Echoes: Episode 4 “Jodie” (iOs) Review
Not so much?
In Echoes, the town of Greenhearth is hiding a secret, and it’s up to you to figure out what it is – regardless of the consequences. Echoes is done in a cool retro style that makes you feel as if you’ve jumped right into your favorite 1950’s detective movie. You play as a police detective […]
In Echoes, the town of Greenhearth is hiding a secret, and it’s up to you to figure out what it is – regardless of the consequences.
Echoes is done in a cool retro style that makes you feel as if you’ve jumped right into your favorite 1950’s detective movie. You play as a police detective from New York who has travelled to the small town of Greenhearth to figure out the real truth of what led to the death of your best friend. Right from the start, it’s apparent that everything is not kosher in Greenhearth – and your friend’s death was no accident either. It’s up to you to question suspects, search crime scenes, and lead the investigation, even if it leads to your own downfall.
In Episode 4, entitled “Jodie” after your character’s wife, you begin back in your home in New York. The investigation is seemingly behind you, though you can’t seem to shake the paranoia that it caused, especially in regards to the little “souvenir” you brought home with you. Of course, things won’t stay quiet, and it isn’t long until you are faced with heartbreaking news – and the undeniable truth that you must go back to Greenhearth. Episode 4 really gives you some insight into some of the background of the story, but also leaves you with even more questions than when you began.
The action in Echoes is broken up into four separate chapters. Chapters is an apt description of the game’s pieces, as it often feels that you are more reading than playing as you make your way through the game. It’s like one long choose your own adventure novel, with a little bit of hidden object adventuring thrown in here and there for variety. There’s a soothing jazzy soundtrack playing through your adventure, but nothing in the way of voice acting or sound effects. You’ll rely on your own imagination to keep things real.
The game essentially plays out in panels. You’ll read a little bit of the story, and then be faced with a series of choices as to what happens next. You can always choose to meet with a person or search an area, but you’ll find nothing to do if it isn’t the right time to be there. When you hit on the right place or person to work on, you can choose from various approaches to question them, which will then influence how they answer. When searching environments, you basically just search through a black and white jumble for anything that might be of interest to the investigation – and those things are not readily apparent at all. If you do get stuck, you need to just keep visiting areas and people until you hit on a solution, as there are no hint features to be found in Echoes.
Echoes is an interesting experiment, in that it is about as low key as you can get in some areas – most notably graphics – and yet so fully developed in others. It is obvious how much care and work went into the storyline, though, and that effort has really paid off in a storyline that captivates right from the start. The story flips back and forth between your character in his present state, which is definitely worse for the wear, and his state during various parts of the investigation. The stark contrast between the beginning of the investigation and the end serves well to build suspense, as you wonder about what is coming next in the story. My only real complaint about the game is the number of typos that are peppered throughout it, to the point of distraction. A little more time spent editing would have improved on the experience
Echoes is an interesting mix of game and story, a bit like an interactive choose your own adventure. It’s the perfect mix for those of us who love both reading and games. Though a series of editing mistakes detract a bit from the overall experience, it’s still a unique game that is well worth a playthrough.