Echo: Secret of the Lost Cavern

Common Sense Media says

Historical adventure explores prehistoric art and culture.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

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.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary
  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Math

  • patterns
  • sequences

Science

  • substance properties

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • exploration
  • history

Arts

  • drawing
  • painting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • applying information
  • hypothesis-testing

Creativity

  • brainstorming
  • combining knowledge

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A challenging adventure with unique subject matter. The prehistoric theme constantly encourages players to think outside the box. Players who persevere through the challenge will enjoy breathtaking 365-degree views of Lascaux Caves.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn about the culture and customs of Stone Age civilization, with a special emphasis on cave painting. Kids will find an immersive adventure that aims to be as historically accurate as possible.

Support

Puzzles are quite difficult, and cannot be skipped or even reset. Players will need excellent reading comprehension to find the clues buried in dialogue and text. There's an in-game database with a wealth of supplementary learning material.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary
  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Math

  • patterns
  • sequences

Science

  • substance properties

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • exploration
  • history

Arts

  • drawing
  • painting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • applying information
  • hypothesis-testing

Creativity

  • brainstorming
  • combining knowledge

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

Set about 15,000 years ago in the Paleolithic era, ECHO: SECRET OF THE LOST CAVERNS follows the adventures of the young hunter Arok, who sets out to find a renowned cave painter named Klem, and in the process learns how to become an artist himself. Players must solve a variety of puzzles, including unique \"fresco puzzles,\" which involve manipulating paintings on the walls of caves to affect similar objects in real life. There's also an in-game database that contains a wealth of supplementary learning material about Prehistoric tools, customs, art, and culture.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the restoration and preservation of ancient art. What steps do museums take to preserve paintings? Why is it important to do so?

  • Families can also talk about technology. In the era of high resolution digital photography and video, is it really important to see famous works of art in person?

  • Families can talk about learning history from playing games. Do you think games are a good way to teach?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Price:$19.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:The Adventure Company
Release date:November 15, 2010
Genre:Adventure
Topics:History
ESRB rating:E for Mild Violence (Mac, Windows)

This review of Echo: Secret of the Lost Cavern was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old July 18, 2014
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

VERY good

good for learning (If you want to know about prehistoric humans). Lots of puzzles and mazes. GET IT.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Safety and privacy concerns

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