What is Echochrome? Every once in a great while gamers get treated to something unique and original. It seems that new IP's are hard to come by and even more rare are those that are worth your dollar. In this category I would place Portal, Everyday Shooter and now Echochrome amongst a few others. Simply put Echochrome is a puzzle based game of existence.
Gameplay: Existence huh? How does this work. Well I am sure that putting it down in a review is almost as difficult as it must have been for someone to explain to their Dev team what their vision was. The idea is to follow(collect) the Echo's. In every level you have 5 minutes to collect all the Echo's. An Echo is a shadowy figure of a person. There will never be more then 5 Echo's. There are also 5 rules of existence. All based off perspective. Perspective Traveling, Landing, Existence, Absence and Jump. How do these work? Well you move the level around and your character so it can reach places that were once Obstructed, Unreachable or with gaps in the floor. This is done by Covering, Connecting and Lining up parts of the level with other parts to continue onward by Walking, Jumping and/or Falling... Make sense? Most likely not but the game has a simple tutorial to show you how it all works.
Control: This is the one part that too myself is hard to cover. I feel the controls lack something I can't quite put my finger on. When I think about it though I see no way to actually improve them. Basically when you start a level you have time to look at it before you start your attempt. When your character begins to walk you can stop it at anytime to "think" and start it again anytime when you "Snap"(Eureka!). You can spin the level faster with R1 and if you have a gap nearly covered you can tap the Square button to assist in covering as well you can hold/tap X to make your character move faster. Simple and it works but I feel the learning curve for something this simple takes a while. I feel the same though with most new IP's which I also feel is good because you know it will be different.
Design: Sometimes you look at a level and think 'What we're these guys on?' The design of almost every level is amazing. Getting more and more difficult/creative as you progress(this mode is called Atelier). The ability to create levels(Canvas) and send them to your friends is a great addition as well. At any time you can go to the "Freeform" mode and play random user created levels which tout some of the most unique designs one could imagine. I am amazed by the amount and quality of some of the user created content. I look at a game like this and appreciate how far we have come with puzzle gaming. It is simplicity meets genius which have always been the key to great puzzle games. When creating levels there are 6 different blocks you can place. Holes, Stairs, Jumps, Standard, Echo's and start/finish. Very simple but can be extremely creative. The design is top notch and the way it is delivered is well done as well.
Sound: The music is repetitive but does not grind on you. It is very calming and to myself at least, It really does not get old. The only other sounds are those of your character walking you can hear his steps echo(Who would have thought huh?). Also every minute you are in a level you will hear a chime. 1 for the first and 2 for the second and so on. I like this as I feel having a HUD with a timer would stress me out.
Overall: The game is a great addition to the Playstation Network. It offers a nice relaxing game that you can play for 5 minutes or 5 hours and offers near infinite replayability. It is a very relaxing game and great to take in stride. Level creation and the ability to share and upload your levels offers a lot to creative minds. It is fun and challenging and sees how far you can really think outside the box. While I would not suggest paying 65 dollars as is custom of games these days 10 dollars is well worth the money spent pending you like puzzle games at all. I try to base my scores off of many things. Replayability, Fun and Technical elements. This games offers all of it at the right price. The game has proven simplicity is key and throws in an amazing artistic design that makes you feel involved and inspired. I feel it is something that everyone must see and an amazing addition to everyones library.