August 05, 2014

Metrico Review For PS Vita

Digital Dreams develops a Vita exclusive puzzle platformer, and the results are incredible. 

A lot of titles for the Vita are ports. So when I hear that a game is being built exclusively for the Vita, I hope that it is going to take advantage of the unique controls. Happily, Digital Dreams has accessed every tilt, touch, and turn of the Vita controller in Metrico to create a great experience.



First off, what the heck is a "Metrico?" Well, it's the old cliche, "You have to see it to believe it." Sorry. I'll include some game images and a playtest that the official us blog did to help out. But the game is at its core a 2D platformer with a puzzle element. You won't be avoiding goombas or collecting rings, you'll be making your way through an odd yet beautiful environment that looks like it came out of the dreams of a Powerpoint specialist. 



Images are "infographics..." graphs and charts, growth lines, and percentages. What look like mountains in the background are expanding pyramidal growths. It may sound mechanical and unpleasant like the graphing functions in Excel, but the way the game is put together is smooth and enjoyable. And the soundtrack is what mellows it all out further. Check out work from Dutch composer, Palmoben to get a feel for the synth groove. 

Not sure what this means, but I think I'm being judged. 

At some points of the game, I got a definite Sound Shapes vibe... partially through the graphics and musical interaction with the environment. The graphics and the sounds blend wonderfully. 

Varied environments... simple yet elegant. 

What about the difficulty? Each world introduces a new technique to use in your explorations. Initially you are just jumping to see how the world interacts. Then you start tapping the touchscreen to activate a projectile that can hit panels/images to trigger. Tilting the Vita, too, will shift the platforms around for you to jump on. After the intro to these "powers," you get an initial level that is a test to see if you get it, and then the puzzles get intense after that. Sometimes combining techniques you learned earlier. 



Some puzzles had me scratching my head so much I had to wait a while and come back only to try something fresh and "outside the box" and be mentally rewarded with the success! Sometimes it is finding the right combination and placement of your character that gets you ahead, and it is quite a rewarding experience that way. Don't worry, you can keep resetting each level as you make mistakes that can't be turned back and then redo it with the correct sequence in place to proceed. 

This puzzle had me going for a LONG time

So why won't you pick this game up? PS+ members? There is no need to skip this gem, it is free for you on the Store when it updates on the 5th. Everyone else? If you like puzzle games, platformers, a smooth sountrack, then you will totally enjoy Metrico. 

Verdict: 
8.5/10 Great!

A Playstation Vita exclusive gem. High quality simple yet elegant visuals, devious yet rewarding puzzles, and a soundtrack that blends it all into a beautiful package. Not to be missed!

Here is the "hands on" from the US PS Blog for a taste. 


Let us know what looks most intriguing to you about this game. Are you going to pick it up? 






 
                     
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