A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a simple yet sophisticated puzzle game available for download on the PlayStation Network. The puzzles are quite challenging, so younger players may struggle grasping the perspective concepts. There is an online component, although it's limited to leaderboards and shared puzzles.
What's it about?
Sony attempts a slightly artistic approach to the puzzle game with the release of ECHOCHROME, a simply-designed brain teaser that's highly sophisticated. The goal is simple: Navigate a mannequin figure toward a series of 'echos', or shadows of your character.
Accomplishing this requires you to use Echochrome's five perspective laws. Each level consists of a series of platforms. As you manipulate your view of the puzzle with the analog stick, you'll notice sections start to merge. This is perspective traveling. In perspective landing and jumping, holes appear on pathways that either send the mannequin in the air or tumbling through. If you adjust perspective quickly enough, you can catch it on a different platform. If you hide your view of these holes, they disappear using perspective absence. You can also block gaps in pathways and pass over as if they were linked. The mannequin walks automatically, but you can stop it or speed up the pace.
Is it any good?
Initially, Echochrome feels difficult, even frustrating at times, as you learn the laws. However, after a few rounds studying and implementing the proper perspective tools, the game turns to a surprisingly soothing experience. Minimalist visuals reminiscent of M.C. Escher and soft classical music create a highly relaxing environment. As you master techniques, the puzzles become a bit easier to figure out. In Freeform mode, you'll tackle a group of random puzzles that must be solved before time expires. One annoying feature is the lack of a visible timer. Only auditory cues signal when time is about to run out. Atelier is less constrictive, giving you an opportunity to choose between the game's 56 puzzles. If you've conquered them all, you can create and share levels in Canvas mode. While Echochrome requires patience to surmount, it still provides a fresh, hypnotic experience.
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