Morphies Law is an ambitious 3D shooter by developer and publisher, Cosmoscope Gmbh. with a unique mechanic: hitting other players shrinks the targeted body part and adds its mass to your own. Within moments of beginning a match, disproportioned bodies in highly customizable outfits inspired by Mexico’s Day of The Dead square off in a variety of matches with different objectives. While there is certainly room for improvement in a few areas, the game is an overall success and is sure to provide hours of multiplayer fun.
Honey, I Shrunk The Opponents
As mentioned, the mechanic that makes this game unique is that hitting opponents steals their mass and adds it to your own. This can result in some ridiculous looking bodies, since the mass is taken and given to the body part targeted with your weapon.
Morphies Law offers no story mode, instead propelling players directly into the action with four different game modes that all rely upon some variation of this mass-stealing mechanic.
Morph Match is the closest thing to a deathmatch that is available, in which each team has a large avatar representing their color, either blue or red, and each grows depending on how much your team grows and shrinks in a match. In sum, this comes down to which team deals out the most damage to the other to emerge victorious.
Head Hunt is akin to Capture the Flag modes in other games, whereby the same team avatar from the first mode has lost its head, and you must find and return it. Although this mode is enjoyable, it feels like the shortest of all, often concluded in less than a minute.
Mass Heist again seeks to grow the largest avatar for your team, only now we are not stealing mass from our opponent directly. Instead, we steal it from the avatar after stepping on a switch to lower its shields and then taking the stolen mass to an active mass alter to donate it to your own avatar.
The final mode is The Maaster, whereby the largest Morphie in the game activates their avatar to steal mass from the opposing avatar. Since there is only one Maaster active at a time, one team must protect theirs while the other desperately tries to eliminate and steal that mass for themselves.
Once inside a match, the fun takes over thanks to the colorful maps and characters, the fast-paced action, and a quick respawn time after being destroyed by an opponent or environmental trap means that you are never out for long.
Movement and controls are quite similar to Fortnite and Splatoon 2 on the Switch. Aiming takes a few matches to get used to, but soon becomes simple to navigate. Another unique aspect of this game is jumping, which is affected by your overall size and can be extended through the use of your butt rocket, fueled by farts, and similar in feel to Pharah from Overwatch, though in this game the recharge does not occur until landing.
When completing a match, gaining levels, and completing what appear to be weekly missions, one slowly gains an in-game currency and Piñatas that can be used inside of an item shop that offers a broad range of customization for a character’s appearance, including premade faces, bodies, emotes, intros face parts, and instruments. At the moment, all items seem to be obtainable in-game through gameplay and progression, and not through any form of microtransaction.
Finally, the game can be played in a number of different ways, either online through a matchmaking system, offline vs AI, online vs AI, and local co-op. In sum, there is always a way to play the game whether you are alone or with friends and with or without an internet connection, which is a big plus in today’s market of games that often have an always-on requirement to be played.
What Could Be Improved
In general, the game seeks to be a playful, innovative team shooter, and it absolutely succeeds to that end. The criticisms that follow are somewhat minor and may be corrected in the future.
The crosshair is sometimes difficult to see properly, as it is a white circle with no option to change it something else. For the most part, this is a non-issue. However, in some instances, a white of the sun setting in the distance can sometimes leave the crosshair hard to see. This only happens occasionally, and only in certain parts of a map.
Throughout the map there are environmental traps that result in a player’s death, and these are triggered by weight. If one is too light, a large fan will blow your character into a deadly set of spikes, or off the map. The issue here is that there does not seem to be an indicator as to how much mass one needs to have in order to not trigger the fan. This resulted in many unintentional deaths. Some manner of indicator would be great in helping gauge the safety of a route, though perhaps this was a conscious decision meant to keep things interesting.
Currently, there do not seem to be any restrictions on where in the map one can go, and this includes the spawn area of the opposing team. This means that spawn camping could be a potential issue, in theory.
Finally, there is an issue of network connectivity. Some users appear to be reporting a range of experiences in the online matches, ranging from slight lag to massive spikes that make the game feel unplayable. This writer experienced perfect, smooth sailing for the first few matches, and then one match with lag that made it difficult to play well. After this, the rest of the matches for the day were again smooth and without issue.
TheGamer reached out to the developers of Morphies Law to ask if they are aware of the issue and if they have any plans for the future, and the reply from Jonathan over at Cosmoscope Gmbh was reassuring:
“We have dedicated servers with a scalable capability on 5 different regions of the world, Crossplay with Nintendo Switch [and Steam], and a clever matchmaking algorithm…The lag that you're experiencing is due to a low number of people playing. We're trying to address this by supporting the game, releasing more content, and doing more outreach to players.”
So, while there might be some lag earlier in the day, it appears to be improving based on the steps taken by the developer, and since more people are playing today than when the game launched.
Ultimately, Morphies Law seeks to break away from simplistic shooters and offer something innovative to its consumer, and in this, it succeeds without a doubt. The game is not as polished as something like Splatoon 2, but from a smaller indie developer at one-fourth the purchase price, the game is definitely worth picking up. The only caveat, for now, is that the online component, while seemingly fine, is still an issue of contention for some players. However, this is irrelevant most of the time, and a non-issue offline and in local co-op play.
4 Out Of 5 Stars
A review code for Morphies Law was provided to TheGamer for this review. Morphies Law is available now for the Nintendo Switch and Steam.