Review – Mercury Hg
PSP puzzler comes to XBLA. Gets boring review tagline.
I have always had a little bit of a soft spot for the Mercury games. They pretty much play like your Marble Madnesses or your Monkey Balls in that you must get your little glob to the goal as quickly as possible while collecting as many bonus items as you can and you have to do all of this without spilling a drop of mercury.
The things that set the Mercury games apart from your standard indie game of the same ilk is the great minimalistic style the game has (comparable to the test chambers from Portal) and the level design which will really make you scratch your head in parts because the level designers have included some very cleaver tricks and traps for the player to overcome.
Then there is the fact that you are controlling a glob of mercury which I maintain while being an inanimate object still has more personality than your average first person shooter protagonist these days. Anyway the fact that the player is controlling a glob of mercury allows the level designers to do a lot more than the average ‘roll the ball in the goal’ kind of games. The mercury acts as you might imagine a glob of metallic goo would. You can split it by pressing it against pointed objects and parts of it will drip out of bounds if your mercury strays to near a boundary-less edge.
Sometimes the levels will require you to change the colour of your glob to gain access to certain areas by going in to respray areas. Couple this mechanic and the mercury splitting mechanic from earlier and you’ve got some clever solutions at hand to the various challenges Mercury Hg throws at you. This all sounds super complex but it’s not and that is the best thing about the game. It explains everything in a great set of tutorials, making the game very easy to pick up.
There are 60 well designed levels (with two DLC packs already confirmed) and there are also bonus levels and challenge modes that the player can play too and all of these come with online leaderboards. You can also add your own music if you don’t like the in-game selections and you get an achievement for doing it.
For 400 Microsoft Points this game is pretty much a must as it provides more value than a lot of the games that cost the standard 1200 Microsoft Points these days. It’s got some minor technical issues like sometimes the game slows down to a crawl if you rest the level too much (problem is solved by resetting again) but other than that this is a great little leaderboard-oriented puzzle game that at least deserves enough of your attention to check out the demo.