Developer: Kerim Kumbasar
Publisher: Kerim Kumbasar
Release Date: October 26th, 2015
Available On: PC
Genre: Horror, Adventure
I’m not entirely sure where to begin with Morphine. A one-man project about the subject of bullying, Morphine has a lot to deal with. Is this game worth getting addicted to, or should you quit before injection?
Morphine puts you in the shoes of a high school senior named Peter, who sees himself constantly getting bullied by another student named Ted. Or it may be Ted getting bulled by Peter: halfway through the game their names switch for seemingly no reason. Peter (or Ted) is currently being stalked by a mysterious rabbit, and reliving parts of his memories. They form the story of his life, and how he has always been bullied and how it leads him to his current situation. The problem is that the story is extremely comical for all the wrong reasons. For starters Peter is so comically over-bullied that it’s not even believable. Ted punches him in the middle of a cafeteria while the lunch lady calls him a loser, and no one cares. His dad locks him in the barn for getting a B on a test, while his mom writes about how much she hates her son and wishes he was never born. The level of hate Peter endures is well beyond any realistic level.
Even worse is the writer’s severely limited grasp of English. Since there is no voice acting everything is communicated with text. The game drastically needed an editor to go through it. At one point Peter complains about having to stay in the “dark and moisty barn.” Another saw him reacting to a door with “It door.” This is assuming the game even uses the right word, at one point I had to “use the fork to deploy hay” to find a key. All of the grammatical errors, spelling errors, and incorrect word usage really destroy any serious tone the game may have had. There’s also some flat out bizarre things in the game. A poster that proudly advertises’ the school’s “Rich Club” is particularly hilarious. Their slogan of “the poors can not join!” is going to quickly become an inside joke.
For the most part Morphine’s gameplay is just going around and experiencing Peter’s life with some light adventure elements thrown in. None of the challenges really amount to anything more than looking at everything in the room until you find what the game wants you to interact with though. Often you can’t even interact with something until you interacted with something else first. One game segment saw me trapped in a barn. Before I could pick up the tools to help me escape, I first had to interact with the lock on the door to confirm that I was indeed locked in. Shortly after I couldn’t start searching for a key until I first interacted with another lock (that I could clearly see without having to interact with). A lot of this comes off as nothing more than wasting time. There’s occasional lockpicking too, which is just the basic “rotate the lockpick right and left until you hit the right spot.” Sometimes the lockpick will break and Peter will pull out a new one with no consequence. There’s also sometimes jump scares (because loud noises are scary) but nothing will attack or try to kill Peter. They seem to serve no purpose other than to sneak the game onto the “horror” section of Steam.
Clocking in between 90 – 120 minutes, by the end of Morphine I was convinced I had played a comedy rather than a drama. The story is so poorly told that I almost feel bad when an ending message from the creator mentioned bullying and all I could think of was how bad the game I just played was. Morphine is a disaster, and it’s time to get off this drug.