Minimalism. Something that, if done right, can provide unparalleled style and atmosphere to a video game. Developer Digital Dreams certainly nailed this as their Vita-exclusive action-puzzler makes its way to the PlayStation store.

To describe Metrico in detail would spoil most of the experience. The lack of story works in its favour as you’re dropped into a mysterious world with no objective or explanation, giving you a sense of wonder and anticipation for what lies ahead. Greeted with nothing but whiteness surrounding your character your only option is to press onward into the unknown.

A first in gaming, Metrico centres around infographics. On paper it doesn’t sound very entertaining, but what follows is one of the most unique and beautifully crafted titles to grace the Vita in recent memory. Watching the world develop around you is a genuinely breathtaking experience. Every movement you make changes something in the world, be it mountains rising up in the distance or an entire section of a puzzle. This, along with a brilliant colour palette, grants Metrico a spot as one of the prettiest games of the year. Screenshots do not do this game justice – check out the trailer below to see what I mean;

Looks great, am I right?

Of course, no great puzzle game is without solid gameplay. Thankfully Metrico has this in spades. Each of the games six distinct worlds introduces you to a new game mechanic, most of which utilize the Vita’s features in fresh and interesting ways. None of these features feel poorly executed, and some skill will be required during later puzzles as combining your skills will become a regular occurrence.

The puzzles themselves are a delight to play through. The difficulty curve is a little slow to begin with, seeming almost too easy at first, but once you have multiple platforms to manage using three different skills at the same time can get rather tricky. Later areas of the game had me scratching my head a few times but don’t worry, there aren’t any huge difficulty spikes. Thankfully all of the puzzles are a blast to figure out and give you a great sense of accomplishment when beaten. The addition of a quick restart button and regular checkpoints before each puzzle mean there’s never a reason to throw your Vita at a wall.

Another area in which this game shines is the sound design. Dutch synth composer “Palmbomen” has done a tremendous job in creating a soundtrack to compliment the visual style of Metrico. Certain areas in the game contain musical cues that are triggered by your actions, such as platforms emitting piano notes, playing a little tune that goes with the background music. It’s little details like this that showcase the love and attention given to this title.

A personal favourite feature of mine is the areas that connect the worlds together. I won’t spoil much but it requires a wifi connection to fully enjoy and, while not directly affecting your game, adds a small social aspect to the game. These moments also play part to achieving two of the game’s eleven achievements, all of which are hidden (Good luck getting them all!)

 Despite all of its strong points Metrico does fail to achieve the coveted perfect score for a few reasons. At only 3-5 hours long (depending on your skill) it’s not the longest game. There are secret collectibles scattered across the worlds encouraging multiple playthroughs and the trophies will add a few more hours to your total playtime, but for non-completionists it might not be worth revisiting more than twice. I also experienced minor frame-rate drops during level transitions, although they were barely noticeable and did not affect gameplay.

Developer Digital Dreams have set a high bar for their first Vita title. Not only have they implemented infographics into a game to create a fun and original experience, but their use of the Vita’s various features in-game is very well-executed, something a few other games struggled to achieve. If you’re a fan of action/puzzle games you’d be mad to miss checking this title out. A one-of-a-kind experience that fits perfectly on the Vita.

Metrico is free throughout August for PS Plus members – don’t miss out!

Lasting appeal
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A Welsh video game addict currently exploring India. An rpg lover at heart and a sucker for gratuitous amounts of loot and procedural-generation.
  • SarcasticPersona

    This review was great, I have been excited for Metrico for quite some time and to see it being praised makes me glad that I put trust in a game that was genuinely good, so I am gonna stop talking and download this game immediately.

    • James Gough

      It really is worth the download – I agree with this review in it’s entirety.

  • Billy Kostyra

    i must say i do not understand the low scores this game been getting , this is a truly unique game and a little bit weird too which may not be everybodys cup of tea but i am really enjoying it so far, 9/10 from me, reason for not a 10 is because it feels a little stiff control wise….. another underrated game for the Vita : (

    • Daniel Evans

      Most reviews I’ve seen so far have been very positive! The worst I’ve seen is a 6.5 from IGN. Glad you’re enjoying the game 🙂

  • Patrick Wilson Vetsch

    Looking forward to this on plus later today. but yeah, not really cool how the big sites bash the vita and its games

  • Phelan

    Sadly I can hardly agree with this review. Game is painfully mediocre. I kinda get the feeling that the author of it didn’t even beat whole game, before reviewing. I might be wrong, and if I am let me say “sorry”

    But let me prove that I’m not spreading foolish “hate” by explaining why I can’t agree with this review, ok?

    First problem you will probably notice in game is problem of optimalisation… or rather its abstence. Game sometimes lags without any good reason in random situations like for example running. Let’s say it clearly it shouldn’t because game is minimalistic to its core, so you shouldn’t have to observe times when game hangs up for like a half a second.

    Secondly in my opinion it doesn’t deserve to be called “puzzle game”. I mean puzzles… should make you… well puzzled. That’s not the case here, you won’t be suprised by the game, it won’t make you intrigued by the puzzles. There are hardly any momments where you will be forced to think longer what you need to do. Most of times dying once will show you what you have to do to go further, the only problem is making your plans working. So I’d rather call it just plain running simulator, because that’s all you will need to… run to the right, run to the left, sometimes jump, sometimes shoot… and that’s it.

    I can’t also agree with “the social aspect of game”… no sorry, it is far from being “social”. Your decisions are meaningless, you won’t even think twice about that social aspect. For a perfect example of how to make good “social” aspect, very similar to that implemented in Metrico, play Catherine. That’s the game which has meaningful choices…. where your choices, and choices of other make you think about decisions.

    Music? Again I can hardly agree. Most of times you won’t even notice that there is any music at all (and if you will after 2-3 hours you will probably turn it down). It is completly bland…. without any “spirit” very dull. You know the conception of Erik’s Satie background music? If you do, than just imagine that in Metrico soundtrack is even less noticable, and when you will finally notice it… than most probably you will find it iritating.

    Errors and bugs… the game is full of it. I don’t whether I was the only one but I’ve experienced twice error “c201282-1” which forcefully kicked me out of the game. It’s the first time I’ve experienced something like this on Vita. There are also other things that should be improved. Let’s start with “god mode”, did you know that by pressing and holding “circle” button you become immortal? That’s right orbs won’t be able to harm you even if you will start jumping on them. There is also problem of orbs going through the walls or getting lost in them (this especially is noticable if you interact with walls).

    The game might be sometimes “enigmatic”… but not because of puzzles. Game hardly explain you what to do. I spent like 20 minutes on learning how to rotate my Vita to make it work right… and to do that I had to stand up and start dancing like a mad man. Another thing are problems with camera… It is not working. You will notice it on first puzzles when there will be only dark/light thingy… even by covering camera with finger sometimes it still as if light was shinning. Later in game it will start to iritated you as hell, when you will have to play with colors you will notice how bad color recognition is. I had to preper 3 objects Green, Red, Blue… and still when I even nearly covered camera with green paper all it saw… was “blue” color. The best way to get red… is cover camer with a finger.

    Another bad thing is that this whole “statistic” theme is not used… it is just background for the game without any story. Ok… you will have to observe those statistic data only once, in puzzle with columns and % when you need to match them to go further.

    The only times when I didn’t know what to do… was during loading time, beginings, and last end-diagram with creating 3rd way. That’s because I sometime didn’t know if the game is still loading or expect me to do something. That 3 dots in lower right corner often are not noticable.

    All in all, in my opinion game hardly deserve 4.4. I played free Flash games which were done better than Metrico, that’s right it would be good game if it was on mobile phone or free web game… but it is not, it is game for Vita, expensive device.

    Presentation -> 3 game is just bland… and dull, it is hardly beautiful
    Gameplay ->3 it is just running simulator, puzzles are way too easy. *ok brain you can go and play outside, I’m going to play with running simulator”
    Lasting appeal -> 2 you will forget it as soon as you complete it
    Execution -> 2 too many bugs, not used potentail of statistic theme

    Overal 2.5

    That’s my opinion, you don’t have to agree. And to see if I am right or wrong you should just play the game.