Mercury Meltdown Revolution Review

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Publisher: Ignition Entertainment
Developer: Ignition Entertainment

Platform: Wii
Reviewed on Wii

This puzzle game for the Wii has players maneuvering blobs of mercury through laboratory-themed mazes filled with wildly dangerous obstacles and wacky rewards.

Kyle Ackerman

What could be a better topic for a game than the 80th element on the periodic table? Mercury has headlined its own games, released last year on the PSP and PlayStation 2 and now comes to the Wii. Mercury Meltdown Revolution is similar to Mercury Meltdown and Mercury Meltdown Remix. But honestly, Mercury Meltdown Revolution is leaps and bounds better than its predecessors.

The game is a modern take on the classic handheld puzzle that has had gamers rolling balls through mazes for hundreds of years. So what makes the Wii version so much better? It's not the basic graphics – it's that the game takes advantage of the Wii Remote, allowing players to tilt the play area by tilting the Wii remote.

Gamers are probably most familiar with this style of play thanks to the Super Monkey Ball series. The idea is similar, but in this case, you send a blob of mercury careening around a maze by tilting the Wii remote. In the case of Mercury Meltdown Revolution, the game is particularly interesting because of the malleability of the mercury itself.

The blob can be divided and subdivided, heated, frozen and even painted. It's interesting, because victory isn't an all-or-nothing affair. Get near an edge and you might lose some mercury, netting a lower final score. Many gates and switches require the mercury to be a specific color, involving breaking up the blob, painting the tinier blobs different colors and then mixing them. And of course, there are switches, repulsors, invisible blocks, enemies, teleporters, and blocks to be shoved around.

There are three goals to every one of the 150 levels, separated into laboratory themes like the biology lab and atomic lab. Those goals are to get the best score, to finish the level with as much mercury as possible and to collect all the bonus stars available on a level. By racking up these three types of achievements, it's possible to unlock new labs (sets of levels), party games and (really hard!) bonus levels.

The party games are basic, involving activities like racing, or the rodeo (in which you try to stay on a bucking platform as long as possible). They're entertaining, but not nearly as compelling as the scads of cleverly designed levels that have you maneuvering the mercury to its goal.

Mercury Meltdown Revolution has a few problems, the biggest of which has to do with the camera. You can switch camera angles, but the camera always follows the largest blob of mercury. At times, that means it will follow a doomed blob about to fall from the maze, meaning that you can't see the smaller blob that you might be able to save (if only you could see what was happening). Also, the graphics are decidedly simplistic, even for the Wii. But this isn't a game that would be served by fancy textures or billions of polygons.

In the end, Mercury Meltdown Revolution is a game that continues to be fun for a long time, and can be played for a few minutes at a time or hours on end. Even better, it's a bargain title that costs just under $20, bumping its score up a notch. This may be a bargain title, but it's a bargain game you'll be playing long after a premium game would be back on the shelf.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on November 13, 2007 1:21 PM.

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