Mercury Meltdown Revolution


By: Tristan Clark    On: Nintendo Wii
Published: Saturday 2 Jun 2007 10:00 AM
 
 
 
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Now this is a good fit for the Wii. Unlike so many other releases that try and tack on arbitrary ‘waggle’ controls, Mercury Meltdown Revolution effortlessly and elegantly makes the transition from the PSP to Nintendo’s new console. In fact, the concept fits so well with the Wii remote that you’ll wonder how you ever played this game without it.

At its most basic, MMR is a puzzle game based around a blob of mercury. It’s your task to tilt the various levels in order to help the mercury find its way to the exit. Of course, things are never that simple (except in the helpful tutorial), and standing in your way are all manner of obstacles, traps, and temptations. With the controls being as natural and intuitive as they are, the focus is really on the level designs that the developers have conjured up – and thankfully, the game comes with a very solid set of rules and gameplay mechanics that make guiding your blob through a course simultaneously fun, stressful, and intense.

Throughout the course of the main game mode, you’ll encounter a vast array of levels that – like all good puzzle games – start out fairly simple, but continually add in new gameplay features and obstacle types. A game like this succeeds or fails based on how long the mechanics can hold your attention – and in this case, there are a number of features that will keep you coming back for more. Your blob can, for example, be spray painted different colours, which is essential when faced with a door that will only let a specific colour through. This gets rather more complicated when you must combine two colours to produce a third colour. Say you needed to get through a yellow door, yet only had access to green and red spray painters. What you’d need to do is split your blob in two (usually via handily placed spikes), and try and get each piece under one of the spray machines. If you can then get the two blobs back together, their red and green colours will combine to make yellow, and you can go through the door. To prevent this from getting too confusing, a simple colour chart is shown in the top-right corner.

To add to the intensity, you need to complete each level within a set amount of time. You also need to make sure you have enough mercury left as well – it’s all too easy to lose some of your blob when navigating narrow paths. Combine this with moving ramps, slippery and sticky surfaces, fans, teleporters, and hostile creatures with a taste for mercury, and you have a game that contains a lot of variety, and yet manages to prevent things from getting overwhelming.

The real question with a game like Mercury Meltdown Revolution is how long it will keep you interested. Unfortunately, while there are unlockable party games, none of them support more than one player – this seems like a big missed opportunity considering how much fun could be had with several blobs of mercury rolling around the place. Because of this, the longevity of the game is based entirely on the main set of levels provided. If you’re into puzzle games, there’s plenty of content to keep you entertained - especially if you like a challenge, as MMR really ramps up the difficulty in the later stages. On the other hand, if you never have the patience to figure out solutions to tricky puzzles, it’s unlikely you’ll get an overly large number of hours out of this game.

The presentation of MMR is generally of a high standard, and certainly contributes to the enjoyment of the game. The graphics are cartoony and simple, yet provide a very clean and vibrant style that is easy on the eyes. The music gets a little repetitive after a while, but is still a good accompaniment to the various levels. It’s also worth noting the loading times, which are mercifully short, especially when restarting a failed level.

Mercury Meltdown Revolution certainly won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’re looking for a game that is easy to pick up and hard to master, you can do a lot worse. At its best, MMR has that addictive quality found in the best puzzle games, and while a lack of any multiplayer options hurts the overall product, those who relish a challenge should check this one out.


The Score

Mercury Meltdown Revolution
"A solid puzzler that should entertain those seeking a challenge."
8.2
Great
Rating: G   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 5 Min

 

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