Just a quickie review here, as I don’t really have a ton to say about Merger.  It’s a grid-based puzzler where you have to merge slimeballs (that’s balls of slime, not lawyers) until only one remains.  The set-up is somewhat awkward and it takes a while to get the hang of what moves are allowed and what moves are not.  Some kind of visual tutorial would have gone a long ways towards fixing that, but instead all instructions are text-based.  This resulted in me not knowing whether or not to admit that, even after an hour of playing, I still wasn’t fully sure what the rules are.  But I decided not to admit that, because that would be embarrassing.

So, despite the fact that I fully had a grasp of the play mechanics, I wasn’t too excited by Merger.  I probably would like it more if I had, um, even better understanding of the mechanics.  Yea, that works.  But I didn’t.  Have a better grasp.  And yet I still managed to finish almost all of the 60 preset puzzles and play a couple 10,000+ point rounds of “endless” mode (which is just a few randomly generated puzzles that you tick off one at a time).

I can’t fully recommend Merger.  A better tutorial would help, but at best Merger could hope to be a somewhat dull puzzler that you’ll forget about as soon as you turn it off.   It’s crazy to say it, but the bar for what an XBLIG puzzler is capable of being is set pretty damn high.  Any new game on the platform will have to draw comparison to stuff like Escape Goat, Spyleaks, or even Asphalt Jungle 2.  By comparison to them, Merger is as boring as the World Series of Hopscotch.

Merger was developed by Fenrir Games

80 Microsoft Points said “it’s still a more successful merger than AOL and Time Warner” in the making of this review.

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

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