Mercury Hg

Mercury Hg’s level design and variety are a masterpiece.

By Daavpuke, Posted 03 Oct 2011

Simply using the laws of physics to create a puzzle game is hardly anything new. In fact, Mercury Hg bears a striking resemblance to a modern Marble Madness, if it were made in 2011. By replacing a marble with a blob of mercury, the game still revolves around making sure to get your object to the finish as expertly as possible. Though passing it off as a mockup of the prior classic gives Mercury way too little credit; it’s far more than just that.


Every time I see this game, I think of Röyksopp.

With its modern design finish, its use of simple lines, shapes, colors and minimalism give it a very sleek appearance. Play boards are usually made up of a few colors that resonate and tick to the beat of some Scandinavian electro pop or a custom track. Shapes like cubes, triangles and circles divide the board up on a floor tiling that may sometimes light up as a disco floor. Lines on the side of the screen represent various meters, such as time, amount of mercury and tilting. Especially with the game’s soundtrack there’s no better way to describe it than an ‘Ikea’ vibe.

The game’s main Discovery mode grants levels that follow the periodic table of Mendeleev. For you non-science folks, it’s the table that has all of nature’s elements in it that make up the basics of chemistry. By tilting the game board for movement, players need to guide their blob and grab elements, solve puzzle segments and get all the mercury to the finish in a set amount of time.

And while it doesn’t sound like the trickiest thing to do, these games are usually designed around cutthroat timing. As the expertly designed levels progress, a wide array of new elements are introduced and combined. Sticky or slippery floors, sections that require splitting the blob, using inertia as a tool and so much more is woven into each level. If one thing can be said it’s that Mercury Hg’s level design and variety are a masterpiece and that alone makes for an astounding game.

NoobFeed Review - Mercury Hg
Oh yes; this is only some of the marble madness that Mercury offers.

The review could stop here, but in more detail, the game also uses many different aspects of puzzle elements to create a cornucopia of possibilities. For instance, some boards react to proximity movement and will change the floor as the blob approaches. Also, many levels require changing colors on a specially designed sphere, after which the color coded floor tiles have to be painted to change the playing field. This, together with tons of differing mechanics in general, makes up the many different levels in the main game mode.

Doing well and adhering to the 4 required prerequisites of time, mercury percentage, score and time, unlocks challenges and bonus levels, where yet more variation enters. Challenges mostly require a set of goals be completed through a set of levels, such as acquiring enough elements while also maintaining a percentage of mercury. Bonus levels alter the game by requiring picking up vials of mercury and getting the whole blob to the finish without dropping 1 drop. Together with an already extensive main mode, Mercury Hg results in a sizeable game, especially for its low price.

NoobFeed Review - Mercury Hg
Light up the dancefloor! Except, there's not dancing.

There isn’t really any downside to be found, other than perhaps the difficulty set by the game itself. Sure, it can be annoying to lose a droplet of mercury off the edge of the board or race towards the finish only to miss, but that’s all part of the experience. If it was easier, the puzzle element wouldn’t be as satisfying. So, even if that means that it won’t be as accessible, it certainly doesn’t mean that it won’t appeal to all forms of gamers, from the casual to the more determined.

Mercury Hg is a slick and expertly designed puzzle game that uses physics and a ton of varying content to create an excellent and entertaining experience for anyone out to try it. Appealing in both its modern presentation and gameplay, there shouldn’t really be any reason to pass up this more than solid title at this ridiculously low price.

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Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Mercury Hg

90/100

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3
Publisher(s): UTV Ignition Games
Developer(s): UTV Ignition Games
Genres: Puzzle
Themes: Puzzle
Release Date: 2011-09-27

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