Metamorphosis – test

The legacy of the Bohemian literary work Franz Kafka is invaluable. There are many critics who, since the mid-twentieth century, have juggled the analysis of one of the richest and most symbolic written productions in history.

Existential anguish, alienation, family conflicts, loneliness and mysticism are just a few of the archetypes of a collection that lends itself to heterogeneous exegesis and a highly introspective breath.

Gregor Samsa is undoubtedly the most famous and significant allegorical character, in which Kafka pours out his subtle criticism of bourgeois society of his time and beyond. The metaphor of the insect symbolizes diversity, child-parent dependence and the aseptic violation of artistic-expressive freedoms.

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So here Metamorphosis the famous bohemian tale embraces the expressive forms of video games, catapulting the player into a mixture of graphic adventure, puzzle game and platform trick.

The very short demo published on Steam has just presented us the first minutes of the adventure, in which a few corridors of Gregor’s domain, to which we had access after recovering a key, were the backdrop of the transformation into an insect of our alter ego. The test ended in a few minutes, with just the opportunity to test only the play sequence that the production intends to follow.

Our goal was exhausted by reaching the office of a room, a feat made not immediate by the features of the protagonist. The stylistic register devoted to surrealism crosses a level design which, in the case of the first part of the game, uses the stringy prostheses of the slats of certain chairs to create tracks to be exploited to achieve our objective.

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Here, Metamorphosis turns on its puzzle game, leading the player to a preliminary analysis of the composition of the game environment to identify the ideal path and calculate the jumps to be made. Interaction with the objects around us will also be crucial.

A corridor with light in cold tones and walls with paintings upside down accompany us in the very first bars.

We can move some to create paths, or take advantage of the peculiarities of others to widen our field of action, as in the case of the sauce poured on the table which allowed us to vertically resize the surface of a book to reach the document that certainly closed the test.

Given the absolutely sterile nature of the content it was accessed, it is difficult to speak of a certain detail so far, especially with regard to the variety and pace of the adventure. However, we noticed some interesting aspects: the first concerns the narrative dimension of the production, for which we immediately noticed a strong fidelity to the inspiring novel, even in more detailed details.

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The protagonist’s joke about his difficulty and his concern to go to work, in the state of form that we have just assumed, represents a clear and almost literal quote from the Kafkaesque words, and allows us to bet on a work that could rather faithfully trace the events of the book.

The composition of the objects traces the paths and the possibilities of evolution. We will have to learn to observe with insect eyes, because a simple pencil will become an important scale.

Second, we were also impressed by the graphic style and artistic flair of the production. The models, entirely drawn by hand, present docile and graceful forms, and the color palette changes from warm and serene tones to dark and cold tones which seem to accompany certain sections.

That of Ovid Works seems to be a project with clear limits: a title with strong narrative content, which oscillates between the canons of graphic adventure and puzzle games, with a nod to the platform. In addition, he is openly inspired – and in all likelihood, literally – by the genius of Kafka and his metamorphosis, and openly embraces a partnership between video games and literature that has already been seen in other productions.

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In order to get our hands on the full adventure, we will probably have to wait a few more months. The arrival is expected on Steam this year, although a specific date is not yet there. Stay tuned for new information.

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