Metrico PS Vita Review

proof thAt you cAn take the most boring thing in the world and create a great game around it.
If you were to put a bunch of game developers in a room and tell them to come up with the most boring concept to base a game around, chances are they’d pick infographics. Bar graphs, pie charts and histograms would probably find themselves at the bottom in a list of the most entertaining things in the world, and yet developer Digital Dreams has built its new game, Metrico, entirely around everyone’s worst office presentation nightmare. What’s even more strange though, is that it’s more fun than I could ever have imagined.

Metrico is a puzzle platformer for the PlayStation Vita and as with all the great games in this genre, it starts out simple and keeps you hooked by adding more gameplay layers as you play along. It’s the latest in a recent trend of games that start you off with no tutorials or instructions whatsoever. You begin by selecting a nondescript male or female silhouette as your character, following which the game plonks you onto a blank canvas. The only help the game ever gives you is when it tells you to press a button. What it does or how it ties into gameplay is entirely for you to figure out.

All you can really do early on is run and jump, and that’s where the infographics come into play. The graphs are themselves the levels of Metrico. Moving in a certain manner, speed or direction will generate graphs, and their size and shape is purely determined by your movement. In that sense, Metrico is as much about discovery as it is about puzzle-solving or platforming. Where most
platformers give you a level and the challenge comes from making your way across it, here, generating the level is often part of the challenge.

Also unlike other platformers, in Metrico, you’re as much a part of the level as all those graphs and charts. Every object in the level is tied to you and your Movements. A door that you thought would lead to the end of the level is suddenly blocked off because you walked towards it, forcing you to think of another way to get there. Metrico’s genius lies in how it makes your every move feel so powerful, at yet so obstructive. Movement is both, the problem and the solution.
As levels get more complex, the game introduces new gameplay elements, from checkpoints that you can go back to if you mess up, to the ability to shoot at objects (using the Vita’s rear trackpad to aim). However, the game never feels difficult or frustrating, and the 2D pastel-coloured art style and the soothing ambient music must get much of the credit for this. Don’t get me wrong; Metrico isn’t perfect. The puzzles require trial and error, and the mid-level loading leads to a fair amount of
stuttering, but that’s a small price to pay for what is a clever and truly unique puzzle-platformer.

RATING: 8 /10

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