Metamorphosis - PC Review

Metamorphosis by developer Ovid Works and publisher All in! GamesPC (Steam) review written by Susan N. with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Metamorphosis is a video game that transformer players into bugs to explore the world with a new perspective. Gregor Samsa wakes up to find he partied too hard at his own bash and is now late for work. But that is only the beginning of a story that I found enjoyable in a gameplay sense and yet depressing with it real world themes.


Players begin the game waking up in their room. We get the sense of being a man who is minimalist as there are little memorabilia present in the room. Our first objective is to get out of the room by using a key to unlock the door from the inside.

We walk down a hallway to find it littered with pictures of Gregor and his best friend, Joseph K, at various points in their life. This is the point where players suspect that something is wrong with their perspective. Each picture begins to change, including some of the duplicate pictures that were present at the beginning of the hallway.

It is obvious that our journey continues as a bug in hopes of helping Joseph get out of legal trouble. Though, we never discover WHAT Joseph is charged with. (In fact, I became tired of the circle-jerk non-explanations that I wanted to stuff the lawyer in a drawer.)

Players are able to scurry through areas that contain different obstacles like flooding water, vertical walls, books, and fans. One of my favorite puzzles involved jumping onto paper that is floating through the air! As a beetle, players can climb up combs and pencils which allow access to areas they couldn't reach. Still, players will have fun using glue to scale vertical walls to walk across drawers. We are guided by the symbol of 'The Tower' and quickly discover that this is where we need to go.

Metamorphosis is a puzzle-platformer that is satisfying in length and light on the puzzle side. Plus, I didn't want to hear that dreadful lawyer drone on, which is a good motivator to finish that area. It's no wonder that Joseph K was frustrated throughout the game!

The Inspiration for Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka

The story of Metamorphosis is strange, though, that comes with knowing the original stories were absurd. Following Gregor in a bug form is fun and satisfying in video game format, but the real story behind the video game comes from a darker tale.

For this review, I went looking for information about Franz Kafka after learning that he was a published author in the early 1900's. The Metamorphosis is one published by Kafka during World War II. Franz Kafka provided for his family but was ridiculed and beaten by his father. As such, Metamorphosis is really a tale of abuse where one feels insignificant, easily squashed, and ugly. An abbreviated and animated version of The Metamorphosis the novel can be found here.

In video game format, Metamorphosis is a charming tale constructed from Franz Kafka's works like The Trial, The Castle, Amerika, and The Man Who Disappeared. And I only learned of his works because of other Steam users who mentioned the original books. It seems that many Europeans are familiar with Kafka's works where others, like myself, are unfamiliar. After researching the man who inspired this confusing and interesting video game, I discovered that each of his novels, novellas, and short stories told the story of a man who lived a depressing life. In the end, while I am satisfied with the gameplay, I'm saddened by the story behind the abstract works.

For those of you interested in a 20-minute biography of Franz Kafka, I've linked it below.


There are a couple of things to say about the graphics in Metamorphosis. For one thing, I really enjoyed the animated art style that felt hand-drawn. It created a sense of reality even though players spend the majority of the game in bug form. Having this sort of style lends itself to the idea that portions of the environment did not need to be as accurately portrayed.

I quite liked the attention to detail that the artists included in this game like cigarette packs in the drawer, combs, lamps, handwritten notes, etc... These elements hammered home the idea that players are still in a 'real world' setting without extreme detail. I also found the scaling to be quite appropriate. To humans, many of these objects are not hazardous or are insignificant, but to a beetle, the same objects are large enough to become bridges or doorways into new areas.

That said, I have one issue with the graphics and it pertains to a specific puzzle. Gregor is on the search for his certificate so that he can gain passage to The Tower. At one point, players discover a wall of certificates. Naturally, players have to find Gregors' certificate through some sort of clue. As one would expect, it's rather easy to find and yet even on high settings, I could not read the surface holding the solution. To solve the puzzle, I changed the graphics settings because none of the other settings could display the solution.

To go alongside that issue, there are other moments where players can clip through certain pipes. I didn't encounter these issues very often but they were obvious enough for me to notice.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, Metamorphosis is a video game that captures some of the big themes Franz Kafka wrote about in his novels that gave him posthumous fame. It showcases how a person can literally feel small in a world that requires needless red tape. And while the game is charming in its presentation, the story behind the man who inspired this work lived an extremely difficult life.

Metamorphosis is a charming tale about the ridiculousness of life and it contains overarching themes of loneliness, friendship, and humanity. With the exception of the boring ending that players receive, I had a lot of fun climbing up walls, dodging falling bricks, and chatting up the local bugs. I highly recommend this title because it is quite fun to play and not terribly long either.


Metamorphosis is a fascinating look into the life of a man who desperately tries to save his friend from uncertain peril. It parallels the life of a man who wrote pieces that are present in this video game. Though the storytelling of our world through the eyes of a beetle is intriguing, the ending falls a little flat - through no fault of the developers. My entire experience in Metamorphosis was filled with wonder and awe as I climbed walls, scurried through holes, and dodged obstacles.

I give this title an 8.5 out of 10 because there are many important themes that can be reflected upon. I enjoyed every minute of this game.

Score: 8.5 / 10



Post a Comment

Random posts

Our Streamers

Susan "Jagtress" N.

S.M. Carrière

Louis aka Esefine



JenEricDesigns – Coffee that ships to the US and Canada

JenEricDesigns – Coffee that ships to the US and Canada
Light, Medium and Dark Roast Coffee available.

Blog Archive