We saw Metrico last year at Gamescom 2015, but then it was to be played on PS Vita. Now, Digital Dreams brought the mind-bending game to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game is a puzzle platformer that relies on infographics and all sorts of statistical values that are modified by various actions we do in the game. Things can get complicated quite fast.
Metrico+ follows no specific kind of story, although there is something quite abstract behind the chaos of statistics that try to keep us from moving forward. Our general goal though is just that, moving forward and passing through various puzzles by doing simple actions. Jumping, moving left, right, jumping up and moving left and… you get the point, basically anything we do, can affect the environment around us in different ways. It could move a platform or it could lower a column. The world is your puzzle oyster as they say (at least game developers do) and Metrico+ really takes advantage of that.
Simple controls allow for a very fast exploration of the game mechanics, meaning that there are only that many combinations of things you can try. However, do not take the game’s simplicity for a reason to think it would also be easy. The game excels at bending the player’s mind in all sorts of ways since it asks for a lot of out-of-the-box kind of thinking. I do not want to spoil it for you, but anything you do in the game can affect some sort of variable, meaning you need to explore and think hard before you are able to get past a puzzle.
The more we move forward in the game, the more abilities we unlock. I found it quite interesting though, that even the abilities that we unlock and are able to use from there on, are very simple as well, forcing us to think in new ways but also in combination with everything we knew from before. Personally, I found it quite exhilarating to be playing with a new ability in every new world I went to. It gave the game some freshness when you were just about to get tired with the older stuff. I do believe it has a lot more to offer, and despite the two full hours of puzzle gameplay that Metrico+ provided me, I feel there could have been more. There are a lot of hidden achievements, so maybe there’s more to it that I just didn’t quite get.
Despite the beautifully portrayed infographics in 3D space, the game boasts a very abstract background. With only a few colours being used every time, the player gets a perfect feel of how the game is going to play out for the next couple of hours from the very first levels. The music adds to that as well, but to be fair on this point, I personally found it quite tiring however good it may have sounded in the first 5 minutes. Thing is, you might get stuck on a puzzle for more than 5 minutes, so immediately any sort of sound that is meant to be catchy for the first few minutes will definitely become tiring after a while. Overall great atmosphere for a puzzle platformer.
There are of course a couple puzzles that just felt out of place compared to all the other ones. It felt as if the difficulty was suddenly raised significantly compared to what we were doing earlier and as a player I found myself stuck on a couple of those, disheartening me and making me feel like dropping the game. I felt as if that was a choking point for the players of the game since the patient ones will try to figure it out whereas the impatient ones will unfortunately just drop it and will never be able to explore the game beyond that point. It is quite early to be looking for a walkthrough to the game online so I figured I should just manage it all myself.
After 2 hours of fun puzzles, I made it to the end only to find there is no achievement. As I already mentioned, the game has a lot of hidden achievements but no open ones. So basically, if you finish the game, *spoiler alert* you do not get one. The game was overall quite easy for a seasoned puzzle gamer but that did not stop it from providing a relaxing gaming experience.
You can find the game for PC on Steam for the price of 13,99€. The game is also available on PS Vita, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Metrico+ provides a fun and mind-bending, yet a bit casual for seasoned players, puzzle platforming experience. It also has a very engaging environment with which the player can interact with by doing all sorts of things that are directly tied to the title’s gameplay. The music might not be the best at times, but still adds the touch that was missing to complete the atmospheric feeling that one needs when playing a puzzle platformer. Overall, an indie game that both fans of the genre and ones that are not will enjoy equally because of its nice gameplay flow.
+ Minimalistic environment style that ties well with the gameplay
+ Simple and easy to learn mechanics
+ Puzzles that require out of the box thinking
– Difficulty sometimes escalates unexpectedly
– Repetitive music can be tiring at times
-Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis