PSP Minis Review – Echoes

December 3, 2009Written by Cameron Teague

PSP Minis are starting to grow and become more evident on the PSN, and one of those Minis is Echoes.  Echoes is developed by Halfbrick Studios and follows the story of Charlie as she makes her way through her dreams.  Does the game provide you with enough echoes or are we left hearing nothing but silence?

The basic story is pretty simple: you are Charlie, a young girl who has drifted off to sleep in art class.  While asleep, you are transported to a surreal and artistic world.  Inside this world you find yourself in search of crystals and up against deadly ghost versions of yourself called echoes.  The premise is pretty interesting and unique, though you won’t find much more story here.

Gameplay in Echoes is pretty simple. The game presents itself in a top down view where you control Charlie (though you can only see her hat).  You move around each unique level trying to avoid the echoes that show up while collecting the crystals. Each level gives you a certain amount of crystals you must collect and you have a set amount of lives. Once you come in contact with an echo, you will lose one of these lives. There are also a variety of power ups to be found in the game which do things such as temporarily freezing the echoes, defeating nearby echoes, or drawing nearby crystals to you. As you progress through the arcade mode, the levels get harder and harder, asking you to collect more crystals and throwing a lot more echoes onto the screen.

Adding to the value of the game are in game trophies and a leaderboard that gives players reasons to go back through levels to try to gain a higher rank and unlock a bronze, silver or gold trophy on each level. You can view your trophies on the main menu. Running over the trophy will tell you how to get a better rank on the selected trophy.

Besides the arcade mode, which gives you 4 worlds to clear, you also have the ability to play jackpot, survival, and clockwork. Jackpot challenges you to collect as many crystals as possible in a certain time period. Survival starts you with a certain amount of time, and every time you collect a crystal, you get time added on. Finally, Clockwork puts you in a level, and your job is to collect as many crystals as possible without hitting a single echo. All of these modes are by no means deep, but add some fun layers to the game.

Echoes is the a perfect example of what a mini is. It’s fun, addictive, great for a quick pick-up-and-play, and it’s inexpensive at $2.99. My expectations were not high upon starting this game up, but the addictive gameplay changed my mind, as it’s perfect for on-the-go fun. The only things holding this title back are a lackluster soundtrack and an overall lack of depth to the game.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Solid on-the-go fun

Fun, addictive gameplay

Not much depth and lackluster audio

3 out of 5