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The Bug And The Beautiful: Morphopolis

Goodness, Morphopolis sure is a sight to behold. I do not usually like bugs because I'm afraid they'll crawl into my eyelids while I'm sleeping and lay eggs, but just look at that. So much insistently strange color. So many rich veins of detail popping and pulsating with life. The point-and-click adventure treats nature not as a playground, but as a canvas for the grotesquely gorgeous. I just want to go inhabit that place. Problem is - based on a bit of the game I played at Rezzed - I'm not sure if it'll let me. Trailer and thoughts below.

Morphopolis' art is on another level, but its mechanics are extremely simple. The game bills itself as a "hidden object" adventure and that description just about hits the nail on the head. The few sections I tried were basically pixel hunts, with me searching for various parts and objects that'd remove an obstacle - usually some gigantic jerk bug - from my path. Then I'd proceed to the next visually glorious mini-vista, and so on. It never amounted to anything particularly challenging or interesting, though. Just clicking around until something happened.

That said, developer Mico Macro's description of Morphopolis hints at something far greater for the teensy tiny underbrush world:

"The game is about a journey; taking narrative from the environment, creating places through the division space, and evolving this world as your awareness of scale, mechanics and inhabitants change. These are concepts we discovered in architecture school, but they can be handled so much more playfully in an illustrated world."

Here's hoping the mechanics can keep up with the art's soaring splendor and variety. You can even have a hand (or twitchy, chitinous leg stalk) in the process if you want. The game's second preorder tier offers alpha access for $19.99, so that might be worth diving into. The full game, meanwhile, will be out at the end of the year - maybe on Steam, if it can clear Greenlight's mighty hurdle. Are you considering giving it a try?

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