No words. No story. No directions. “Metrico+” is a sidescrolling puzzle game with an abstract art style that will test players’ creative problem solving and ability to resist smashing the controller in frustration.
Available today on Xbox One, Dutch developer Digital Dreams created “Metrico” for the PlayStation Vita in 2014 and released “Metrico+” — an updated version for PC and Playstation 4 — on August 23, 2016.
I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I found this game extremely difficult. Roughly 2/3 of the way through the game’s six worlds, I had to resort to following a video walkthrough on YouTube in order to finish all the puzzles. The sharp spike in difficulty is not necessarily a bad thing, but for players with little patience it can be a trying experience. For those looking for a serious mental challenge, sticking with this title until the end will likely be rewarding.
Nothing is explained throughout the game aside from a button prompt at the outset of each world to alert players to newly unlocked abilities.
The six game worlds of “Metrico+” respond to movement and actions, and it’s up to the player to figure out the rules of each world and its puzzles. The two-step process to solving the puzzles in this game adds a layer of depth that other puzzle games lack. The first layer involves working out just how a particular puzzle is tracking the player. Players then use this knowledge to solve the puzzle. The result is an often-complex mixture of platforming, perception, careful timing, and puzzle solving that sets the game apart from its peers.
Each world introduces a new gameplay mechanic, such as wiping puzzles to their initial state with the Y button or warping to respawn gates within a puzzle using the B button. But every action players can take plays into the puzzles in some way. Walking, jumping, respawning and even dying are keys to many solutions throughout the game.
After each world is complete, the player’s character has one of his (or her, depending on whether you choose a male or female avatar at the start of the game) limbs transformed into a robotic one. I won’t spoil what little narrative the game provides, but after all is said and done players are free to replay any puzzles at their leisure.
There is some replayability built into the game, as many of the puzzles throughout the six worlds have specific solutions that unlock a collectible. It’s a sort of New Game Plus for players who are looking for more challenges after completing all of the puzzles in the game.
At $13.99 USD, “Metrico+” is a fair deal for players who are seeking a creative, challenging puzzle game that is unlike anything they’ve played before. If you’re like me and are lacking in patience, the first 1/3 of the game is pretty fun, but after that becomes too difficult. Whether you appreciate the difficulty or not, the game is well made, free of any technical flaws as far as I could tell, and certainly a one-of-a-kind puzzle experience.