Infographics are everywhere. The calm, cheerily pastel bar charts and pie graphs festoon our blog posts and our social media feeds. We read them, have a thought, and they slip away. But what happens to the silhouettes in those infographics. Metrico+ has an answer that’s witty while being a tough game.
Metrico+ (PS4 And PC, Xbox One Coming Soon)
Digital Dreams, the dev team, commits completely to the silly conceit that this video game is taking place in an infographic. Everything, from the pastel color scheme to the crisp data figures, is straight from one. It’s chuckle-inducing, but it has the advantage of also being clear, crisp, and easy to read. It even manages to fit a story in there without using language, although just what’s going on is something we won’t spoil. The same sadly cannot be said for the music, which is repetitive, jangly, and generally unnecessary.
The witty part of this enterprise quickly becomes clear as you play. The infographics you’re running and jumping through are measuring you, the player. Everything around you, from moving platforms to rising and sinking columns, tracks something you’re doing on the screen. While other games have dabbled in this idea before, Metrico+ makes it the central conceit, and pushes it much further than you might expect.
Don’t let the cheery pastels and elevator music fool you: Metrico+ is hiding a real challenge in its witty wrapper. The puzzles are generally pretty intuitive and once you crack what each metric is tracking, they’re pretty easy to solve and get across, but this game has some pretty tough levels contained in its six areas, and pulling off the solution isn’t always as easy as it looks. Generally the idea is to limit movement or to think outside the traditional gaming box; for example, restarting the puzzle might be part of the solution. It’s a welcome riff in the puzzle platform world, which has a lot of entrants lately. Helping matters is that you’re free of the gimmicky controls of the original Vita game, making this a bit more playable.
Puzzle platformer fans will probably blow through this game in a couple of hours. It’s a lot of fun while it lasts, but there are only five worlds and each only have a handful of puzzles. Still, the puzzles are well curated, which matters more in the long run.
Perhaps more puzzles might arrive, but so far there’s no DLC, and at a price of $14, it’s a pretty fun time. That said, Vita owners who played the original game might not find much more here for them.
Game with witty conceits too often rely on those conceits to carry it, but Metrico+ is carefully thought out and uses its infographic idea for a creative, entertaining jumping off point. It probably won’t be the most intense game you play this year, but you might be surprised at how often it can stump you.
Verdict: Worth A Chance
This review was conducted with a PS4 copy provided by the publisher.