Review: Metrico for PS Vita Justifies "Games as Art"
Since buying my PlayStation Vita a few years ago, I haven’t given it a ton of use. It’s certainly capable as a video game system, but there have been very few games made for the portable console that have made me sit up and take notice.
Metrico, made exclusively for the Vita by Dutch developer Digital Dreams, is the exception.
Simply put, if you own a Vita, you need to download this game. And if you don’t own a Vita, you might want to consider grabbing one. Metrico is the kind of mind-bending game that helps justify the medium as an art form.
The game takes place in an abstract world of infographics, with landscapes populated by bar graphs, lines, angles, and percentages. You take the role of a faceless traveler who must navigate the world as you discover how your actions affect the world around you. That’s the brilliant secret to Metrico: a jump or a fall might radically change your environment, blocking your path, and making you rethink what you do. The developers call this “input-morphing,” and it demonstrates a sophisticated attitude toward what games can be. Metrico is a puzzle-platformer with more brains than most, and it’ll frustrate and delight you in equal measure.
Even more exciting is the fact that Metrico takes advantage of just about every feature packed into the Vita. You can move and jump using traditional input methods, like the joystick, D-pad, and face buttons. But you’ll also need to incorporate the rear touchpad, the front touchscreen, the internal gyroscope, and the rear camera at various points in order to succeed. The whole experience forces you to think outside the box and discover solutions to puzzles that will bend your brain and work out your fingers.
Visually, the style of Metrico is very simple, echoing the abstract and antiseptic world of infographs and charts. But despite its clean lines and simple shapes, Metrico still manages to evoke a kind of beauty and style rarely seen in many games. Playing this game is like interacting with a work of art that changes as you play. The score, composed by Dutch sound artist Palbomen, only adds to the haunting, ethereal magic of Metrico. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
At $13.99, Metrico is a fantastic bargain. And if you subscribe to Sony’s PlayStation Plus promotion, you’ll be able to download Metrico for free starting today, it’s US release date. It’ll be hitting the European PlayStation Store tomorrow, so no matter where you are, you’ll have the opportunity to download and play this game. If you’ve been hoping for a unique gaming experience that will challenge and inspire you, then Metrico is exactly right for you.
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