Game: Panmorphia: Awakened
Genre: Puzzle, Adventure, Indie, Casual, Point-and-Click
System: Switch (also available for Steam, Mobile, itch.io, & Amazon Games)
Developers | Publishers: LKMAD
Controller Support: None
Price: US $6.29 | UK £5.39 | EU € 6,29
Release Date: April 28th, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to LKMAD.
Panmorphia: Awakened is one of the three Panmorphia games currently available. These puzzle games utilize a unique gimmick: players can turn into several different animals, each with its own different types of strengths.
The Gameplay of Panmorphia: Awakened
If you have played the original games, you will be familiar with the main character’s previous forays into the Panmorphia world. In this other dimension, you gain the power to turn into a cat, a bird, a fish and your usual human form. The cat has the ability to see things; differently, the birds form can fly, and the fish form is able to swim. Using each of these powers, players have to navigate each of the puzzle areas to get to the end. The cat’s view is always a night view with new sights to see.
The map is a massive labyrinth of intricate puzzles that require a lot of searching and thought on the part of the player. Each room is filled to the brim with clues, items, and a variety of puzzles that will force players to use each of their forms to figure out how to interact with them to get to the next part of the world.
Panmorphia: Awakened is, like most mobile titles, played entirely on the touchscreen of the Nintendo Switch. You must touch each of the pieces of the world to move, pick up, rearrange, and put down items to complete each of the different types of puzzles.
Each screen is a beautiful vista in the gorgeous world of Panmorphia, and each scene looks a little different from the perspective of each of the unique transformations. It is a visually stimulating game filled with beautiful views, strange and wonderful artefacts, and blooming nature.
There are a massive variety of puzzles for players in the Panmorphia games. There are rotating puzzles, number balancing and math puzzles, reordering based on colors and shapes, and item puzzles. Many of the puzzles are unique to Panmorphia: Awakened, making diving into this puzzle game without having played the others extremely difficult.
For example, there is a part of the game when you have to interact with a statute with a hook to pull something from its mouth. This is done in the body of a fish, which would make no sense to anyone who was unfamiliar with the game. I was trying to solve this puzzle by thinking of it logically; a fish has no hands. But somehow, it can still pull some cloth from the mouth of a statue. It took a lot of thinking outside of the box like that to get through the puzzles.
Many of the puzzles were unique, which is something I really liked. Some of the puzzle solutions were so far out of what logic would dictate that I had to look up a walkthrough to help me get through them. This, coupled with the fact that Panmorphia: Awakened doesn’t seem to utilize the unique nature of the Switch very well, makes this title a little awkward to play.
Overall, this game is pretty; it’s interesting and different. But sometimes, the solutions were just so far from what you would assume the answer would be that it made it super difficult to continue. It wasn’t even just a matter of getting used to changing forms on every screen to see what was different from each perspective; it was more like trying to think of answers to puzzles illogically.
The item trapped in the ice was not removed by the ice pick; it instead had to be removed by sunlight. A chamber filled with crystals was not broken apart by something like an axe but a tuning fork. Since I am not very experienced with games like this, I would have loved a hint system to help me through the weirder answers. There was a hint system for the puzzles themselves, but if you are out in the world, looking for the next clue or next interactable item, there isn’t anything to help you except walkthroughs.
That being said, this game is beautiful and interesting. I would certainly be interested in playing the other two Panmorphia games, just to see all the different ways that each of the four transformations are used. That being said, I would not recommend this game to anyone new to the genre, as this game’s tutorial is short and all about physically interacting with the game itself; it doesn’t teach the player how this game thinks, and this is the most difficult part of Panmorphia.
Final Verdict: I Like it.