We often don’t think about math in our daily lives. “What’s two plus two,” “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop,” fine, but unless you’re an engineer or programmer, you often don’t think of the world in terms of variables and graphs. Metrico+ (not to be confused with Metrico, the previous game, made for the PlayStation Vita), a game by Digital Dreams V.O.F., does operate on that level. Number-crunchers rejoice – this puzzle-platformer puts knowledge of variables to good use.
Metrico+ is an input-driven game in a world of infographics. All the bar charts, line diagrams and pie charts react to what you are doing. Metrico+ is a combination of exploration, skill, experimentation, but most of all: thinking outside of the box.
Metrico is a new world. A living world of infographics, driven by your input. All the bar charts, line diagrams and pie charts react to what the player is doing. One bar diagram might grow for every step you walk to the left, while another could decline with every jump you make.
A New Perspective
You will have to explore Metrico and carefully analyze your every move to see how it affects the world, and whether it will get you further. This mechanic is called “Input Morphing” and it makes you think about actions you normally don’t think about.
There are 6 unique worlds to explore with distinct challenges, mechanics, looks, sounds, and original music by Palmbomen.
Metrico+ is a combination of exploration, skill, experimentation, but most of all: thinking outside of the box.
Welcome to Metrico. We hope you have what it takes.
Metrico+ looks and sounds wonderfully. The music is atmospheric, there are only a few sound hiccups, and the graphics are simplistic, but pop out enough and follow a distinct enough art style that infographics lovers will be in heaven after a few minutes of playing the game. True, it won’t have the stunning graphics of a AAA studio, but that’s not the point – Metrico+ never needs to communicate anything other than “massive triangle in the background” or “big rectangle in your way.”
The game never holds your hand to guide you through puzzles, but it does have a nice difficulty curve. The beginning puzzles are appropriately simple, and the endgame puzzles appropriately head-scratching. Already this puts the game above most puzzle-platformers, which move too quickly into fourth-wall-breaking obtuse puzzles, which may or may not work due to finicky controls. Gameplay is simple, and solutions often intuitive given some thought, so the chance of players getting stuck is minimal.
In many challenges, there are hidden collectibles which show up only when certain bars or squares are aligned at a proper percentage – usually a percentage that means you can’t complete the puzzle without resetting, but the game recognizes what you’ve picked up. These additional challenges provide a good amount of replay value and challenge for those looking for more once the game is complete.
With only six worlds, Metrico+ isn’t a particularly long game, and those not looking to get all the hidden collectibles can move through in about four hours, more if they know what they’re doing (which I do not.) There are also a few glitches here and there – once I crashed a few seconds after starting the game. None of the glitches will set a player back very far, but it’s still frustrating.
While on the whole the controls work fine, world three introduces the ability to aim shots of light at various targets. Those who play on a controller will find aiming (with the right analog stick) a frustrating experience, with precise shots becoming near impossible. Using a computer mouse is generally a much better option, but it’s still frustrating to those who otherwise rely on controllers for gameplay.
On the whole this would be fine, except that sometimes your character won’t even aim in the direction they’re looking. Instead, they turn in place multiple times, and when endgame levels require quick and precise shots, this causes unnecessary frustration and resets. Checkpoints are frequent, and puzzles usually don’t take very long for those who know what they’re doing, but it’s still quite possible to get stuck and end up cursing the cruel gods of geometry, who merely look on indifferently as you offer your body, mind, and soul to them in the hopes they can save you.
Despite puzzles that frustrate because of odd aiming mechanics, Metrico+ is a solid game that does what it sets out to – provide an interesting world of infographics that makes the player really think about how to get past that one last door. At only six worlds, the price tag might be a little high for some people, but it’s well worth a look, at the very least. It’s simple to pick up and play, and has an interesting design that it just might be worth your time.
Metrico+ is available on Steam and Playstation 4 for $13.99, with an Xbox One release to follow. A key was provided by the developer for purposes of this review.