Metrico+ is an elegant puzzle-platformer that focuses on “input morphing” to pass each puzzle. Using pie charts, bar graphs and other infographics, each move the player makes impacts the environment. Sometimes these actions can alter more than one object, forcing the player to have to think carefully about each movement. The flow and progression between each puzzle and each world is smooth, well executed and centers around discovering the actions to take.
The game begins by throwing you into the world with no instructions, just a blank white screen. As you begin to move and press different buttons to figure out what to do, shapes appear. Pie charts that fill in when you jump and bar graphs that lower as you move left or right are among the first you see but these same elements stick around throughout the game. As you figure out and move on from each puzzle, progression is tracked by a timeline at the bottom. When one world is completed, you open one or two doors that each lead to the next world. It doesn’t matter which door you choose, as you will enter each world in a specific order until you reach the end.
Here’s what I liked:
Puzzle diversity — Over the course of every puzzle and new area, there are seemingly hundreds of different obstacles to overcome. In reality, many of the same challenges repeat. It so successfully integrated, however, that it does not detract from the experience. Moving left and right, jumping and shooting projectiles are just some of the actions used to change the landscape and progress through the game. Each action affects each puzzle differently. Because of this, I never came close to feeling like I was playing the same puzzle. This is even further substantiated by the continually transforming environment.
Beautiful environment — Not only does every action move the pieces to each puzzle, these actions reshape the background. They cause pyramids to grow, bars to rise and shapes to move or rotate. Each of the six worlds introduces a new design and color scheme. There’s one that is black and white, one that consists of mostly reds and purples and even one that is reminiscent of a dark room with a blacklight. The variety of designs, the puzzle diversity and flow of game progression work in unison to create six unique worlds.
Discovery — From the very beginning of Metrico+, discovery is the central theme. With each new world, a new ability becomes available. It’s up to you to discover which button it is and what it does. After that, as you continue to progress through the game, you must use each new ability combined with the abilities you have already learned and skillful timing to conquer each world. Contributing to the discovery theme, there are several collectibles in each world that unlock when you line objects up in specific spots shown by white dotted outlines. The collectible appears when all necessary objects are properly aligned, then you resume your focus on solving the puzzle in order to move on.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Quick to beat — The puzzles are definitely challenging and there are several collectibles and achievements to unlock, but the entire main game can realistically be completed in under three hours. Metrico+ is incredibly addictive, which can be a great quality, but does not have enough replayability to back it up. The collectibles and achievements add only a few more hours. I enjoyed nearly every aspect of this game, I just wish there was more to keep the experience going. If you don’t pace the time you spend with this game, it will be a short-lived run.
Metrico+ is a delightfully challenging game that sometimes requires out-of-the-box thinking. You don’t need to be a creative person to enjoy this game or even succeed, but it is not straightforward in providing directions or explanations. It is all about discovery: discovering what abilities you have, discovering how each puzzle reacts to your actions and discovering how to unlock every achievement – they are all “Secret Achievements.” The intricacy of the interactions between the player and the environment provides a refreshing experience that focuses on patience and coordination. Even though it may be over before you know it, this game is worth your time.
Score: Highly Recommended
Metrico+ was developed and published by Digital Dreams on Xbox One. It released on January 20, 2017 for $13.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.