Friday, October 17, 2014

Metrico: not an infographic

Metrico is a puzzle platform game.  Your actions - jumping, throwing, falling - make different parts of the world move, such as bars and lines that sort of resemble graphs.  This bars and lines often have percentages or fractions attached to them.  The trick for each puzzle is working out how to manipulate the moving parts in just the right way to let you get to the other side of the world - for example, you may need to land on a certain pad to make a bar move out of the way, but the action of jumping causes another bar to fall across the exit.

It's a very stylised game, and many compare to to an infographic.  This is reinforced by the official Twitter account publishing various statistics and links to interesting information.  The thing is, it's not.

Each of the six worlds I've uncovered so far has a new gameplay mechanic.  At first, you could only move left and right and jump.  After that came the ability to throw (using the triggers or front touch screen), then the ability to aim using the back touch pad.  The worlds are visually quite striking, and many move away from the flat-colour approach making this even less like an infograph.

Some of the puzzles have caused me to pause for a while, but none have been impossible.  There are a couple I've encountered so far where even after working out the methodology, it's been difficult to implement, which has annoyed me a bit.

But that hasn't annoyed me as the shoehorning of the Vita's motion controls and camera.  Hooray, another potable game I can't play on the train.  Throughout World 4 you have to rotate the Vita in different directions to move the bars, and it's taken me a week to get around to doing these levels because it's not practical to do them during my commute - you know, the time I actually play portable games.

And then you get to World 6, which I've worked out needs you to hold the Vita camera up to a specific colour and hold the button down.  Strangely I don't carry red, green and blue bulbs with me on the train.

It's a shame, since it's a clever game and has made me think a few times about how to progress.  Maybe I'll get around to completing it one evening.

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