Echochrome

LQ: 9.8

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Brain grade: 9.5
Fun score: 9.0

Game Type: ESRB Rating: Everyone Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 7+ Thinking Skills Used: , , ,

Playstation Network

In Echochrome, players must solve visual puzzles in a unique 3D environment. Players control a rotatable world, spinning and turning the world’s perspective in order to open up new pathways and lead the game’s character from point A to point B. Players will have to re-adjust their expectations of cause and effect, as the game constantly rewrites laws of gravity and physics using optical illusions. This is a game with simple controls and no objectionable content, but the difficulty of the puzzles may be too challenging for very young players. Therefore, Echochrome is recommended for players ages 8 and up.


This Game is Good for Kids Who Need Help With:

Flexibility

Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

Each puzzle in Echochrome offers a different set of obstacles for players to overcome, and movement is handled much differently than in other games of its type. Players do not control the walking character; rather, they only control the movement of the camera. The layout of the world depends greatly on the angle at which players view it. For example, one early map features two parallel paths. One path has a jump pad, while the other has an "echo" -- a shadow of the walking character that must be collected to complete the level. In order to collect the echo, players must turn the camera so that the path with the jump pad appears to be below the path with the echo. Then, the walking character can step on the jump pad, leap to the "higher" platform and grab the echo. Other puzzles might have hidden pits; others might feature jump pads and oddly-placed pitfalls; and still others might have all these obstacles at once. There is commonly more than one way to beat a level, so players need to keep an open mind and try new things when manipulating the game world.

Time Management

Being efficient and aware of our use of time and effort.

In Echochrome, players are on a time limit, and should try to create solutions quickly and efficiently. Each level has an invisible timer, and if it runs out, the level starts over from the beginning. Players are encouraged to first play around with the puzzle, exploring perspectives to open up new possibilities in the game. However, excessive investigating will drain the timer and may result in failure. In order beat the game's harder puzzles, players must learn how to promptly explore the game world, quickly manipulating perspectives to create unique solutions and complete the puzzle in time.

Focus

Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

The world of Echochrome can be drastically changed as players turn the camera. Depending on the relative position of objects on the screen, paths that were originally straight can become dotted with once-hidden pits. Likewise, paths that were once next to each other could become very widely spaced if the camera is turned at a specific angle. Since the character is constantly in motion, players must pay close attention to their immediate surroundings and change perspectives in order to keep the moving character on the field of play.

Working Memory

Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.

There are five basic "perspective mysteries" in Echochrome. Each of these mysteries allows the onscreen character to bypass certain obstacles if the player moves the camera in a certain way. For example, the mystery of "perspective absence" allows the character to walk across gaps in its path. To accomplish this, players must move the camera so that the gap or hole in the path is obscured by a section of scenery. The character will then walk straight across the obstacle as if it did not exist at all. Players must learn and remember all these tricks of perspective in order to solve the tougher challenges presented by the game's later puzzles.

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