Lone Echo

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Lone Echo Game Poster Image
Great space adventure showcases great story, VR technology.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Fixing mysterious problems to help others, solving puzzles, and exploring are all positive messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play an AI-controlled android, Jack, who works with a female astronaut, Liv, to fix a damaged mining station around Saturn. Your character is smart, witty, helpful.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence
Sex
Language

Some profanity including "s--t," "damn," "hell."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lone Echo is a space-themed virtual reality adventure game where players try to solve the problems on a mining colony. It's the single-player portion of a game compilation; a separate multiplayer action game, Echo Arena, is based on the single-player story and is bundled with it. There's no inappropriate content in this game, except for some profanity, with words like "s--t," "bitch," "hell," and "damn." Parents should also be aware that VR equipment makers don't recommend VR experiences for kids under 12 because of the potential impact the technology may have on younger players' physiological development.

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What's it about?

LONE ECHO is a virtual reality game where players assume the role of Jack,an advanced AI-controlled android who works with his human female counterpart, Captain Olivia Rhodes, to investigate a troubled mining facility within the rings of Saturn. You'll spend your time floating in space, using boosters to propel yourself in a given direction, using futuristic tools to repair the facility, and solving environmental puzzles as you aim to repair the facility and figure out what happened to begin with. You'll talk with "Liv" and choose answers from some multiple-choice options to propel the story along. Along with the single-player campaign, there's also an included multiplayer mode called Echo Arena, where you and other bots (controlled by other players, remotely) fly and fight through a sports-like match in zero gravity.

Is it any good?

This adventure showcases what's possible with virtual reality because it really gives players the sense of weightlessness and exploration in space. From a production standpoint -- with excellent graphics and animation -- Lone Echo is a beautiful, believable thrill. For those who are concerned about motion sickness in VR games, the developers at Ready At Dawn did a great job ensuring that movement is fluid and enjoyable. Aside from the atmosphere, one of the highlights of the single-player game is the dialogue between your character (Jack) and Liv; the two chatter as they accomplish tasks together. It's unclear if your answers change the story at all, but it doesn't matter, as you feel like you're still interacting with Liv the way you want. Puzzles aren't too challenging and mostly involve using the right tool for the job, flicking switches, or fitting boxes into place, and so on, but it feels natural and intuitive since you're using the Oculus controllers to manipulate the objects. Truly, the game makers did a great job here. The multiplayer option is fun, too, with its zero-gravity arena in which you fight against other Jack-like AI android bots in teams. You glide, boost, grab, and punch your way to victory, while tossing a flying disc to the opposing team's goal. Anyone who owns an Oculus Rift headset should download and play Lone Echo, especially if they're into space-themed entertainment, puzzles, a great story, and adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about profanity. Did the game need to include profanity to make the story more believable, or would it work just as well without it?

  • Talk about virtual reality gaming. Is Lone Echo one of the first truly great VR titles? Will this technology take off, or is it a fad? Are there too many barriers of entry for VR gaming to become a mainstream success?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love space

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