step on it, a new scale will appear in the corner, and the character will be able to walk along the walls and leave a sticky trail behind him. This is also useful in some moments, but it should be remembered that the hero is not able to move along the ceiling even with sticky paws - he immediately falls.


There is enough variety here so that you won't get bored in four hours of play. In the second half of the game, there is a not very successful episode, where Gregor is forced to run from one corner to another in a huge location and talk to everyone in a row, and this moment spoils the impression a little - the dialogues, of course, remain funny, but the process itself does not bring pleasure. However, this is the only chapter in which Metamorphosis sags.

What's frustrating is the quality of the Switch version. Smudged textures greatly spoil the visual component - the developers paid so much attention to the environment, added so much detail, and as a result, even the text sometimes cannot be read on the hybrid console due to the low resolution. The scale of the locations is still impressive, but it is advisable to play the game on a more powerful platform - although the graphics here are far from advanced (some people's models, for example, look strange), the design of the locations is very good.

Metamorphosis: is an enjoyable, stylish one night out an adventure that takes several of Kafka's pieces as a basis and blends them well. The satire ridiculing the horrors of bureaucracy will more than once cause a smile, and the gameplay is not limited to simple movement from one pretty location to another - they offer enough mechanics to keep the user until the end. Only occasionally does the game disappoint with strange gameplay solutions.

Pros: an unusual mixture of literary works of the last century, especially the books of Franz Kafka; unusual locations that make it possible to understand how tiny the main character is; funny dialogues.

Minuses: in the second half, the tempo sags slightly due to one unsuccessful episode; nasty graphics on Switch.

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