Metrico was released on Vita in 2014 to mixed reviews. Limited but great, Metrico+ aims to improve on this by taking the original game and refining it.
As you begin the game tells you nothing. You figure out you can jump and to begin with that’s all you can do. It’s a platform puzzle game in essence and you run and run until the levels change to something else. What you’re not expecting however is that you have to change the levels to progress.
Your actions in the game world manipulate the environment in order for you to be able to proceed. For example early challenges have platforms moving but only when you jump. So you need to move without jumping until needed and then jump up and down to move the platform. This dynamic is often changed a few different ways, with moving left or right raising or lowering other components, and jumping doing something else. Here you must use your own movement and deduce exactly what and how you are needed to move around to position your exit.
The complexity increases as you progress with a fail and restart mechanism. Often, many deaths can become frustrating and accidental but here it’s often a requirement as you find yourself having to position a level, respawn and carry on moving elements about in such a way that you can move through. Through the game more and more buttons become available (but never overwhelming) giving you more controls and options as the difficulty increases. It never really gets too hard and I had many euphoric moments, as I would complete sections that I’d been stuck on from just thinking it through logically.
Thankfully all of the gameplay is restricted to controller face buttons whereas the Vita version used all sorts of tricks such as touching the screen and gyroscoping. I’m not a huge fan of that myself so found this restriction to actually be additive and more immersive.
There is a minimal story here but it does little to enhance your experience. That is left more to the presentation that is muted at best, using limited colours with often visual clues such as percentages or numbers to hint towards what you need to be doing. The minimalistic feel translates over to the audio with melodic sound effects and a wispy soundtrack that fits the style of it all very well and helps to create an immersive environment.
The essence of Metrico+ is in the puzzles and it shouldn’t surprise that it’s not the longest game in the world, with completion in around five to six hours. It continually evolves through depth of challenge and presentation and whilst it sets out to do only really one thing, it does it very well.
Reviewed on PS4