Were you a fan of M. C. Escher’s work? Ever wondered what it would be like to be in a world where the physics of Escher’s worlds actually work?
Echo Chrome looks at a world like ours but as if what we see from the 2D view affects the three dimensional world. Objects fall straight down or jump straight up the screen regardless of what direction that is in the actual world. If you can’t see a hole, it doesn’t exist. If two objects look like they’re connected, they are.
The player can’t directly control the character, only pause their movement. The only control in the game is to change the view of the world, moving so that two platforms appear connected to allow the character to walk from one to the other. If you move a hole behind another object the character will walk over the hole as if it doesn’t exist. If your character walks off a hole, it will fall straight down, just like an Escher painting. Sometimes the character will actually fall upwards if you can make a higher up level object appear below it.
The game has very simple graphics, just simple blocks rectangles in different sizes. There is also the starting point for the character, and up to five waypoints — known as “Echos” — to follow to the finish. The object is to finish through all the waypoints in the shortest time possible.
There are also holes and jump pads. These are just circles on the top of rectangles. If the circle is black it’s a hole. If it’s white, it’s a jump pad. The game is very simple in it’s rules but some of the levels get very complex. Once you finish the standard levels included in the game, you can start playing the player added levels.
The game includes an editor. Since the physics of the game and the graphics are very simple, it’s easy to add your own levels. Simply move blocks around to make your platforms, and then add objects like Echos, jump pads and holes. Once your level is complete, the game asks you to play through it to show that ti’s completable. Then you save it and share it. The game’s developers pick the best user content and promote it periodically.
I highly recommend the game. It’s easy to learn but difficult to master. It’s subtle, casual and addictive. Maybe brush up on your geometry?
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Platform: PlayStation 3
Players: Single player
Launch Date: May 1, 2008
Learning Curve: [rating:4.5]
Overall: [rating:5/5] Editor’s choice