Game Reviews

Lost Echo

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iOS
| Lost Echo
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Lost Echo
|
iOS
| Lost Echo

Lost Echo hero Greg hates clocks. That's the only notable character trait I can remember about this guy. He just really doesn't like them for some reason.

Now, I don't expect point-and-click protagonists to be swashbuckling heroes or anything, but it's nice for your main character to be more than just a bland avatar who carries out your puzzle solutions and rifles through bins.

Greg just rarely has anything interesting or insightful to say. He's not witty or smart, and that makes it very difficult for you to care about his plight.

That plight is the fact that his girlfriend Chloe wandered off in the middle of brunch, got zapped by a mysterious lightning bolt, and vanished off the face of the planet. All traces of her are gone, and Greg seems to be the only one who remembers her at all.

Echo

This sets up a few hours of languid point-and-clicking while you hunt for Chloe. It's typical adventure game stuff, where you're combining found items with stuff in the environment to solve puzzles.

Some of the puzzles are quite well-designed. A complicated plan to expose a poker cheat is a multifaceted scheme and each step is subtly hinted at by the environment and dialogue, which nudges you in the right direction without simply giving you the answer.

But it's a rare treat in a generally unremarkable adventure. There are very few locations to visit, and and almost every point of interaction (outside of a few trees and the odd dustbin) is relevant for the current puzzle, making the city feel like an artificial game world, and it makes the solutions quite obvious.

Uniform

The game also adds some in some more general puzzles, like jigsaws, rhythm-based mini-games, chess riddles, and secret codes. Most of these are totally obtuse and just bring the gameplay to a screeching halt until you finish them.

Lost Echo does have pleasing graphics, and its near-future setting reminded me of PC point-and-click game Dreamfall. But those visuals fall down when you see the characters, who all look like plastic dolls with their faces stuck in permanent expressions.

The game's small cast of characters - including obnoxious buddy Tom and a nameless hacker chick - are unlikeable, two-dimensional, and often poorly written. And while the main story holds some intrigue, the writing is not strong enough to keep you gripped to your iPhone.

Lost Echo is a perfectly playable point-and-click adventure, with a handful of good puzzles and a unique setting. But the environments are bland, most of the puzzles are too basic, and the writing is just too weak to care about.

Lost Echo

Lost Echo is an adequate point-and-click adventure with a few good puzzles, but it's let down by poor writing, a bland world, and a raft of uninspiring head-scratchers
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