Metamorphoses

by Emily Short profile

Fantasy
2000

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(56)
4 star:
(49)
3 star:
(16)
2 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 129
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- Arty, February 2, 2024

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Intriguing idea for a game, January 16, 2024
by Wynter (London, UK)

A text adventure with a twist: without giving too much away, the player has much more freedom to imagine what can be done with the objects they find than in the average parser game.

Metamorphoses takes place in a fascinating and mysterious setting, a medieval/early modern world of alchemy and of the four humours. You are in a house filled with strange and wonderful objects and paintings, which enhance the gameplay considerably. I would have liked to have known more about the building you are in, and how it came to be as it is, and more backstory about the playing character and the Master more generally. In Emily Short's Bronze, for comparison, the castle and the objects within it are more closely linked to the story.

It is a short game, and according to the 'help' function, not a difficult one; I actually found it harder than I expected, perhaps because the setting is so mysterious that the actions you have to perform are not always self-explanatory, and also there is the extra challenge provided by the sheer number of permutations that the game allows.

I admired this game mostly for the clever idea and for the gorgeous descriptions and setting that I have come to expect from an Emily Short game.

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- witchcock (Gainesville, FL), September 28, 2023

- egostat (Purgatory of Social Ineptitude), September 26, 2023

- bluetopaz, September 6, 2023

- gattociao, August 24, 2023

- Drew Cook (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), July 26, 2023

- rmartins, June 26, 2023

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Perfection, June 23, 2023

I last played this game over twenty years ago when I was in middle school. It stuck in the back of my mind quite literally my whole life, and finally replaying it now has been the absolute pleasure I expected it to be.

The only downside to the game is how short it is, because I wished I could have enjoyed it for at least a few more hours. The puzzles are all pleasantly solvable. There is a semblance of plot, but the appeal of this game, in my opinion, is getting to interact with the interesting mechanics, and wade through the dreamy atmosphere courtesy of Short's impeccable writing.

As someone trained in classical Greek philosophy, (Spoiler - click to show)collecting the elements as represented by their corresponding five platonic solids was a satisfying task. If you know any of those ancient theories, it's obvious Short did her homework.

The best part of this little interactive novella is, to me, the opening- where the walls aren't material, and going to the next room is more of an ascension of one's soul than a relocation. I was a bit disappointed as the game became more "concrete," but what remained was still ethereal, strange, and captivating.

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- ilyu, May 25, 2023

- jaymesjw, February 7, 2023

- SherwoodForbes, June 21, 2022

- TheBoxThinker, May 22, 2022

>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

There are puzzles, yes, but almost every puzzle seems to have alternate solutions, and even better, these alternate solutions make perfect sense within the game's magical logic. Moreover, Metamorphoses provides much space for play and experimentation, especially through the use of a couple of devices that can effect startling and fascinating transformations on most of the objects in the game. The potential of these devices is so vast, and their effects implemented so thoroughly, that I could easily have spent the two hour judging period just playing with them and experimenting with the results.

In fact, the game is coded so well that for a moment it gave me a flash of that wonderful sense I used to get when I first started playing interactive fiction, the sense that here is a world where anything can happen, and anything I try can elicit a magical, transformative response. Of course, that feeling breaks down quickly and inevitably when something I attempt isn't accounted for, but just for that moment of wonder it gave me, I won't forget Metamorphoses for a very long time.

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- bkirwi, April 14, 2022

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
A dreamlike search for..., September 9, 2021
by Rovarsson (Belgium)
Related reviews: Puzzler, Fantasy

First off, some tech-stuff: This game is, hands-down, the most deeply implemented piece of Interactive Fiction I have ever played or heard of. Along with that, it also provides an amazing freedom of experimentation. This is no sandbox, this is dune after dune.

The puzzles are,partly because of the aforementioned freedom, not hard. They are sensible and great fun. Choose your own logical approach and try it. Many different solutions will work, and those that don't will not work for a reason. Very rewarding.

The story is very much for the player to fill in. Lady Short gives you the backbone elements of a story of personal growth and inner realization, up to you to interpret it. The many different endings also give you many possible interpretations.

The writing is crisp and clear, giving Metamorphoses that dreamlike quality. The descriptions are detailed enough to be practical, without excess decoration. Exactly because of the sparse descriptions, the imagination has ample room to dream up it's own version of your surroundings.

Maybe the biggest puzzle here is the quest for completeness.A reverse read-the-author's-mind problem. When playing (and replaying) ask yourself, "What has Emily Short NOT thought of?"

Very, very good game.

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- Lance Campbell (United States), August 17, 2021

- Hellzon (Sweden), July 1, 2021

- Artran (Taipei, Taiwan), May 3, 2021

- Zape, December 19, 2020

- Rainbow Fire , August 30, 2020

- Ry (Philippines), May 6, 2020

- Snave, October 31, 2019

- erzulie, September 24, 2019

- E.K., May 25, 2019


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