A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about the culture and customs of Stone Age civilization, including how early humans hunted, ate, and traveled, with a special emphasis on the art form known as "cave painting." Kids use everyday items from the environment to fashion tools that help them solve puzzles, such as making paint pigments out of ochre, or fashioning a paintbrush out of horsehair. Mini-puzzle games require kids to recognize patterns and arrange symbols in logical sequences. In spite of fiendishly difficult puzzles, kids will find an immersive adventure that aims to be as historically accurate as possible.
Several positive messages can be taken from the main character's quest. Through perseverance, determination, and resourcefulness, he is able to overcome various obstacles and puzzles and reach his destination.
Positive Role Models
The main character is an aspiring artist who is following in the footsteps of his renowned artist grandfather. The characters he meets along the way are supportive of his quest.
Ease of Play
Puzzles are quite difficult, and cannot be skipped or even reset if the player gets stuck and wants to start back from the beginning. Players can, of course, get around this by saving the game just before they start a puzzle, but a "reset" button would have been nice. Players will need excellent reading comprehension to find the clues buried in dialogue and text.
Violence & Scariness
Players will be menaced by wild animals and must figure out how to evade them. In one scenario, players fire rocks at wolves with a slingshot to scare them off. Players harpoon a salmon and cook it over a fire to eat.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Echo: Secret of the Lost Cavern is a point-and-click adventure that immerses players in the prehistoric civilization of the Stone Age. The game is inspired by the famous paintings of the Lascaux Caves, and focuses on prehistoric art. Puzzles are extremely challenging and cannot be skipped, so younger players might need the help of a parent or an online strategy guide. The game contains some scary situations where players are menaced by wild animals, but there is no violence or gore.
Is It Any Good?
Echo: Secret of the Lost Cavern is a challenging adventure with unique subject matter. The prehistoric theme constantly challenges players to think outside the box: When Arok gets hungry, for example, he has to catch his lunch himself by spearing a fish in the river. When he wants to paint, he can't just go to the arts supply store –- he has to fashion a brush out of horsehair and other materials, and collect different colors of "paint" by finding naturally occurring pigments. Puzzles are challenging and cannot be skipped or even reset, but players who persevere through the challenge will enjoy the unique setting and breathtaking 365-degree views of the Lascaux Caves. With the real-life Lascaux Caves now closed to the public, Secret of the Lost Cavern is a great way for kids to be inspired by some small part of the cave's magic.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.