Do you remember the wooden Labyrinth game where you had to move the maze surface in order to navigate the ball to the centre of the board? Mercury Hg is similar in control, however your ball behaves as a liquid, not a solid. If you don’t remember the wooden game, think Super Monkey Ball but perhaps less psychedelic, and again you are controlling the board, not the ball. I hate Super Monkey Ball. Maybe its the annoying monkey, maybe it’s the game play, but either way with that past experience I wasn’t expecting to like Mercury Hg.
Starting with Discovery Mode you are taken through 80 levels in order of increasing difficulty as one would expect. If you are good at multi-tasking then having to split your mercury into smaller pieces and moving them all at the same time might not seem too daunting. If you are like me (who freaks out at having to watch 2 pots on the hob while cooking) then you might find yourself clutching your controller so hard you don’t realise how sore your hands are till you let go. Holding the controller tighter gives you tighter control of the game right?
Throughout the levels are various dangers from your basic holes in the ground, magnets which pull, magnets which push. There also appears to be colour pods which can change the colour of your mercury which is often needed to open gates or use switches in order to progress. Splitting your mercury, getting two different colours and then reforming is also required. The lack of vertical walls also means you can slide your mercury right off the maze. If you are lucky only a few drips will be lost and you can carry on
Other modes include Challenge Mode where, as the name suggests, things are a bit more challenging. Because your blob of mercury can split, some challenges are to get through with as much of your mercury as you can and various other tasks. Some of the challenges are stupidly hard. Don’t get me wrong, I know what to do, I just can’t make that damn blob to do it! Its fun but can be frustrating, at times. I’m perhaps not the most patient person when I know what I want to do and have trouble doing it.
Graphically Mercury Hg is basic but very, very nice. Smooth, sleek, it’s exactly what it needs to be. The controls are straightforward though I am aware that on the PS3 version you can use the sixaxis motion sensor which I’d be interested in trying. Perhaps it would be suitable for the iPhone too if it works well.
Mercury Hg is a great pick and and play game if you are looking to kill 5 minutes, but on the other hand you get the “just one more level” attraction too. For an XBL Arcade game I would certainly recommend it at only 400 MS Points.
You’d be mad as a hatter to miss it!
7 blobs-a-blobbing out of 10