Thematically, Dark Echo has much in common with the Papa Sangre games - you're dumped in inky blackness and must find your way to an exit without getting horribly killed.
The game's atmosphere is similarly palpable, full of echoing footsteps and distant - frequently ominous - sounds. But whereas Papa Sangre was all about the audio, Dark Echo is decidedly more visual in nature.Not alone in the dark
As you stomp around, 'sound waves' emanate from your feet, bouncing about as zig-zags of bright white that briefly illuminate your surroundings. These visual echoes are used to figure out where you can head.
The problem with your echoes is they alert things lurking in the gloom. These are represented by a deep red colour and the sound of someone seemingly gargling glass, and they home in on you with an eerie level of accuracy.
As the game progresses, further ways of hindering your progress arrive, such as locked doors that require yellow areas to be discovered and trodden on, and water, whose splashy, noisy nature is a particularly fantastic means of attracting nearby death-dealing monsters.Small steps
Each of the game's 80 levels has a title preparing you for the task ahead. Some are puzzle-like, with you attracting a foe with standard drag-based clompy steps, luring it down a passageway, and then quietly escaping by tapping on the screen to move more slowly.
Elsewhere, you may find yourself mired in a twisty maze, really wishing your character had had the foresight to bring a torch.
When it clicks, Dark Echo is a clever and fairly creepy creation. However, the experience can become tedious when you're very slowly sneaking about (which oddly requires frantic, insistent screen-tapping) and so your enjoyment can be as fleeting as the echoes that rattle around the game's tiny worlds.