Archer MacLean's Mercury  (PlayStation Portable, 2005) Reviews

Archer MacLean's Mercury (PlayStation Portable, 2005)

11 ratings (1 Epinions review)
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Mar 30, 2012
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Rated a Very Helpful Review


Cons:It's mercury

The Bottom Line: 7.8/10

All I know about Mercury is that it goes into thermometers and moves all funny. Archer Maclean obviously has some deeper fascination with it since he made this very fun puzzle game. Well it's basically Marble Madness with mercury, a slithery metallic element that splits and flows hypnotically across the PSP screen. The game is cut into six worlds that comprise a series of stages where you guide your metallic element to an exit, typically. A game like this is made for a tilt screen since you literally tilt the board to guide your little element around, solving puzzles and avoiding obstacles to reach the exit. One obnoxious thing is that you need to save manually and the game doesn't ask. I just assume a game like this will autosave, but no, shut it off and you've lost all your progress. The graphics and music are great. The chilled out electronic music is fitting and the gentle sounds of flowing mercury and conveyor belts work well behind this. The graphics are also lovely. The stages get elaborate quick and the maze-like designs are crisp, with a lot of color and the flowing mercury looking particularly shimmery. Eating mercury could likely kill you, but my god does it look delicious.

You need to color your mercury to go through coded doors. You need to mix colors at times to make silver (I don't know why) to complete the level. You must preserve enough mercury to succeed at the weigh in at the end of each stage. Most stages are very short but later on things get elaborate. 75 stages is a lot and the game could have you busy for days if you let it. The physics are amazing. The mercury splits and you'll find yourself guiding two pieces or more to solve puzzles. You can weigh down platforms and then climb them. Recoloring orbs, teleporting, using beacons, turnstyles, there's a lot here and it's interactive. For a puzzle game it doesn't really get much better in what it tries to do, but that said, what it tries to do is still really simple. The game offers a lot in terms of camera control. You can rotate 360, snap, zoom in and out, and get a top down view. A top down view is always the best, so much that I wish despite the graphically poor quality this was the default. The game's 75 stages are more than enough because most of the stages are pretty tough, especially by halfway through the second world. Hell, even the tutorial stages can be hard. As far as puzzle games on the PSP go, you can do much worse (I'm looking at you, Gunpey)

Recommend this product? Yes

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Mercury is an action puzzle game based on the movement and manipulation of the title metal. Players are challenged to tilt a three-dimensional game bo...
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