It’s a puzzling time this week on PSN, in the best sense of the word. Digital Dreams’ console debut Metrico joins Facepalm’s The Swapper in the new releases department this Tuesday and Wednesday, depending on which time zone you’re gaming in. Either way, your conundrum deciphering quota is in healthy supply. We’ve already given our thoughts on The Swapper, so let’s take a step into the perplex, unknown world of Metrico…
Metrico isn’t just thinking outside the box. It’s taken the box, divided and multiplied said box, and turned it into a set of beautiful mysteries. Your task is to put the pieces back together. The game is sublimely vague, relying on you to use the trial and error process. Across the 6 different worlds, your journey consists of bar charts, percentages, line diagrams and more. Sounds kind of boring, right? It turns out this is the best Maths lesson you will ever have. Metrico is the opposite of boring. It’s a glorious intriguing experience where your physical actions will give you hints and ultimately the answer to each mini puzzle. If there’s a column blocking your path, try walking left. It may move, it may not. Try walking right. Jump up and down. Each column and platform will take different movements from you to move on to the next riddle. This mechanic is described by Digital Dreams as “Input Morphing”. It’s a fitting description for the uncommon but endearing process of looking at the introspectively hidden aspects of gaming that you wouldn’t necessarily catch with the naked eye first time around.
Metrico is the most beautiful of misnomers. It requires you to fail to succeed. Levels being named worlds couldn’t be more appropriate. The artistry on show in each world is something unique, borderline angelic and utterly bewitching, truly befitting of the term world. It’s not just the different colours and textures that separate the worlds though. Each one will focus on different techniques that fully justify Metrico as a PS Vita exclusive. Without giving too much away, before the end of the game you’ll be tilting the Vita more than if you were doing the Macarena at the same time. You’ll be holding your Vita’s camera up to the brightest light in your room to move columns inside the game, looking like a total weirdo in the process. It really does use every feature of the Vita and not one single percent of it feels forced or included for the sake of it. Don’t get me wrong, the puzzles are crazily hard. This isn’t an easy ride. But throughout all this, you’re accompanied by the most eclectic and exquisite soundtrack you would have heard for quite some time. And the feeling you’re left with when you solve an at first glance impossible dilemma? Well it’s indescribable.
Metrico is the greatest reminder of how remarkable the Playstation Vita is. It’s an experience in which you can tell each artistic, abstract moment has been painfully crafted through endless hours of care and love, all leading to this moment. The result is a triumph waiting to be discovered. Make no mistake about it, Metrico is a mesmerising, surreal work of art that will completely invigorate your Vita.
Punk rating: 9/10
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