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Echochrome is a puzzle game unlike anything I've seen before. Handhelds seem to have become increasingly focused on puzzle games, with almost every one falling into more traditional genres of sliding tiles. Then, here comes Echochrome to inject a fresh take on the genre.
In the game you take control of one thing and one thing only: perspective. The games physics can basically be condensed down to one rule and that is what you see goes.
The game world is filled with impossible objects, like Penrose stairs, and the goal of each puzzle is to guide a figure, resembling one of those small wooden articulated artist's mannequins, who you have no control over, to a target area in each level represented by a ghosted image of a mannequin, or 'echo'. It sounds simple, but there are obstacles, and you must tackle these obstacles by moving the game camera. There are holes in the ground, which, as you dont want to fall through, you must move the game camera so that the hole is hidden and your man will just keep walking. There are gaps you need to cross, you need to obscure it with other scenery and your man will treat it as if the ground continues behind the object obscuring the gap. It plays with perspective in this sense. Finally there are White circles which act to thrown your man into the air, allowing easier access to other areas, but they can also be unwanted, meaning you must obscure them, allowing your man to continue as before. More difficult game worlds will also introduce multiple figures per level.
It's a simple game with a clear and stripped back theme throughout. Everything is white with a thin black outline. Music is performed by a string quartet, keeping it simple. The game is easy to pick up and put down so it's perfect if, like me, you like a 20 minute-or-so go on your PSP on your commute into work. There's no plot or story, but on the European version there are 315 levels meaning you'll have plenty to do. By comparison the north American version has 54 levels and the Asian version 32 so it's definitely worth making sure you've picked up a European version.
Honestly it's a great little puzzle game and a great way to spend your commute to work. I don't know another game like it really, although you could say it shares gameplay elements on the most basic level with lemmings, the style of the game and the controls are without comparison. It will require thought and reasoning and patience, but it's a really rewarding gameplay experience. After being undecided over whether to give it an 8 or a 9 out of 10 I've decided to go with 8.5/10.