In Morphopolis, Micro Macro Games doesn't hold your hand.
You're given a brief explanation of the mechanics of this gorgeous mix of hidden object, point-and-click adventure, and puzzle game. Then, you are thrown into its verdant world.
You explore in small snatches, travelling around a stylised garden discovering plants and puzzling over insects.
Morphopolis is unquestionably a good-looking game, and it 'wears' its influences on a proud sleeve. If this early build is anything to go by, though, it's a game that could divide opinion.
As mentioned earlier, the game is set in a garden. In it, you are cast as an insect. In the different chapters, the different slices of your life cycle are told. There are various other creatures in the long grass and among the flowers, and you need to complete little tasks to help them on their way.
First, you need to collect items. By tapping a creature or a piece of scenery, you are shown what you need to find to engage with it. Some things are simple to find, others take some real concentration. You need to complete your tasks in the right order, by the way.
By tapping on your insect, you are shown the way you need to travel. This enables you to work out what you need to change and what you need to move to get there. Sometimes, however, it feels a little like you're stumbling around in the dark.
At other times, the eureka moments come quickly, and it feels like you're making smooth and steady progress through the neatly sized chunks that make up the game.
Insect a side
It's going to be interesting to see if Micro Macro Games can strike the right balance between maintaining Morphopolis's mysterious nature and seeding enough information. Otherwise, the developer will face the very real danger of leaving players stumped, confused, or frustrated.
There's definitely a lot of potential here. The intriguing mixture of genres and ideas results in a heady blend that has a whiff of real originality about it.
Whether or not that's going to be enough to see Morphopolis through remains to be seen.
It's undeniably engaging, sure, and it's indisputably different. But Micro Macro Games needs to sink its claws into you with the game underneath all of that, and make you want to keep playing.
Want more? Check out our growing collection of Morphopolis articles!