By: Jeff Cater
Metrico originally was released as a PlayStation Vita exclusive by developer Digital Dreams back in 2014, and it left a sweet taste in the mouths of thirsty handheld owners. Now, Metrico has been given a second life on the PlayStation 4 in the form of Metrico+, allowing couch gamers to get in on what the craze was all about.
Really there is nothing to complain about other than the very occasional misdirected shot or jump; the game controls sharply and is very easy to grasp. To move your character you will press the left stick and “X” to jump over obstacles.
With most of the “platforms” of the game being manipulated by the movements of your character, it can feel a tad off, but it’s very easy to get used to over a short period. As you progress you’ll unlock more abilities tied to your face buttons, such as shooting out a platform-activating line, but thankfully there’s nothing that provides a hindrance to its core platforming mechanics.
Metrico+ immediately stands out because of its pure minimalistic aesthetic. The barren, flat landscape is only broken up by pale-colored platforms with some mountains and cliffs occupying little space of the background.
As you progress further in each stage, the background starts to become more and more complete. Your character is nothing more than a silhouette trying to negotiate the world and animates wonderfully while running and jumping.
The soundtrack is super mellow, and it accompanies the visual motif perfectly, mostly staying pretty slow and ominous but swelling and crashing like great waves when completing a section or level.
Metrico+ is definitely a thinking person’s platformer. Fans of the game Braid will likely feel right at home, because every action you perform has a reaction that can either make the level complete or impossibly frustrating to complete.
There might be a platform above you, Platform A, which only moves when you do. Before you is Platform B, which will only move simultaneously with Platform C, and C doesn’t move without you manipulating a valve-like wheel icon in front of it
You’ll be faced with platforms that only move as you walk right or left (designated by floating Y and X values), inducing hair-pulling moments of sheer frustration before inevitably providing you with epic “Oh, that’s how I do it!” moments.
As mentioned, as you get further and further into a level the background will become more filled out, eventually providing a minimalistic, polygonal landscape. When it comes down to it, the platforming mechanics are unlike most games of the genre. Each stage has small self-contained segments featuring a puzzle, which only get more elaborate as you progress.
Once you complete a segment it’s onto the next until you reach the end of each level or chapter. Metrico+ slowly introduces “enemies” in the form of harmful shapes that must also be considered when shifting platforms around because one false move can bridge a gap between you and utter failure. Luckily you can dispatch most baddies, but you still have to use caution when shifting the landscape around.
Metrico+ is a sweet, chill title with some intensely relaxing sights and sounds coupled flawlessly with unique platforming elements that constantly provide varying challenge. It makes a great case of an all-around solid indie title and deserves a play by any gamer that wants for a real challenge.