Morphite ($7.99) by Crescent Moon Games is a low-poly sci-fi first-person shooter adventure. If you enjoyed games like the old N.O.V.A. franchise, and prefer the modern retro graphics like in Horizon Chase, then you will love Morphite.
I'm usually not a big FPS fan because I don't do terribly well with them. However, ever since I started playing the first Destiny game and even Overwatch, I've grown a new appreciation and liking for shooters in general. Morphite was teased a while ago, and I even got to check it out a bit this year during GDC. I knew that this was something special, and I had to get my hands on it whenever it was ready. Now that it's dropped to the masses, I can say that it was definitely worth the wait after all this time.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, Morphite is unique with a low-poly design that seems rather trendy lately. This means that the environments are a bit rough and jagged, and the faces of characters are not too detailed. Everything is rendered in 3D, and overall, Morphite is giving me a bit of a Metroid feel. The game has a nice range of colors, from muted earthy tones to bright and vibrant neons. Animations are smooth and fluid on my iPhone 7, so I did not experience any lag while playing the game. There's an atmospheric and captivating soundtrack in the background, and the sound effects and voice acting is done well. Morphite is a gorgeous game that looks fantastic and has amazing audio.
Since Morphite is a FPS game about exploration, players start at the beginning of the story and progress through in a linear fashion. Morphite introduces Myrah Kale, who's a young woman residing on a space station with her surrogate father, Mr. Mason. As he sends her out on basic exploratory missions to scan signs of life and gather resources on various planets, players will discover much more than that. Eventually, Myrah will uncover her own past and her relationship to a rare and coveted material called Morphite.
Despite having a storyline and missions that need to be completed chronologically, Morphite's worlds are procedurally generated (except ones that involve the main story),, so everyone's Morphite game will be different. There's many different kinds of creature types, landscapes, and areas to explore, and it's all unique. It's what makes this game magical.
Controls in Morphite are pretty straightforward, but it can be a bit annoying if you have the touch screen control opacity turned off. In the very bottom left corner is where you switch between your scanner and pistol, which happens fairly regularly. Above this area will be the virtual joystick for moving around. In the very bottom right corner is the button to shoot or activate your scanner. Above that is the jump button.
While Myrah is in her ship, you'll have a menu for selecting your destination in the solar system via Star Map. But be careful — you need fuel in your ship to travel, so if a place is too far, you won't be able to go unless you fill up at a space station first. This is also where you can view your Ship Info, as well as check active missions, equipped weapons, items, scans, and collected resources. Random encounters may occur while traveling in your ship, so be prepared for combat at any time.
The problem I have with the controls is the fact that the switch toggle for the scanner and pistol is where I usually think of placing my thumb for movement. So when I turned down the opacity for on-screen controls to zero, I often found myself bringing up the switcher when I just wanted to move. I also kept jumping instead of shooting, which was irritating. The positioning of the buttons takes a bit of getting used to, so I recommend keeping the opacity on (even just slightly) so that you don't get the buttons mixed up. Fortunately, you can change the button positioning in the settings, though it feels like it's a bit hidden.
Fortunately, Morphite does have support for MFi controllers. So if you have one laying around, this is the perfect kind of game to use them with.
Morphite is packed with elements of exploration and discovery, real-time combat against various life forms and bosses, and even environmental puzzle solving. In addition to the main storyline quests, players have the option to do a wide variety of side quests, and there's a plethora of upgrades for your suit and weapons. While the price of Morphite seems high, there's a lot of content, so you do get bang for your buck.
Crescent Moon first showed this game to us at GDC in March, and now it's available for everyone.
For a game that many have been waiting for, there's a lot of good with Morphite. The game looks beautiful with a distinctive design that is simple and appealing. The music is ambient and soothing, only adding to the game's overall charm. There's a lot of content, and the voice acting is done exceptionally well. Having support for MFi controllers is nice, especially when the default touch-screen controls feel a bit clunky. This has been a game many have been waiting for, and it doesn't disappoint in terms of quality and entertainment.
My biggest issue with Morphite are the touch-screen controls. I found it annoying that if I want the buttons to be invisible, I'll end up swiping or tapping on the wrong thing. At least players have the option to customize the button positioning, though it feels a bit tucked away.
Overall, Morphite is an excellent game that is worth a download for any iOS gamer. The graphics are stunning, the music is delightful, and the game world is immersive. Controls do take some time to get used to, but can definitely be streamlined in a future update. At least there is support for physical MFi controllers, which always end up being the better option for a FPS game like this anyway. Morphite is jam-packed with procedurally generated content, so there's a huge assortment of life forms, landscapes, and bosses to tackle. Plus, many upgrades are available to make you stronger.
I highly recommend giving Morphite a try if you enjoy sci-fi adventure games with a first-person shooter perspective. You can find Morphite on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV for $7.99.