Puzzle games, usually end up going two ways. They can either be incredible easy, or frustratingly hard. You know, to the point where you find yourself ripping your hair out. With Mercury Hg, have Eiconic Games created one that you can simply pick up and play, or is this a puzzler that is destined to cause immense frustration? Read on to find out.
Game: Mercury Hg
Developer: Eiconic Games Limited
Publisher: UTV Ignition
Price: 400 Microsoft Points
Mercury HG is certainly quite the looker, each puzzle is nicely designed with a variety of colours. Rotating the camera gives you the chance to see the puzzles in their whole form, and it must be said that each brain teaser delivers the goods visually. At times the levels almost feel 3D, something which really helps when you’re trying to complete the more trickier puzzles. Another nice visual touch is the way the puzzles light up and move to the beat of the music. This applies to both songs stored on your hard drive and the in-game music.
Although sound isn’t a particularly important element of a puzzler, Mercury HG does a decent job with the audio that is present in the game. This sentiment applies to the music that accompanies each puzzle, as well as the sounds the blob of mercury makes as it moves through a level. As mentioned earlier, the game allows you to add songs from your hard-drive, and it’s well worth doing as some puzzles will light up to the beat of the music.
As far as challenging puzzles go, it has to be said that Mercury Hg delivers. Sure, getting from A to B is easy enough, but if the game was just about getting through the level without doing anything else then it would be a little too easy. That’s where the other three objectives come in. The second objective requires you to complete the puzzle within a set time. As you try to complete a puzzle you’ll see a timer counting down in the top left corner, which puts you under a bit of pressure. However, that pressure is made slightly redundant due to the fact that you can still continue playing once the timer has finished counting down. A simple game over or retry screen would’ve been much better, keeping the pressure element intact.
Thankfully, the third objective is a little harder, and one that requires quite a bit of skill in order to complete a level. Your task is to complete the level with all of your mercury still intact. On most occasions, this is devilishly hard as you’ll find yourself bumping into walls or obstacles that split the mercury into a number of pieces. Although you can make your mercury whole again, you might find pieces falling off the puzzle all together as you try to get them together.
Finally, you’re tasked with collecting all the bonuses in a level. Normally this is easily achieved, but sometimes the bonuses are positioned awkwardly and you may have to sacrifice the time objective in order to get a bonus. The addition of these four objectives means you will probably find yourself trying certain puzzles multiple times to fully complete a level and be rewarded with more Atoms, which are needed to progress and unlock more of the game.
The amount of obstacles in the puzzle will, of course, depend on how far you are in the game. At the start of the game expect to whizz through, but the levels will soon get harder with items such as moving platforms, magnets and switches all vying to take you off course or help you along the way. For example, there are switches in certain levels that will turn your mercury blob into another colour. Some puzzles will only let you complete once you have turned a certain colour. In some circumstances you will have to chance into two colours by splitting the mercury into two and then join them together to create a whole new colour.
It could be argued that the game is more about the fun factor rather the longevity, but in any case, don’t expect to be playing Mercury Hg for more than 5 hours tops unless you’re determined to complete everything on offer.
It’s not the most challenging or the longest, but if you’re looking for a easy-to-get-into puzzle game that delivers on its core objectives, then at 400 Microsoft Points, Mercury Hg is well worth a look.