Echo Generation

Game review by
Angelica Guarino, Common Sense Media
Echo Generation Game Poster Image
Kids vs. aliens tale is delightful, wacky, well-executed.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

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.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Echo Generation relies on zany antics and nostalgia for the 1980s. As a result, there’s not much room for particularly constructive lessons.

Positive Role Models

Many of the characters are funny and entertaining, but they don't show off role model-like qualities.

Diverse Representations

Players have a racially diverse set of avatars to choose from at the beginning of the game. In addition, the human members of the community are racially diverse as well, avoiding token characters or characters who fit stereotypes based on race. 

Ease of Play

Echo Generation is technically solid. The turn-based combat mechanics are familiar to role-playing game fans while adding in some unique twists, such as having to succeed in quick-time events within combat to deal additional damage or block an enemy’s attack. But those who may not be the biggest fans of puzzles may get tired of the fetch quests.

Violence

Characters use weapons such as knives and axes to fight fantastical, mostly non-human villains. Blood effects are present. During one optional character interaction, the player character’s younger sister recalls a story about attacking the player character with a set of kitchen knives. The story is abstract and cartoonish enough that it’s probably not harmful to preteen players.

Sex

In one instance, a character will ask the player character out on a “date” to the local video store. None of the characters seem to follow up on this afterward, nor does it seem that the date happens. 

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Echo Generation is a turn-based RPG (role-playing game) available for download on the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. It will be released on Windows in late 2021. Fueled by late '80s-early '90s nostalgia and a unique 3D pixel art style, the story centers around a kid (an avatar that the player can pick from a diverse set of options) who is investigating paranormal occurrences in an unnamed small town. Joined by their younger sister and a small army of pets, the player character must use weapons such as a hockey stick and boxing gloves to face off with everything from a giant animatronic clown to a group of talking raccoons blocking the road. As most of the gameplay involves combat, there's repeated cartoon violence and some blood effects. There are also some spooky, potentially disturbing elements such as a villain who kidnaps children and a boss battle that begins with a jump scare.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

The player character in ECHO GENERATION is a typical suburban kid in 1993. They have the freedom to roam the neighborhood with their spunky younger sister, and it's only to be expected that with this freedom comes a tendency to look for trouble. They don't have to look far, though, as the town is experiencing a set of strange occurrences with extraterrestrial overtones. There are two main sets of tasks -- item puzzles ("if you find a [strange item] and give it to me, I'll give you a [stranger item, which you will probably have to give to someone else at some point]) and combat. The overall goal is to investigate the origin of a spaceship that has crashed into a cornfield on the outskirts of town and look into the suspected involvement of FST, a faceless megacompany and former employer of your father, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances five years ago. 

Is it any good?

The overall tone of this role-playing game is The X-Files meets Rugrats (meets Stranger Things meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind), but it's also a lot of fun. Echo Generation is full of movie and TV references that are a joy for those who may remember them, but isn't alienating to those who may not. The main story takes a back seat to the puzzles and combat, opting to focus on smaller goals such as boss battles. It's not until the last third of the game where the main story takes over as a singular focus, but the game's consistently entertaining from beginning to end.

The biggest strike against this title is that the puzzles are often not based in logic and can get annoying for those who don't already have the patience for them ingrained from years of point-and-click adventure experience. But a simple Google search for a walkthrough is probably enough to keep frustration at bay. Looking past that, Echo Generation is simply fun to play. The developers made a really smart choice in integrating quick time events during combat (meaning that players have to press a sequence of buttons at the correct time to earn extra damage on their attacks), as well as focusing combat on a series of unique boss-like enemies rather than just a few enemy types. This makes battles feel fresh and engaging throughout the story. As for the story itself, Echo Generation is a reminder that video game plots don't have to be airtight as long as they're entertaining. There's a lot to be said for the zany antics that players will get themselves into, such as helping the neighborhood conspiracy theorist fix up his trailer or defending the neighborhood from a band of talking raccoons. There's a self-awareness in the writing that creates a sense of chaos without negative consequences. Echo Generation isn't here to provide a compelling or emotionally moving story, it's here to be an alien-hunting fantasy experience full of clever TV and movie references -- and that's okay. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the kids In Echo Generation have free reign over the neighborhood. It seems as if they can go anywhere they want as long as they "come home in time for dinner," as the player character's mother often asks them to do, but how does this compare and contrast to your experience growing up? 

  • What was your reaction to interacting with the potentially scary villains in Echo Generation? Were you scared at all or not? Can you picture someone else having a different reaction, and why do you think they might?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love role-playing games

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate