Turn on your flashlight, and step into a great little puzzle game. Just don't make it mad.
Echochrome ii hates you. It wants you to fail, and when you do, it mocks you for it. This isn’t a game to play when you want something easy; this is a game you play when you want a real challenge. To say that echochrome 2 is a challenging game would be to give it a disservice. This is a game that will woo you with a relaxed colour palette, soothe you with strings, and then punch you in the face out of spite. However, in spite of all the senseless violence, you’ll come to love it in much the same way I’ve done.
Echochrome ii’s main success is its control scheme. This Move controller is incredibly precise, and the calibration process for the game was an absolute breeze. The game uses the controller in an incredibly fluid and natural way, with the player controlling the flashlight on the screen, lighting up shadows. The game uses the controller to great effect, and I was making sweeping movements with the flashlight within minutes, transporting my little mannequin across the stage on a tiny platform, all with my wrist. It’s an incredibly cool feeling. However, if there is a stumbling point with the Move navigation, it comes in the form of the game’s menus. They come across as unintuitive, and awkward to use. The move works well as a pointer, but it almost feels as if the menus have been designed as somewhat of an afterthought, with buttons placed in entirely awkward places, that I found hard to reach with the on screen pointer, as the camera kept losing the controller when I got to them. Also, I couldn’t find a way to progress straight to the next level after completing a previous one. The game requires you to back out to the level selection screen every time, and select the next level from there, which is somewhat tiresome. This interface proves particularly troublesome when using the game’s built in level editor, as the layout just seems confusing and awkward to use. While I did eventually create my masterpiece of level design (a straight line with an exit at the end), it didn’t feel great managing the tools at my disposal.
That said, Echochrome ii certainly did a great job of calming my frayed nerves during the time I spent with it. The game is incredibly relaxing; with a relatively neutral colour scheme being underpinned by a string soundtrack that seemed to never end. I felt like I was being slowly whisked away to dream land every time I started up the game. However, this was often shattered by my own inability to think. Echochrome 2 gets hard sometimes, as do most puzzle games. But rarely have I found myself stuck on a puzzle for almost half an hour, before smacking my face with the realization that I hadn’t noticed that two pieces could be combined to make a stairwell. It’s these kind of moments where Echochrome 2 really comes to life. It certainly doesn’t hinder things to think that the built in level portal will keep new levels coming for quite some time, and the video recording functionality means that you can show off perfect runs to your friends anytime.
Echochrome 2 is absolutely wonderful. The game constantly begs for your attention, and you’ll keep crawling back to it like the abused spouse that you are. Sure, the game may abuse you from time to time, but when the highs are this good, the lows just melt away.
For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
What I Dislike:
Developer:Artoon, SCE Japan Studio
Release Date:December 2010
Price:$14.99, $9.99, HK$117.00, €12.99