Bite Sized Reviews: Time to Morp

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Bite Sized Reviews: Time to Morp

It’s Morping Time!

And that wins the award for the least original phrase related to this game in the universe. Great job.

What a busy couple of weeks. Between some massive Early Access releases and LucaNarraCon, I’ve digested games like I happily digest cheesecake. Manor Lords, No Rest For the Wicked and Hades 2 are just a few games I’ve been playing over the past few weeks, and that review list continues to grow. Before I move on to today’s episode, a couple of things.

Thankyou to everyone who reads these. I’ve received some great feedback and lovely messages from people who like what I do, which I appreciate more than ever. 2024 continues to be challenging on every level, and it’s been difficult to make the content I love with my ongoing health issues. I try to be as transparent as possible, but there are days when I just have to put health before content. I’ve got a ton of projects I want to publish for you all, nearly all of which involve exciting video games and the like. One of them is a complete deconstruction of Cyberpunk 2077, now it is effectively finished on a development level. The longest article I’ve ever written was my review series covering Cyberpunk in 2021, and I’m looking forward to returning to it!

Time to Morp is a cute little game. Colony sims are one of my favourite genres to play. Even with my expanding tastes to try a whole range of genres, the colony sim is one genre I will always return to. When I grow tired of playing roguelikes, I sit down with some Rimworld war crimes. I picked up the Anomaly expansion last week and finally decided on the mods for my next playthrough. With over 600 hours in Rimworld, I’m likely to get addicted to it once again. It is just one of those games!

Where were we? Ah, yes. Colony Sims! Time to Morp launched in Early Access a couple of months ago and has been fairly well received so far. When the publisher Yogcast Games reached out to me to see if I was interested in covering it, I leapt at the opportunity. Since its release back in March, the developers at Team Halfbeard frequently updated the game, patching bugs, making balance tweaks and adding more content. They get top marks from me on communication. If this was a scoring contest, the name ‘Team Halfbeard’ alone wins my ‘Coolest Dev Name’ award. Alas, there are no competitions for that. Perhaps I should start one. Here’s the Steam link where you can buy it:

Time to Morp focuses on the cosier side of colony building. Rather than deciding between feeding kids sawdust and using them as cheap labour, this game is more mellow. Set in a colourful sci-fi world, it reminds me a little of Slime Rancher and other creature collections like it. Starting small, your task as the token grunt is to explore the planet and learn everything you can about it. As the captain of the research ship barked out orders, I quickly got used to the game’s mechanics.

With its colourful palette and easy controls, Time to Morp is easy to fall in love with from a visual point. Being able to explore the world in the third person rather than as an omniscient god hand has its advantages. There’s even a photo mode if you’re like me and enjoy taking constant screenshots during gameplay. An expansive encyclopedia and scanning feature make it easy to find important locations and resources while keeping players up to date with every tutorial and detail. I like knowing things. The tutorial blends with the standard game fairly well through constant task lists and quests from the crew members. These quests are often very simple, but that is the point of the game. Character dialogue follows the same mould, with Sims-like speech as voice acting. This is fine, and it honestly adds to the charm.

I would like it if the Captain did more around the house. He enjoys standing by with his thumb up his arse while giving me orders! Sadly there’s no way to feed him to my growing army of critters, so I’ll stick to insulting him in this review. The core of Time to Morp is Morps, which are fairly cute, cuddly critters in many different colours and forms. They roam the planet and it’s up to you to look after them. Slime Rancher is the best game to compare this to, although Time to Morp takes a more sandbox approach. By building zones for Morps and resources, they make an excellent automation machine, and the research tree expands upon that. Huh. Perhaps there is a little slave labour in this game. Oh, well.

While this is an initial impressions review, I prefer this format when exploring Early Access releases. With development so fluid, anything is liable to change, and Team Halfbeard have many plans for their game. Full controller support is on the way, and while it is playable with a controller already, I’m looking forward to that. By and large, I found it enjoyable on the Steam Deck but most of my time has been on my aging laptop.

This won’t win any prizes for deep character development or anything too complex, as it is built from the ground up for a relaxing experience. Everything about Time to Morp sells that. While I find the zone management systems a little clunky (The requirements for a viable zone can be annoying to fulfil while building the zones around annoying trees, for example), I’m surprised how well Time to Morp grabs me. For those who want a relaxing, relatively stress-free colony sim, Time to Morp has plenty to offer in its current state.

A charming colony sim that adds automation and creature collectingEarly Access with many content changes/additions in the works
Cute graphics while being easy on performance makes the game easy to get intoFull controller support not implemented yet
Excellent UI and approaches its sandbox, relaxing gameplay with accessibility for allZone management can be a little confusing
A reasonable amount of polish and gameplay for the 20 USD price tag

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TheThousandScarAuthor/Blogger/Cartographer/Streamer/Narrative Game Writer/I play far too many games. |

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