|System: PS3, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Japan Studio (SCEJ)||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sony||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 1, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
July 12, 2007 - At Sony's conference they debuted what Phil Harrison has termed the most graphically absent but fun game for Sony this year. Available through the PlayStation Network and on UMD for the PSP, the simplistically deceiving Echochrome looks like a mind bender that will not only exercise your brain, but make it sweat!
Instead of taking tired old puzzle games and only lightly changing them to create "new" games, Echochrome looks like it's going to be a whole new puzzle experience. With extremely simplistic black and white lines for graphics, the game's premise seems to be to lead a little stick man through a maze. But watching the footage at Sony's press conference, it looks like there's a little more here then simple mazes. You'll have to guide your little man through strange and twisted landscapes made of simple black lines that the likes of only M.C. Escher could dream up. It'll be your mission to twist and transform these drawings, while using small hidden portals or trampolines to get to the other end of the maze. For instance, if your stick man crosses a gap, he'll fall.
If you twist the puzzle so that the gap is obscured by another "closer" maze segment, he'll pass through it. The game is really something you have to see to believe. But the real key to this game seems to lie in its complex simplicity. It's an oxymoron, but this game may be unconventional enough to warrant the extreme wording.
Sure, this game was probably the least visually pleasing element of Sony's press conference today, but kudos to them for turning out a game that looks like it's about substance and not style. I mean, this thing has literally no style. It's all black, lines remember? But it promises a unique gaming experience, and is unlike anything else we've seen from Sony thus far. Sure Sony hasn't really been a trailblazer in the puzzle genre, but this offering has shown that they plan on reaching out and really expanding their game genre library in the next few months.
No further details or a release date have been announced yet, but stay tuned for more information about Echochrome, coming soon to your PS3 and PSP.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer