It’s understandable why a game which features periodic tables and stars a ball of mercury might not instantly grab your attention but regardless of your feeling toward science and elements, Mercury Hg is well worth checking out. If you’re unfamiliar with the Mercury games they are essentially Super Monkey Ball style puzzlers but with a blob of liquid metal replacing those pesky primates. Unlike Monkey Ball, the puzzles in Mercury tend to rely on logic rather than platforming and with no lives or mandatory time limits in place the developers at Biconic have alleviated many of the frustrating elements found in similar titles. This is also the first Mercury title to be available digitally (via PSN/XBLA) and although the size of the game has been reduced, Mercury Hg is still a worthy successor to Meltdown Revolution.
As with previous games in the series, your main objective in Mercury Hg is to guide your liquidized ball from point A to point B by tilting the surface that it’s situated on. Additional points are awarded based on your speed, how much atoms you collect and the size of your blob upon level completion. If a piece of your blob falls off the environment you’ll reduce in size and become much less mobile making it harder for you to navingate. Some levels require you to spray paint your blob a certain colour to activate specific panels and at times you’ll even have to split yourself in half and combine two different colours together in order to progress. Other hazards include magnets, retractors and conveyor belts all of which are strategically placed to ramp up the challenge.
Hg’s main mode (titled Discovery) features roughly 60 levels divided up in to five uneven groups. Beyond that there’s a perplexing challenge mode, rule-bending bonus levels, incorporated leaderboards, downloadable ghost data options and the ability to add your own music which the environment will dynamically react to. Importing music is highly recommended as the funky techno music which comes as standard can sometime prove to be distracting. The main differentiator between Mercury Hg and 2007’s Mercury Meltdown Revolution is Hg’s crisp high-definition visuals. In comparison, Hg looks absolutely fantastic and thanks to the superior analog sticks found on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 the game controls better than ever too!
Given the sheer wealth of content that Mercury Hg offers it’s almost mind-blowing that Ignition are only charging £3.40/400 Microsoft Points for the full game. The level select screen makes it apparent that at least two DLC packs are currently in the works but even as is, Mercury Hg is one hell of a bargain. Although some may find the game to be a little too challenging, I was presently surprised with the quality of this seemingly unintimidating release. Hg is fun, challenging, lengthy, vibrant and costs less than a decent kebab. Buy it now!
This review was based on a purchased copy of the game for the Xbox 360.