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TGS hands-on: echochrome


After its shocking E3 debut, we desperately wanted to play echochrome, the mind-bending Escher-inspired puzzle game that has players changing their perspective. Available on the PS3 as a downloadable title and as a PSP game, echochrome excited audiences with its truly innovative concept. But, how did the publicly playable PS3 demo play?

Well, it works exactly as you expect it to. The demonstration features an English-speaking monotone voice that seems a perfect match with the game's ultra-minimalist presentation. She'll explain the five rules of the game that control the way your perspective, the world, and your character, all interact with each other. Each sequence has players testing out a single new device, such as being able to block obstacles by hiding them from the player's vision. Through this brief tutorial, players will be gifted with the ability to start playing through the game's mind-destroying puzzles.

The single level available in the demonstration had us attempting to collect echoes, shadows situated in various points in the stage. As simple as that may sound, imagining the total destruction of object permanence is not something we're readily accustomed to. The on-screen avatar acts like a lemming, constantly going forward, even if it means certain doom for the character. This means players will have to act fast, and position the level correctly as the avatar makes its way forward. This is where we found that the camera rotates a bit too slowly for our tastes. We ended one of our lives trying to cover a hole, but couldn't rotate the level quickly enough to save our character. Thankfully, each echo that one walks into acts as a checkpoint, so that the level we played didn't become frustrating. However, we hope that Sony will make moving the camera a bit speedier.

echochrome is a simple, innovative, and more importantly, fun title that continues to deliver on the PlayStation Store's promise of offering gamers unique gameplay experiences. Although we didn't get to play much, it's clear that Sony has something truly special in their hands.

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