I cannot for the life of me imagine why someone wanted to make a store-brand take on No Man’s Sky. That game, if you recall, was kind of a disaster all around. Regardless, someone did, here it is, you can play it. Morphite mixes the space exploration formula up a bit by incorporating a story and mixing that in with the procedurally-generated planet-romping; we follow Myrah and Kitcat, a girl and her robofeline, as they search for the titular exotic material.
Space travel isn’t free, of course, so you’ll do the usual open-world exploration game stuff to fund your adventure and upgrade your gear. That means scanning creatures, mining minerals and discovering new items to help you get through obstacles. You can also trade with other ships, earning and spending Chunks, which are this game’s currency and definitely bear no resemblance to No Man’s Sky’s Units. No sirree bob. Remember, you’ve got a robot cat in this one. Definitely nothing like that in No Man’s Sky.
Explorable planets vary significantly in look and feel, though another way in which Morphite diverges from No Man’s Sky’s star charts is that there’s not really an attempt to simulate entire planets. You’ve got a limited play area with things to look at and do as opposed to an infinite play area that may or may not be interesting at all. That’s not to say that everything you find in Morphite is worth finding – far from it, in fact, and the main story planets are always more interesting in general – but you definitely seem to have better odds.
The low-poly look of Morphite does help distinguish it a bit more from its contemporaries. I’ll certainly admit to enjoying the psuedo-PS1-era style of retro graphics that’s becoming more popular these days as opposed to the pseudo-NES style that typified indie games for years. Sound and controls are fairly standard, so it’s a playable game that looks and sounds fine.
Really, if you consider that Morphite is also available for mobile devices it starts to make a little more sense; this is a way of scratching the starfaring itch for players who might not have the money or a device that can handle the usual suspects. Seen from that perspective, the game’s an entirely acceptable interstellar romp. It’s certainly easier on the wallet at $15 dollaroos or thereabouts, so if you’re interested in exploring the galaxy once again then Morphite might be your Death Star.