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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn to look at the components of a problem, gather information, and then attempt a solution. To complete the puzzles, they will need to keep trying, shift their approach, and work through obstacles. It's not fantastic for learning, but kids can certainly brush up on their scientific-method approach. Metrico's infographic-heavy approach may not be overtly focused on learning, but kids may be surprised at what they do pick up after playing through its puzzles.
There aren't really either overt positive or negative messages here. Successfully completing a puzzle doesn't provide any fanfare or information from the game; you simply move on to the next one. There isn't even a clearly defined story.
Positive Role Models
Although you can choose to be a male or female character, there's no information about the characters; they don't talk, and they don't seem to have immediately obvious goals.
Ease of Play
The game begins simply enough but slowly adds touch, camera, and accelerometer (tilt) controls. Brief tutorials introduce each new input mechanism. By the end, controls are difficult to physically maneuver all at once.
Violence & Scariness
You're given the ability to "shoot" at specific inanimate objects.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Metrico is an unusual downloadable game with very little objectionable content. Set in a world of infographics, the game has players mostly looking at bar graphs, pie charts, and a lot of coordinates for your location. There are no other characters in the game, and even the ability to shoot is more reminiscent of a game of Pong than actual violence. The biggest concerns for younger kids are that they might find the scenery boring and the puzzles too difficult to enjoy.
Is It Any Good?
Metrico has a lot going for it. Strikingly simple graphics, a unique premise, and some clever -- if occasionally fiendish -- puzzles set the game apart. It's one of those games in which you often need to walk away for a moment and come back with a different approach. And when tilt controls are introduced, things start getting even more complicated. You'll need to hold your device at precise angles to solve later puzzles, all while accessing the front and back screens, left stick, and buttons. Ideally you'll still be able to see the puzzle you're working on, but there's no guarantee. It's frustrating, and not in the way that a good puzzle should be.
Although Metrico is perfectly fine for younger kids in terms of content, the graphics will have little appeal, and even the simplest puzzles may be too difficult for them to solve physically and conceptually. It's more of a cerebral game than most kids prefer. Metrico provides some compelling challenges for those who enjoy figuring things out; you just have to deal with some unwieldy controls along the way.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.