We’ve all been there, a game angers or frustrates you to the point of throwing a controller across the room. Some games are primed to do just this such as Trials or Super Meat Boy. While Metrico teeters very close to this point, the anger is more directed at you for not been able to see the solution that is right in front of you.
Metrico is a combination of platform and puzzle, which also includes a little bit of maths. Well, sort of. The feel of the game is very mathematical. You are given angles and percentages to help you work your way through the puzzles. At the start of the game it looks as if these elements are there for purely aesthetic reasons. Later on however these become more and more necessary in helping you to solve the puzzles.
The aim of the game is to work your way through several different worlds solving puzzles to open the next stage of each level. The puzzles involve the blocks and steps moving up and down as you move. This means that the solution to some of the puzzles is merely in the way that you move. For example, a platform might raise up each time you walk your small silhouetted character towards it meaning that you won’t be able to jump up on it by the time you get there. The platform may not raise up however if you are jumping so you simply have to jump there. This however isn’t always as apparent as it may seem.
As you work your way through the worlds you are given new abilities to help you solve puzzles. For example, you may be able to manipulate a few objects on the level and then a simple press of the ‘B’ button will reset you back to a previous point, giving you a new perspective on the level. These abilities help in some part to liven up what can be quite dull and repetitive gameplay.
The worlds themselves all have different styles – all of which are based around geometric shapes so expect to see a lot of cones, pyramids and cylinders. The colours vary but are all in a monotone style giving a calming feeling, almost like a stereotype of a yoga studio. In a direct contrast to this are the almost psychedelic flashes of colour that fill the screen when you complete a world. The soothing feel that Metrico has is enhanced even more by the low, somehow happy music that plays in the background. It is the kind of music that comes from a child’s wind up music box, albeit with a little less intensity.
At the start of the game, the puzzles are fairly easy making you think that this is going to be a walk in the park, however you’ll soon come to realise that that feeling doesn’t last for long. You’ll soon be staring at the screen trying to work out what on earth you have to do. The frustration is very real when you get inches from completing a level and then you realise that you have actually boxed yourself into the corner. The exhilaration you feel when you finally solve a puzzle is incredible and is probably the most enjoyable thing about the game.
As you become more and more frustrated, the calming music and lovely backgrounds start to grate on you with their repetitiveness. Nothing this nice looking should make you feel this way. Repetitiveness is the key word here though. This game starts out as a nice novelty but soon becomes a dull grind as the puzzles even start to look all too familiar. There may even be some kind of story or metaphor hidden in there but if it is, it’s almost impossible to find.
Metrico is a cute looking platformer that has some novel ideas but they’re not really enough to keep you engaged for long. A true lover of either the platform or puzzle game genres may find something special here but for everybody else, you might want to look elsewhere first.
Metrico+ is available to purchase and download from the Xbox store, priced at £11.19.
Metrico is a cute little platformer that will quickly infuriate you. This is a great game for the purists of the platform and puzzle game genres. Anyone else should probably look elsewhere.