MorphShift Wars – Preview
Follow Genre: Dogfighting, Sci-Fi, Action
Developer: Axe Eel Games
Publisher: Axe Eel Games
Platform: PC

MorphShift Wars – Preview

Good: Looks promising, great environments, lots of options for you to build ships
Bad: Generally needs a lot of fine-tuning, assets lack some detail, some single player missions are particularly frustrating
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(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

MorphShift Wars is the title of an indie game currently in development by Axe Eel Games. It strives to combine the best elements of sci-fi games and aerial dogfighting while adding some interesting gameplay elements to that. Let’s take a look at this indie-title by a one-man studio.


You probably haven’t heard about this game yet. It has also just popped up on Steam Early Access and hasn’t received a lot of publicity. In that sense, it’s a true Indie title. The developer’s goal is to create “good old games as we miss these days”. The UI will directly catapult you into that retro feeling. Available choices in the main menu are Mercenary Missions, Arena Match, Join Arena, Hub and then the obvious other ones.


Mercenary Missions is basically the single player portion of MorphShift, currently 10 missions are available. In them you’ll be doing the things you’d expect to do in an aerial dogfighting game but there’s a twist. The aircraft which you fly is also submersible which creates some interesting options during fights but also adds variety to the missions. In the second mission for example you’re tasked to retrieve information from a crashed ship. To retrieve it, you have to dive and explore a cave system where you’ll meet some nasty creatures. It’s that sort of variety that makes this title interesting. Holding it back currently are bugs within the missions themselves which mostly are small yet annoying. A certain problem was a particularly annoying one: an invisible wall, causing me to crash my ship multiple times and making me restart the mission all over again.

There’s also a multiplayer aspect to the game in the form of arena matches. Here’ll you’ll be able to dogfight a combination of other people and bots (up to 32) on a variety of maps. The AI is hit or miss at this stage, within the Mercenary Missions opponents were challenging at times but in Arena Matches bots sometimes ignored me completely. To fight, you of course need something to control. That’s where the Hub comes in. It’s basically a hangar in which you can spend currency, earned through missions and fighting, to buy a variety of items. First you can select a hull on which you are able to attach two weapons, wings and a tail section. There’s a nice selection of items already in the game which allows you to come forward with some pretty cool or very strange designs. Each item has an effect on the way you’ll play. While weapons include shotguns and high-powered laser guns, tail and wing pieces increase energy regenerations, shields and speed. There are also skins to apply to your ship.


The actual gameplay is intuitive. The expected keys do the expected things so you’ll quickly be flying around. Interesting here is the way gravity works, it’s there but lower than you’d expect. This causes for some interesting physics whilst flying. Going underwater, things get mixed up even more. Firing guns will be slower and it’s easier to avoid missiles. Besides the normal controls for flying, you can boost, use a shield and of course fire your weapons. They all take up energy which is regenerated over time (can be speeded up using certain parts). Needed though is an overhauled HUD, now it’s too intrusive and takes up too much screen real estate. The map doesn’t work particularly well either, finding your way can be a hassle due to the fact that you can move in all directions but the map is 2D. When underwater for example, you have no clue what way is up.

Graphics-wise MorphShift looks surprisingly good. Not in a next-gen high-polygon kind of way but in its own unique style. The game’s assets like the player ships or the ones used during missions do need some more details but the environments look great. Also the effect when diving underwater is stunning with altered effects on gunfire and missiles. You’ll also need your ship’s light to light up the depths of the ocean which creates a beautiful effect.



MorphShift Wars as it stands right now is a rough diamond. It has potential to really stand out from other games but it’s going to need additional development (the game is of course still in early access). The following update is promised to include graphical improvement and an overhauled UI. I really hope to see some more story elements and background information added in the future as well in addition to more streamlined single player missions. Looking at the different message boards and replies from the developer himself though, I think the passion is obvious and MorphShift Wars has a bright future ahead of itself.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
MorphShift Wars - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

I'm currently studying software-development. My main hobbies are gaming (software/hardware) and music (jazz saxophone player). I game primarily on PC (and also love building them) but also play on PS3, iOS and Android.

1 Comment

  1. […] AX:EL, an Early Access title currently in development by the one man micro development studio Axe Eel Games, has received a major update. Many will be familiar with the ship that is part of the logo but will not remember the title AX:EL. This is because AX:EL was formally known as MorphShift Wars, a game we’ve already previewed here. […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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