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Sept. 18 2006
Mercury Meltdown - PSP Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
5/10/2006QV SoftwareIgnitionIgnition Banbury1-2$79.95

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One of the best puzzlers returns.
When the PSP launch there was one game we were most keen to play. It was Archer MacLean's Mercury. Not only was the game one of the most visually impressive on the system, but offered some unique gameplay perfectly suited to both the analogue slider stick, but also the short gameplay burts associated with portable gaming. Almost a year later and Archer has left his company which was bought out by Ignition Entertainment, but development of the sequel continued, and Mercury Meltdown is it. There have been some changes, but the essence of the game remains the same.

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An all new graphical style.
As one would expect the game includes not only new levels, enemies and traps, but also a new graphical style. The title includes 168 entirely new levels (double that of the 84 in the first game), free look and replay modes as well as some party games. The party games include 'Paint' - where you have to paint more surface then your opponent, 'Metrix' - a puzzle game where you have to match up colours, 'Rodeo' - where you have to remain on a moving platform as long as possible, 'Shove' - which we aren't sure about and 'Race' which is, well, a race.

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Heading through the maze...
One of the big changes to this title is that there are different forms of mercury blobs. As well as the same state as the previous game there is now a fast blob, a slow one which is easier to control, and a solid one which won't break up into smaller parts. This should add plenty of strategy to the game as you chose your best option in levels.

The developers are using the PSP's Wi-Fi functionality for 2-player multi-player action and are also promising that game sharing will make it into the title - a certain way to get even more people hooked on this addicitive title. Finally the game will include downloadable content.

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Levels are much more complex.
If there is one area of the game which I am not too excited about it's the change in graphic style. While Archer MacLean's Mercury had some of the most gorgeous liquid mercury effects, the levels were wonderfully detailed and the game just had a gorgeous gloss to it. As you can see in the surrounding screenshots this sequel is taking a more cartoon based approach to the graphics. Bold primary colours abound, and while the mercury blobs still look stunning, the game has a bit too much of a childish look to it. Still, this is certain to be one of the best puzzle games in quite some time. Expect a release this October.