Mercury Hg Xbox 360 Review

October 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Xbox 360, Reviews & Features, Xbox

Publisher – Ignition Entertainment – Developer – Eiconic Games – Genre – Puzzle – Players – 1 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – PS3

Mercury has appeared on the PSP, PS2, Wii, and now it has arrived on Xbox Live Arcade and PSN. It’s with little wonder that the puzzle series has appeared across so many formats, as the idea (originally conceived by Archer MacLean) of tipping and tilting a blob of mercury around levels proved to be something that really worked.

Mercury Hg has much in common with the rest of the games in the series, with the main objective being to guide a poisonous chemical to the finish line. As you’d expect, there’s obstacles that complicate matters, but you’ll want to get to the end of the level without slopping too much of your mercury over the edges of the playing area.

There are magnets, moving platforms, narrow paths, rotating objects that will cut your mercury up into a number of blobs if you’re not careful, and more to tackle in the 60 levels (the game suggests that two more packs are to be released via download) of the main Discovery mode, although fans will notice that some of the obstacles from previous games have been removed. If you do find that portions of your mercury are separated, then pressing a single button will gather it up. But there are times when splitting your mercury up is a must, in which altering the colours of the individual blobs and then bringing them back together creates a new colour that may be the requisite shade to progress.

Fans of previous Mercury games may not be ecstatic to learn that Mercury Hg isn’t really all that challenging. In fact seasoned players will mostly likely breeze through this, but for perfectionists, there could be reason to return to the game, with four atoms available on each level. Atoms are earned by completing a level, reaching the end of a level with all mercury intact, within a specific time, and by collecting all the pick-ups. If you missed any if the atoms, you can always come back to attempt to win them. There’s also leaderboards to aim your sights at, and you can download ghosts of other players to see exactly how they got through a stage.

It’s also worthwhile to earn the atoms, as gathering these unlock some of the additional bonus and challenge levels. These stages are repeats from the Discovery mode, although they do give you new tasks such as picking up all the mercury vials in the bonus mode, and getting to the end of a level with a required amount of mercury remaining and pick-ups in your hand. These extras are definitely the most challenging portions of the game.

In a nice idea, Mercury Hg allows you to play your own music. You’ll already notice that with the energetic default music, the mercury and the stages react to it, and play your own tunes, and it’s exactly the same result. It’s hardly game changing, but it is a nice little bonus gimmick, and if you’ve never seen a poisonous blob of mercury bobbing along with music, then you’ll certainly see it here.

With its lack of challenge, Mercury Hg may not be the strongest game in the series, but it’s still a very enjoyable one that is beautifully presented, and due to the levels and mercury reacting to the music, it’s even more charismatic. It’s a bargain at 400 Microsoft Points, and definitely nice for those who may want a puzzle game that isn’t particularly taxing, although challenge is there if you put some time in to find it.