Infographics! boring when it comes to business presentations, mildly more interesting when used to visually show stats such as what percentage of goals were scored by a sportsman from certain areas, with which foot and in which minute of the game. But did you know they can also be the base for a puzzle platforming game? Well the team at Digital Dreams hope you will find the concept an exciting one.
In the most part they do, as Metrico is a a tough and challenging game that will test out your logical thinking. The concept is that you need to complete levels by navigating the world of ever changing infographics, where each action you take has a reaction of the world around you.
Early on, the game is fairly simple to get to grips with, with basic puzzles that are easy enough to work out and overcome. Doing things such as jumping will raise a graphic for you to walk underneath and on to the next. Others will teach you about timing, so doing that same jump to raise a graphic, will then need you to work out how high, as it will begin to fall with every step you take.
The structure of the levels works really well, each time requiring you to use the various tricks you have learned previously to overcome the next obstacles. That simplicity is soon a thing of the past though, as new techniques make themselves known and each upcoming obstacle requires a more convoluted solution to get past.
For the most part these are fine, as they use a combination of button presses and moves, but then the game introduces some move sets that take advantage of the Vita’s various abilities, such as using the front screen and rear touch pad. Again these are fine and make sense within the game, but it is when the game introduces the need to tilt and twist the Vita to affect parts of the level that a degree of frustration appears.
Now whilst the scenarios themselves during these parts may not be the most difficult, the need to at times turn the Vita upside down and away from yourself just feels like it is adding a degree of difficulty that is beyond what seems fair. Many of the other scenarios are difficult, the solutions aren’t sign posted and they do require you to take your time to work out how best to get through and that is perfectly acceptable, but the gyroscope based puzzles seem to push things a little too far.
However, the gyroscope technique isn’t the main focus of the game and later on it doesn’t feel like you are having to do over the top moves with the Vita to use them. These issues mainly seem to be in one main area when they are first introduced.
What Metrico does well and we applaud the developers for this, is it doesn’t ever try to hold your hand, it revels in its challenge and apart from some basic cues to introduce a new mechanic, it leaves everything up to your own skill levels and power of deduction. This does involve a fair amount of trial and error, due mainly to the fact that you are never aware of how your actions affect the world at any one point until you try them.
Thankfully though, you don’t seem to be punished for mistake and simply start again from your last checkpoint. Checkpoints that a logically placed at the start of each new scenario.
Visually Metrico is very impressive looking, using the inforgraphics to create a world that feels alive, whether that be the main areas that you interact with directly, of the subtle animations in the background. Despite using very similar assets all over the game, each new world has a very different feel and that mixed with some very good sound design makes for a very immersive experience which is only amplified when played with some headphones in.
Metrico isn’t a game that sells itself based on a trailer, but once you get into the game and play it for yourself, it will hook you and reel you in. It is a fantastic exclusive for the Vita and one that every owner should definitely try out for themselves.