Reviewed: November 13, 2011
Released: September 28, 2011
For fans of the big hit Marble Madness comes along a new twist to the puzzle frenzy, Mercury Hg; a game where instead of controlling the object, in this case a blob of mercury, you are now controlling the environment itself to make for some interesting gameplay. This design actually makes the game much more enjoyable than others like the previously mentioned Marble Madness and Super Monkeyball. |
Instead of the usual collect points and items style of gameplay itís really all down to playing the levels and beating them in the fastest time possible while avoiding all the obstacles. It takes great reaction speed and really comes down to muscle memory and tons of patience to beat all the levels and then beat your own scores after that. If it was all just about getting from point A to B this would make for a really boring game, thus the designers have added in the ramps, doors magnets, and color coded floors that give you positive effects to help you throughout the levels. Of course it canít be all positive, so sometimes the same things that look like will help you also end up hurting you and your time. Mercury HG introduces these new elements in a decently even spread.
The PS3 version factors in a new added level of difficulty over the Xbox 360 version by including support for the SIXAXIS controller, allowing you to tilt the puzzle boards in a near-one to one relationship with the controller. It's probably the next best thing to playing this game on the iPhone or an iPad; the next logical destination for this type of game. Note, the SIXAXIS is extremely challenging so you may want to stick with the sticks unless you have a steady hand.
Since you are a blob of mercury it makes for interesting levels when you lose half of your blob trying to jump a ramp and such. The amount of mercury in your primary mass acts as a sort of health bar. When you lose some of your mass going off ramps or spill some off the edge of a narrow platform and such you have a different effect than if you were full health. Donít despair though if you also happen to split yourself up into multiple pieces, sometimes thatís the only way to beat a level. In one instance I had to split myself up into two different pieces so I could activate a switch to open a door that would only stay on with a blob on top of it. You'll also get to work with various colors of mercury, with the ability to change and mix primary colors into new colors required to solve puzzles.
A great feature that I particularly enjoyed is that you can play custom soundtracks using your own music for the game, and it would create a level background and floor effects depending on the timing of the music that was playing. It was basically a visualizer that you could actually interact with, sometimes though I doubted the validity of some of the levels and pulses it was creating. It could have been the fact I was playing Daft Punk though.
While the object of the game is to beat the time limits they have put on each level there is a gathering mechanism in place to unlock new and harder levels in the shape of atoms; the more you collect the more levels you can unlock and play. These are gained in a few different ways, sometimes only requiring you to beat a level and other times you can gain them by picking up a bonus item for a level and beating a set time limit. As much as I enjoyed the later levels I found them often to be too small to really be much of a challenge.
With some good there of course has to be some bad. The standard music that plays isnít the best that I think they could have gotten, which made the custom playlist feature so nice for me. With a game of this pricing and quality I couldnít understand why they had to create a DLC for a later date instead of just giving me all the levels in the initial purchase. Mercury Hg is not really something I see spending money on twice.