Video Game Review – Dark Echo

Release Date: May 11th, 2015
Developer / Publisher: RAC7 Games
Format: PC Game
First playthrough time: 7 hours

Revealing areas and objects
Clapping reveals your surroundings

Major Pros:

  • Excellent minimalist art style with a great use of colors
  • Good sound effects set mood and keep the player on edge (but aren’t necessary for the game if they creep you out!)

Minor Pros:

  • The second half of the game, the light world, lets the player replay the same level layouts with new traps, solutions, and more (and faster) monsters
  • Excellent level design allows players to learn what to do on their own without explanation and level names give hints
White footprints followed by red lines
Monsters follow sound

Major Cons:

  • Angles to aim your character at in order to effectively throw rocks are limited to the 8 points of a compass

Minor Cons:

  • Will leave you terrified of orb shaped patterns of red lines which other people will not understand
  • You will also learn to hate water
  • I think I “fell” out of a level once or twice due to a moving block glitching me through a wall
White sound lines on black
Sound lights up and echos in the exit zone

I’m a sucker for a good art style and minimalist art styles like the one in Dark Echo with their high contrast and bright colors really appeal to me. Combine that with a unique puzzle experience that gives my mental visualization abilities a stretch and cheap price tag and I snagged this thing the day it came out. The following 7 hours of gameplay left my heart beating a little faster as I snuck, tricked, and bolted my way for the exit. I found all the levels to be interesting and fun except that one level at the end with too many moving parts where I died a lot and if you’ve played you know what I’m talking about. My biggest complaint about the game was just that your character is limited to only facing 8 different directions which makes creating effective distractions at the right place a little difficult sometimes. Given the simplicity of the controls however, the 8 direction limit seems appropriate. Overall I loved the game and hope to see many more like it in the future.

Black footprints on white
Ascent to the Light World
Find this game at the publisher’s website or on Steam.

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