XBLA Review: Mercury Hg

Who knew the Periodic Table could be fun?

Mercury Hg is an addictive, frustratingly difficult game that will have you playing for hours. You play as a blob of mercury which must collect objects and hit the exit in each stage. The blob can be coloured and split so you can combine the colours to form the correct solution for the level. The game’s first mode is Discovery and is basically your campaign of 60 stages with 4 objectives to do in each. These include completing the level in a time limit, keeping 100% of the mercury together, collecting all the items on the stage and obviously completing the level.

The hardest of these objectives is to keep all of the mercury together, since most stages don’t have borders to stop it from spilling over the edge. It’s a game of patience and determination, one that will have you screaming your head off at coming so close, yet so far. You’ll have to become certain colours to activate switches and even access certain areas, which can be tricky when you’re against the clock.

The other modes unlock challenge and secret levels as you progress through the Discovery mode. There are only 10 challenge levels, but they are insanely difficult and only the truly dedicated will overcome them. There are other obstacles to overcome in the stages such as magnets that will pull you towards or away from the area, which can be a narrow passage which usually results in losing blobs of mercury.

Visually, Mercury Hg is simple but very nice to look at in motion. There are a few problems like sometimes the framerate can stutter terribly until you reset a stage and on one occasion, the game froze my screen white and I had to reset my console. The audio is captivating and actually impacts how the stage looks, which is nice when it also works with your own music library…the game even makes an achievement out of you playing a stage with your own track.

The Verdict

Mercury Hg is highly enjoyable, but it will drive you crazy because of the difficulty. Having said that, it’s highly addictive and it will keep luring you back for little doses until you overcome the impossible odds.