Archer Maclean's Mercury review
Archer Maclean's Mercury - Excellent puzzler

The good:

- Doesn't get boring
- Addictive, although that can also be a bad thing
- Fun for anyone
- Challenging
- Brain training
- Original idea
- Extremely cheap to buy today

The bad:

- No online multiplayer
- Could have slightly better controls
- Music can get annoying


Archer Maclean's Mercury. A simple idea, used to great effect. This game really is unique.
Some people may not find this game appealing when someone says "you tilt a tray/level to move a blob of mercury to the end of it". But it's not as simple as that. (Yes, it's the tray that tilts, not you controlling the mercury blob)
Within the tray (their name for the world), their are lot's of different switches, doors, spinning passageways, pneumatic scoops etc.

The blob of mercury can take many different colors. It's primary colors are Yellow, Blue and Red. These colors can merge and make the secondary colors. Then, if you mix two secondary colors together, you will make silver mercury. These colors aren't just for making the blob look pretty. You may have to have a specific color of mercury to flick a switch, or to go through a door. This is a great idea for the game, and it would be a lot less unique and interesting if this feature was not included.

The game has a few different zones, each with quite a few levels inside. A lot like Crash Bandicoot's warp zones. The zones get harder as you progress.
The zones, in order, are: Tutorial/Neon, Quartz, Xero, Aqua, Helios and Nano. They all have different themes.

The levels have different modes.
In Race mode, you have to get your mercury to the end within a set time.
In Percentage mode, you have to get a specific amount of mercury to the end, and if too much tips over the sides of the tray, you lose.
In Task mode, you have to do a given task.
All the levels have a lot of unique designs.

The level select screen is very aesthetically pleasing, especially with the eye-candy animations.

Two player mode is basically you and your opponent playing the same level, and whoever gets the highest score wins.

The controls of the game are fairly intuitive and self explanatory, with the analog stick tilting the tray, X and Triangle buttons tilting the camera, O and Square spinning the camera 45 degrees, 90 degrees or freely, depending on which setting you're on.

There are also in game movies. But these are just basically movies of the opening of new levels, so they're not very exciting.

The game's featured obstacles or enemies:
- Mercoid: These little round monsters eat your mercury, stay away from them.
- Doors: Sometimes you have to have a particular color of mercury to open them, some only open for a set time, and some open on a timer.
- Platform: These things move, and you sometimes have to move your mercury onto them to get to places.
- Pile Driver: These things are pneumatic things that lift to let you through, but if you're not quick enough, they fall down and split your mercury into lots of little blobs, and may send them tipping over the side of the tray.
- Pusher: Pneumatic snow plow-like scoops that push your mercury of the sude of the tray. Wait for them.
- Stan: This guy is a little round ball with a moustache inside a translucent cube. He basically rolls around the tray, and you sometimes have to wait for him to move so you can progress. He only appears in a few levels.
- Spinner: These things spin around when you tilt your mercury into them> They are pressure sensitive.
- Gear: Basically a switch activated spinner.
- Grav Bender: This thing activates when you go near it. It sucks your mercury into it and reverses gravity until you get away from it. Useful in some situations.
- Jacob's ladder: Again, activates when you go near it. It sends a bolt of electricity into your mercury, and burns some of it away.
- Tilt bridge: Put some mercury on the scoop, and it will tilt towards you. Useful to get to some places.
- Elevator: Self explanatory.
- Teleporter: Again, self explanatory.
- Vacuum pipe: Does the same job as the teleporter.

This game is a very addictive puzzler. It requires you to use your brain in the same fun way that Chu Chu Rocket for the Dreamcast does.
Today, it's very cheap to buy (I bought my copy for £3 in a sale at GAME [it's normal price was £5]).
Archer Maclean's idea was very unique and is executed very well on the PSP.
Anyone can have fun on this game, and you are almost guaranteed to log 100s of hours on the game trying to complete it and get the highest scores.
It goes in perfect tandem with the sequel, Mercury Meltdown.

I recommend this game for anyone who likes a puzzle.

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