Do you take the Cyanide pill, or the Arsenic pill?

Morpheus is not a terrible game by any stretch of the imagination; it’s just derivative. The three-disc hybrid adventure starts out by putting the player, in the role of an arctic explorer, on the deck of a deserted cruise ship locked in by ice floes. The first act is a combination of Titanic: Adventure Out of Time, and that old stalwart Myst. Explore the vessel at length, turning on power and learning about the passengers who have vanished.

5The no-pressure, nobody-to-interact-with, puzzle-heavy environment will seem familiar to anybody who has ever chanced upon Myst Island. And the lavishly-carpeted halls, oak-paneled staterooms and glimmering chandeliers will doubtless elicit comparison to Adventure Out of Time, which did much the same thing but with more flair. The second act takes an odd turn towards Lovecraft-inspired silliness, as we learn that a mad scientist on board was experimenting with the passengers and opening a passage to a dream-realm.

It is all respectably executed, if not anywhere near inspired, and fans of the genre will find at least a few hours of comfortably familiar distraction. The game has an affinity for number puzzles, although they are not usually presented so straightforwardly. To figure out the three-digit key for a stateroom’s locked door, for example, it’s a good idea to uncover information about the stateroom’s resident, isolate any numbers from said information, then figure out what should be added, subtracted, or multiplied to hit on the code.

As it stands, Morpheus is worthy of your gaming time only if you’re a rabid fan of the genre. Visually the game looks dated, surpassed by the sharp quality of competing Myst clone Riven. The gameplay isn’t terrible, nor terribly memorable, and the acting won’t win any awards.

System Requirements: Pentium 75 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Windows 95

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