Listening To The Dark Echo

There appears to be a lapse in good iOS games. 2014 gifted us lengthy hits like VVVVVV, 80 Days, and Monument Valley in addition to the pop-in-pop-out titles like Threes! and Helix—but none of their goodness rivaled the addictive nature of past games like Ridiculous Fishing, Icebreaker, Punch Quest, Letterpress, Tiny Wings, and more. Does this mean 2015 is going to be a big year? Maybe. We will see!

Well, an early indicator of potential pocket game success has come via the game Dark Echo. It’s described as a sound meets horror meets puzzle game with a minimalist aesthetic and promise that all you have to do is stay alive. It’s yet to be a breakout success but, judging from it’s current Metascore, it certainly could be the first breakout app hit of the year.

It works because of it’s unique look and somewhat frustrating gaming mechanics: you want to know more about this game. The game’s visuals consist of tiny white feet against black and, at the draw of a finger, the feet walk, emitting pulsing (echoing) sound waves that bounce off the walls to let you know where you are and what dangers surround you. It’s fairly genius and escalates quite quickly.

What is annoying and fantastic about this game is that it is so simple. The mechanics, that is. You move by drawing a finger in any direction, the feet dutifully following. Sounds easy but can go wrong quickly as this relaxed mechanic lacks precision. You won’t hate this fact though but will go attempt to perfect how you move your feet. You’ll never move them as well, as swiftly, or as adroitly as you’d like therefore making for an even tenser play.

Dark Echo is fun, though. It follows games like The Room, Year Walk, and Device 6. It’s even a bit spooky, too. If you’re a bit bored by the apps available now, give this ago. (And, as they note, if you are a blind person, this game may not be best for you: it’s all about watching those radiating sound waves lighting up the world around you.)

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