The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Morphite

Morphite [$7.99] had a lot of expectations to fill when it was originally announced more than a year ago. Not really from its own doing, but the fact that the game's premise and to a lesser extent its visual style was so reminisent of Hello Games' No Man's Sky meant that eager mobile gamers were hoping for that "No Man's Sky in your pocket" experience. With Morphite finally launching across iOS, Steam, Xbox One and PS4 this week (with Nintendo Switch and Android versions coming soon), we got to witness firsthand if the game lived up to the lofty expectations gamers had been setting for themselves or if it was able to carve out its own unique experience and identity.

From my perspective, it's more the latter than the former. Sure Morphite is a first-person adventure game where you can travel to thousands of randomly generated planets, exploring and scanning the terrain and squaring off against hostile entities through gunplay. It definitely has similarities to No Man's Sky. However, Morphite is a game with (obviously) a much smaller scope, and that's actually to its benefit. The planets that you explore are actually very large open areas, not full-sized planets, which is much more manageable in terms of being able to progress through the game. Also, the story in Morphite is much more focused and engaging, if a bit cliché. There is a really compelling world to discover and lots of interesting characters and lore, which is the central driving force to continue on in your endeavors.

Story aside, though, Morphite is also a fantastic game for creating your own adventures. The landscapes may be a bit sparse, but with their smaller scope they are also filled with lots of neat plants and animals to discover. In a page out of Metroid Prime's book, you can scan these living things and it acts as sort of a loot system with common and rare plants and animals to discover and scan. You can then turn around and sell your scans for money which you can use to upgrade your character's suit and ship. I've really enjoyed jumping to random planets just to see what I can find in between completing the story missions, and I can see myself continuing to do so even after that storyline is completed. My favorite part of any open-world sandbox game is just exploring for exploring's sake, and Morphite delivers that in a more bite-sized fashion which is ideal for a mobile game.

It's not without its issues though, as certain aspects of Morphite's control scheme can feel clunky under pressure and I'd do pretty much anything to have a dedicated scanning button rather than having to constantly switch to my scanner manually. Also it could benefit from a greater variety (and greater number) of plants and animals on its planets to avoid things getting too repetitive. The thing is though, Morphite has found that special sauce that makes a game just plain fun to play despite its flaws, and things are so streamlined that it all works very well as a mobile touchscreen game. I also absolutely love the art style and the amazing color palette, and frequently stop just to take in my surroundings.

Morphite is the kind of game that will tickle your sci-fi sensibilities in the best way, and it truly is an impressively large galaxy you can carry around in your pocket. It may not be the same scope as something like No Man's Sky, but it also doesn't have to be. Morphite has carved out its own niche as there's really nothing else like it on mobile, and with the positive reception it's seen so far I hope we can continue to watch this interesting universe expand and flourish into the future.

  • http://mulderc.blogspot.com/ Cameron Mulder

    Games like this show that iOS is a viable game platform beyond candy crush and angry birds. Loving it so far.

    • RunningWild

      If only Apple treated it as such..

  • InTheAir

    Looks like a great game to play in small bursts, but I just have to wait for a Switch version instead of iOS. I’ve never had a good experience with first person 3D games with touch controls.

    • Mariko

      It has MFI controller support, if you have one. It then has a nearly identical feel of the PS4 version. (I have both versions)

      • Gucciipad

        Agreed get a mfi controller

  • Jinxtah

    So what's the point of this game? You can't build things, the environment is scarce (?). There's no story to speak of (?). It's literally just a smaller no mans sky? Yeah, no thanks. No mans sky was a joke of a game.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      What’s the point of anything?

      • Jinxtah

        Did you just make a life is meaningless correlation to my post? That's... interesting!

    • metalcasket

      Right, so...let me get this straight. You make a claim ("There's no story to speak of"), and then put a question mark after it? Clearly you have no clue what you're talking about because this IS story driven. Also...scientifically, space is rather barre, so yes...the environment is scarce. Yay?

      • Jinxtah

        The reason for my question mark in brackets, was that I was willing to be proven wrong, in that it was an actual question. The post makes it out to be cliche (which is literally mentioned), and the story wasn't anything to write home about from what I could see.

        The whole appeal of a No Man's Sky clone where you just wander around doing nothing to be benefit of no one wan't very appealing to me. I was surprised to see it as a game of the week.

        I'm not getting why you're being so super defensive. What's the point of that?

      • Josh Presseisen

        Its not meant to be a No Man's Sky clone. Its meant to be an homage to Metroid Prime, with some procedural stuff thrown in on the side. Its mainly story driven - and takes most of the weapons / power ups, main character inspiration from Metroid Prime as well.

      • Jinxtah

        Like I just just wrote to you elsewhere, that sounds instantly better than what I gathered in the news post. Not sure why you felt the need to reply in two places, but here we are 😀

        Still not sure why the other dude got so overly defensive, like I did something morally offensive to him. I'll be sure to keep an eye on the game. Thanks for the clarification.

    • boydstr

      I never played “No Mans Sky” but I really enjoy the game the first few minutes when I started the game I knew it delivered what I was hoping for anyone can like/dislike a game but the comparison with NMS don’t add up the developer promised a lot of features that didn’t make the game etc.and why the question marks if you dislike the game it seems that you’re not sure about your criticism.

      • Jinxtah

        It seems I confused a few people with the question marks in brackets. The reason for them, is that I wasn't sure, as I hadn't seen a gameplay video detailing it, but I was just drawing from what the news post said. Scarce environment (right?), etc.

        No Man's Sky was literally just an emperor with no clothing type deal. It was so bare bones, and didn't have any substance to it, so seeing a game in that genre with even less content kinda surprised me.

        I really do want to know what the point of the game is. Is it just a sandbox with a fake premise ala NMS, or is there something more to it. Is there actually an engaging story, or is it cliche and scarce. Is the game more about just wandering around and upgrading your gear or spaceship for the sake of doing it, to the benefit of nobody really.

        These are all actual questions. I'd love to know. No sarcasm.

      • Josh Presseisen

        Yes, its completely story driven. This follows the story of Myrah Kale, and her mysterious past and link with the mysterious substance known as Morphite, which you will find out later on as you progress through each level of the story. You can compare this to NMS in that you can wander around on random planets, but you are guided to play through the story from the very beginning (with going off on the side just to gather resources for your upgrades)

      • Jinxtah

        Oh ok, well that sounds instantly more appealing than what I gathered from the news post. As long as it's story driven and actually has some meat on the bones instead of being the a NMS clone, then that's great.

      • boydstr

        I only reacted on your post because the “NMS”comparison there should be more people that don’t like it that keeps things interesting it is a personal thing but a lot of things people do in games and in real live have no deeper meaning it’s just for fun or the experience.

  • boydstr

    First of all I really was looking out for Morphite and I love the game so far but I played some side missions and both are not working as they suppose to one side mission I need helping NPC with catching frogs but I only could take one the cursor need to be exactly at the right place on the frog before you see a message that you need to push to pick up de frog I need to replace more than once my cursor because if you move a little bit the message is gone and can’t pick up the frog so you have to try again one of the other frogs was stuck against a wall with some overhanging rocks so I was a inch away from the frog but apparently to far that the action button didn’t show a other side mission I need to find some rocket speakers I found one so I returned it to the seller I let go of the speaker than it hangs in the air by the side of the NPC and some seconds later the thing disappeared I looked at the stats for the side mission and still the info stated that I need to find those 2 speakers so when I returned to the spot to try again and where I found my first one it was not there anymore I played some 30 min.and already my first played side missions
    have glitches it seems to me that they rushed the game under time pressure another strange thing is that this is the first game that plays better with touchscreen than with my controller and I use the Madcatz c.t.r.l that works perfect with other MFI games I had such high hopes for this game so I hope that they update the game.

    • Josh Presseisen

      Yeah I think that frog one has issues - might need to revise that one in an update!

  • icepulse

    It's a lot of fun.

  • Adam Kennedy

    Your sidekick in this game starkly resembles the InstaBuy cat... you know what that means!

  • Nölff

    This is the best thing since oceanhorn.