I have a PS Plus subscription. I have had it since April when I received a PS Vita for my birthday. Each month I grab the free games offered to members. Most of the time, they sit in a growing backlog that I may never get around to playing. But that it not always the case. Last week I tried out Metrico, a Vita game offered for free in August.
In the pre-release marketing for Metrico, the developers said it was hard to show the true nature of the input morphing, infographic based game without users experiencing it firsthand. The premise was intriguing. I like quirky games, and I like charts and graphs. It seemed like the perfect fit.
At its core, Metrico is a puzzle game that uses elements of graphs to build its level designs. It takes advantage of the Vita’s touch controls, as well as the built in gyroscope and accelerometer. Players solve puzzles through a variety of different means. Some require tilting the system. Others use the camera. Some puzzles use a combination of tilting, turning, camera and touch.
It sounds good in theory, but is ultimately disappointing. The game is full of cool ideas executed poorly. The controls are a mess and do not recognize input consistently. On some levels, I had my Vita so turned and twisted that I could not position my hands to control the player through the puzzle. Other areas made it hard to tell the type of movement required for manipulating the objects on screen. The camera related puzzles could not be played in a dark room. Without a solid light source, the solutions were impossible. The experience was frustrating and unpleasant. I wanted to like Metrico, but when the central element of the design is flawed, there is nothing left for the game to stand on.