So I understand that Metrico was a bit of a cult hit on the PS Vita back in 2014. Having never played it but heard the buzz it seems only fitting to have a tinker on the PC version – the shiny new Metrico+. It’s a puzzle game based on mathematical graphs and charts. I liked maths at school, but someone said that this could be a fun idea for a game. In my opinion they’ve nailed the arty-farty weirdness that would be right at home in a Kraftwerk music video, but the gameplay feels a tad empty to me. Allow me to extrapolate.
So Dutch developers: Digital Dreams reckon Metrico+ is a “game about infographics”. I can’t help but wonder who decided there was a gap in the gaming market for a title about line graphs and pie charts, but here is Metrico+ sat in front of us. The idea of the game is to progress through each level, completing various side-scrolling puzzles in order to conquer the conundrum.
Run, jump and shoot your way through 6 different worlds, each more mathematical than the last. Every action your little stick man takes has an impact on how the puzzle will react. It could be that running forwards will make an unreachable platform descend to your level, or that a pesky pie chart will roll out of your way. That is all there is to the mechanics really, which is why Metrico+ struggled to keep my attention somewhat. As you might expect the puzzles become progressively harder and a whole load trippier…
The graphical style of Metrico+ is pretty cool. Everything is cohesive and seems to mould together with liquid effort. That said the aesthetics of the game also make for quite a cold, hard world where the player is left caring very little for the fate of their animate stickman. One of my main gripes is the fact that there seems to be no consequence to diving down a bottomless pit, other than the magical reappearance of said stickman at the edge of the hole. Ultimately this takes away the element of risk-taking and therefore for me it kind of destroyed the excitement of playing Metrico+.
Metrico+ is different and that’s a huge tick in an even bigger box for me. So many games out there are following a formula which we as gamers are responsible for responding to. Metrico+ has successfully challenged this rinse and repeat mentality by providing an abstract and interesting new presentation of puzzle platformers. This is this kind of game development that is saving us from spiralling into a world of half-finished £50 titles. My kind of game has to make me salty for full time-wasteage; your Rainbow Six and Fifas for example. Metrico+ just isn’t that kind of game. It is ambient and relaxing. It even feels melancholy to the point of being beautiful at times.
If you’re the kind of gamer who likes to shout and swear at the screen, whilst bashing out obscene messages to your foes, this one probably won’t push your buttons. If you like to chill out and play a few free-flowing puzzles without feeling the pressure however, give Metrico+ a go! It’s only £10.59 on Steam.
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