A PSP must own
Echochrome, like Patapon before it, is a game that manages to bring something new to the table and still grab your attention with its seemingly simplistic, but increasingly deep gameplay.
Echochrome is a puzzle game where you must help a wireframe character gather up other shadowy figures, called "echos", by directing him down the appropriate paths and keeping him out of danger. However instead of directly controlling the character you control the games camera, which is where the main gameplay aspect comes in.
Each level is reminiscent of an Escher painting (didn't want to use an Escher reference, but it simply can't be helped), and depending on the camera angle the "Wireguy" (as I have come to call him) will interact differently within the level. For example, obscuring a gap in a walkway using another section of the level will cause the Wireguy to continue down the path unobstructed, almost as if the gap is not there. Another example could be adjusting the camera so that instead of falling down a hole to his doom, you save the Wireguy so that a beam that really is above him actually appears below him. What you see is what becomes reality.
One of the things that makes Echochrome so great is that there isn't one specific way to complete a level. The aspect of just controlling the camera and changing the level layout makes for a multitude of ways to collect each echo. This really helps add replay value to an already cheaply priced game.
The game includes 56 levels, and that number grows when you factor in the games extensive level editor. Its a little daunting at first trying to create a level that is possible to complete, but once you become proficient with it its one of the games greatest attractions. Sadly there is no trading of levels between PSP's, and unless they plan on releasing level packs there is no way of downloading new levels.
The wireframe visuals contribute nicely to the games minimalist feel, however the same can't really be said about the music. It's a lot like elevator music, only with a lot more violin. It sounds cool at first, but eventually it may start getting on your nerves (or maybe its just due to the games gradually increasing difficulty. I can't really tell). Anyway, the music is just an option; you can turn it off if you so desire.
In the end, Echochrome is a unique experience that really captures your attention. While the game may not be for everybody, you can find out yourself by downloading the demo version off the PC or PS3 PlayStation Stores. If it suits you, then the games budget price tag of $9.99 is the only thing that seperates you from having a mind-bending experience