Okay, so let’s not get wrapped wrap in any form of over-hyped statements here. Allow me to be curt – Metacell is an action-puzzler, or to be precise, another match-3 game. But don’t be amiss here; it has the kind of direction behind it to ensure that it’s not just a plain old diamond encrusted foray into this well-established genre. For a start, the player has full 360 movement around the eponymous cell, right? And this thing is alive! I mean, it has tentacles and tries to shoot you with lasers while you’re trying to arbitrarily shoot your colored gems around the place.
“Metacell, the first installment in an epic five-game saga, is an immersive 2D twitch puzzle shooter with a hard sci-fi plot.”
Hmm, I can see that’s not enough to impress you, and fair enough. But perhaps you should feel the urge to try Metacell out; then there is a beta version available for Windows (the full game will be coming to many more platforms), which I’ve cheekily pulled from the game’s Kickstarter project. And in that you can grab a copy of the game, as well as the actually quite decent metal soundtrack, which I wouldn’t mind listening to outside of the game, which might be a first for a metal soundtrack in a game. Oh, and there’s Greenlight as well, of course.
Tentacles And All
You see that odd looking bunch up there? That’s the cast of Metacell’s “hard sci-fi” plot. They call these types of narratives “hard” because they’re quite the mouthful to absorb and usually require people like myself to re-read sentences. Several times. Mostly it’s because they usually have some message about society’s ultimate doom if we carry on the way we are, but I think Metacell is described as “hard sci-fi” mostly because the green chef you can see there left the eggs on the fryer for too long. The clutz!
You play as the red and yellow fella, Dominic (a strangely normal name), and are tasked with shutting down the metacell that’s emerged after scientists fused together materials from two opposing universes. Now it’s going to kill everyone if you don’t match three and keep its fast reproductive state at bay. Or something like that. To be honest, I just to dodge more bullets and tentacles while attempting to match gems, so I’m hoping that if Metacell does get funded the focus is on making the game more action-packed and therefore exciting and difficult. That’s not to say it’s not already engaging – good grief, I accidentally spent an hour playing the beta version instead of writing about it – I’m a slave to most games with collectible power ups. But I want this metacell to be an angry piece of crap that I curse at. Semi-bullet hell isn’t really a thing that exists, but dodging multiple, intense attacks from the eyeball at the center while matching three would work, and work well, I feel.
Interestingly, as you no doubt picked up on at the top of this plight, Metacell is part of a proposed 5-part game series. Fortunately, not every single game is to be a match-3 game; they’re all intended to be difference gameplay experiences inside the same story. Which is quite an interesting way to handle a game’s narrative and keep people invested in it with a fresh game experience every time. I’m not saying it’s the new gospel, but it’s pretty cool, is all. And you can, of course, grab yourself a pre-order for all five games at a fairly hefty price if you should wish. Here’s the proposed series of games: Metacell II: Beyond the Gate (2.5-D shooter RPG), Metacell III: Adrift (2.5-D puzzle RPG), Metacell IV: Ascension (3D action-adventure platformer RPG), and Metacell V: Origins (3D survival horror FPS RPG). See, interesting.