It can be difficult to know what to expect from a video game at times. Even after I read the description, looked at the pictures, and watched the trailer for Metrico+, I wasn’t completely sure what I was getting myself into. I mean it was clear I would be dealing with a puzzle platformer that may or may not be difficult to figure out. What I was unsure of was why I would be going through the world or what kind of impact my playing would have on the world around me. Sure, if I jump a bar in a bar graph my grow or shrink when I leave the ground or eventually land on the ground, but why was I worried about getting past the bar graph in the first place?
Some games can get away without a solid or obvious narrative to tie all the levels together. For example, the game Clustertruck uses its quick levels, various power ups, and fast paced gameplay to keep players interested in getting to the end of each level. In Metrico+’s case however, the lack of any clear story, slow gameplay, and often confusing prompts made it difficult for me to find any reason to power through when I got stuck. Granted I didn’t completely beat the game, but I did clear most of the worlds and found myself just as confused when I sat down to write this as I was when I loaded up the game for the first time. Maybe there is some wild twist or reveal at the end that makes it all worth it, but I won’t be figuring that out anytime soon.
Normally if a game is lacking in one element, other pieces of said game are interesting enough to keep players engaged. A lot of time, I can simply look to the art or music of a game and find myself lost in the details and intricacies of it all. Unfortunately Metrico+ is compromised mostly of straight lines, geometric shapes, and graphs all covered in drab colors. None of this stays interesting for very long and I found myself looking to the background for anything to attach to. I would enjoy when the world did change, but I often got settled in far too quick and was usually just waiting for it to change again. This goes double for the music as it feels like it repeats far too quickly. I tried to listen in and dissect it further, but it simply didn’t interest me as much as the gameplay and I never bothered to stop and listen too closely.
At this point, it may seem like I just despise this game, but that is simply not the case. My main draw to Metrico+ was the gameplay and I will be the first to admit that it is something special. Having the very level move and contort to match your movements is an interesting concept that I never quite got the hang of thinking multiple steps ahead like I needed to in some instances. Beyond simply walking and jumping, players will gain abilities like shooting and will have level sections that don’t fit into any normal classification. One such section simply has the player connect platforms with a line in order to go from point A to point B. It wasn’t a difficult section, but it did help to break up the many jumping puzzles the game has to offer.
Luckily for Metrico+, the developers behind the game kept the controls simple and allowed of all skill levels to try to take on all the challenges the game has to offer. No matter how many times I say it, having easy to learn controls in a complex game is an absolute necessity. By keeping the complexities of the game in the levels and how they react to the player allows players to focus on that instead of whether or not they are about to press the wrong button. Combine this with the game’s emphasis on requiring thought and not reflex based skill and you’ve got a game I can sink my teeth into.
If there is some sort of deeper plot to Metrico+, I do hope to see it some day. But as it stands now, the game simply seems like it wants to be taken as some deep and thoughtful game without offering anything profound (outside of the levels themselves) to think about. Even if Metrico+ may not be the most artistically beautiful game out there, it is the game’s level design and puzzles that make it worth playing. All of this is tied up in an easy to learn control scheme that will help the player to tackle the game’s brain bending puzzles. Simply put, Metrico+ is a boring-looking, interesting-to-play puzzle game.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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