Oh, look: a side-scroller. You know what to do, right? Just run to the right and hop onto that elevated platform to get to the next screen. Wait. What’s happening? It’s getting taller as you move closer to it? Why? WTF? This isn’t how things are supposed to work!
Basically, everything you take for granted in a sidescrolling platformer gets turned on its ear in Metrico, a puzzle platformer coming to PlayStation Vita next year. There’s a variant of the puzzle I sketch out above in the game and you’ll see Thijmen Bink of the Digital Dreams dev studio playing a few levels from his game in the video atop this post. Happening in a world made up of surreal infographics, Metrico measures everything the player does in the world and uses that data to power the movement of various environmental elements. Each scene is a conundrum that gets solved only by figuring out what effects your movements have on parts of the landscape.
The most fascinating thing about Metrico’s puzzles is how incredibly simple some of the puzzle solutions are. A bunch of gaps impeding your progress? Well, maybe you don’t actually need to jump. It reminded me a bit of Echochrome games, which also asked you change perceptions and unlearn some of what you know about moving around in a video game world. Given how it forced me to pay attention to things I barely notice anymore in run-and-jump games, I can’t wait for Metrico to come out next year.