Morphblade is a slick little casual puzzle game from the good folks (folk?) over at Suspicious Developments. You navigate around a hexagonal grid of symbols smashing bugs (or maybe spaceships? Space bugs?). Each symbol has a different ability:
- Hammer = smashed bugs in front of you
- Blade = kills bugs on the sides of you
- Acid = removes shields from big bugs
- Heal = heals (you can take two hits before death)
- Teleport = teleport to anywhere on the board
- Arrow = move two spaces squishing intervening bugs
Every time you defeat a wave of bugs you are allowed to expand your hexagonal playing field. The bugs get increasingly nasty; eventually spawning with armor or guns, Some bugs will even blow up tiles upon their deaths. Good times.
The advanced mechanic is that you can upgrade each square if you use it six times (six bugs hammers, six times healed, etc.). You can upgrade that space with the ability of one of the other symbols it touches. For example, you can upgrade the Hammer with Teleport so that you can use that space as a Teleport in a pinch. It allows for tons of combinations from a simple starting point.
The complexity grown from simplicity is what makes Morphblade an archetypal Indie Game. A good Indie Game is one that takes a singular mechanic and milks it for all it’s worth. You can only move in limited directions and each new tile you unlock gives you a very discreet tactical choice. Morphbalde is an excellent example of this design philosophy as you try to figure out the best combination of abilities to defeat the never ending annoying bugs.
However, here’s the thing about Morphblade. Real talk. This would probably be better as a mobile game. It’s a fun game, but each iteration only lasts a few minutes. It has a lot in common with games like 2048 or Super Hexagon. Engrossing and super addictive, just not something I’m likely to load up on Steam everyday, y’know? Like, I don’t need to be in my wiz-lab sitting in my wiz-chair in front of my wiz-computer to play Morphblade. I could see myself getting way into this waiting for the wiz-bus or taking care of my wiz-biz on my wiz-bog.
The stream is really short. Morphblade didn’t really play nice with Twitch for whatever reason. I swear on the bejeweled robe of Sif Muna, that I’ll figure out the technical issues one of these days and actually do a good stream.