Life is all about perspective they say and the developers of the puzzle game EchoChrome have taken this very much to heart.
EchoChrome is a game available for the PSP and on the PlayStation Network. It's a puzzle game of a slightly different nature, modelled on the works of M.C. Escher, and essentially uses the camera angle to help a little stick man find his way around.
The art style of the game is very cool, it's all presented on a simple white background, with a black stick man who walks around what looks like pencil-drawn pathways in a 3D space. While it's very simple, it's a little tricky to describe, so please have a look at the screen shots and you will quickly get the idea.
Now as for how it plays, you do not have any control over the walking man. The only thing you control over is the camera angle – the perspective. And it is all about perspective in Echochrome; where everything will be exactly how it seems. You just have to make it seem the way that works best for you. Allow me to elaborate…
There is a hole in the floor. But, if you move your camera perspective, you can cover that up by - let's say - blocking it with a column. Then that hole is not actually there as far as your little stick guy is concerned.
Another example; if there are two separate platforms, move the camera angle so they appear to be touching and connected. Guess what? Now they are connected, and one single path is formed for your stick guy to walk along.
The controls are simple; you are free to spin the camera around or swerve up and down. There are various obstacles you and your stick man will have to contend with, such as holes, jumping pads, stairs etc. The object of each stage is that there are shadowy figures placed at various points in the map that the stick man has to walk through, and it's your job to get him there. He will always walk straight ahead of himself and if he comes to the end of a path he will simply turn around and continue to walk in the other direction.
The more simple angles are easy to get the hang of, however I did find with jumping platforms it was a little tricky to understand the right angle to get him to land where I wanted him to. Falling through holes was similar - sometimes it was difficult to determine where he was going to fall, but overall I found these easier than the jumping platforms.
The amount of depth shown in some of the later levels is truly astounding. If you've ever failed completely on Lemmings then you'll probably never complete EchoChrome either.
The idea is good and fairly originally for a puzzle game. I only have two real gripes with the game. The first, as I stated earlier, is that sometimes understanding the angles and knowing exactly where your stick man will go or end up is tricky to see.
My second issue would be the sound. The music is strong and classical but it is also almost painful to listen to for a long time. It's good music (if you like classical music with a very loud violin) but personally I felt it set the wrong tone for the game and made it less fun (and overly dramatic for a simple puzzle game).
Also, as the stickman walks he makes a loud, almost hollow echo sound with each step. This reminds me of walking through a museum or an empty hallway with heavy shoes or heels (don't judge me, I lost a bet). Due to the very simple art style, the game really depends on the sound to help create the mood and I just don't think feeling like I am walking around an empty museum is the right mood, but hey, that could just be me. Maybe you like that kind of thing…
If you want to give EchoChrome a shot, you might want to consider getting your iPod playlists ready, because besides the music this game could potentially be very interesting for those who like their games with a strong perspective on Geometry.