Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Halfbrick Echoes Review


I have to be upfront here and tell you all that I did not purchase the full game on this review. So take that for what you will. Halfbrick decided to limit the demo to only one play-through (aka you can't reply the demo levels more than once - eek) so my playtime is quite limited. I honestly don't like this move and find it a bit aggressive. I understand the need to limit the content, but limiting that content to one play-through... stings. I'll be curious if that has a positive or negative effect on sales. They almost got an "ah f*ck it" sale out of me, but I decided to hold strong. I often like to try a demo a couple times before making a decision.

On a positive note, what I did play was quite cool. This is another well-polished release from Halfbrick and while I was not a large "Halfbrick Blastoff" fan, I was in fact the minority there. It's really fantastic to see Halfbrick's devotion to high quality development on the XBCGs and they are doing a good job of developing a noteworthy brand.

What Halfbrick does best, is something they nailed again here with Echos. It has a very simple, very addicting, pretty innovative mechanic. You basically control a character from the a top-down view and race around collecting crystals while avoiding the baddies that spawn. The catch is that the baddies trace the exact path that you just ran to get the crystal, so you have to plan accordingly. Add in a really interesting array of maps, smooth controls, several game-types (including multiplayer), and lots of power-ups, and you get a really addicting face-paced "free roaming Pac Man." (that was off the cuff, sorry)

One thing I like too is that Halfbrick does put some effort in to creating a theme. This time there is a light story about a woman who "falls" in to her Salvador Dali studies, which then sets the foundation for the various map settings. It's not deep or taken too seriously, but it's there and it helps. I'd actually like to see Halfbrick make an effort to go one step further on this front, because the ideas/themes are fun, but they usually leave a robust story and narrative out.

And I give 1 bonus point for letting the player mess around with the credits. :)

If you like fast, addictive, and straightforward gameplay, then I think I can safely recommend this to you at 200 MP. Halfbrick is establishing itself as a reputable developer that knows how to get things right and deliver fun high quality games. I send my plea to let us play your demo more than once!! (had to twist the knife one more time)


  1. I really liked this game too. Bought it... But I'm pretty sure it was 200 points...

  2. I like it too. Well worth $2.50

  3. The fact that you could only play through the entire demo once was actually an embarrising bug that slipped through the cracks at the last minute. We are pretty red faced about it as it was always our intention to let the player play the demo multiple times.

    Whilst a fix has been created and will soon be going through the Xbox approval process I believe you can get around the bug simply by deleteing the save file and starting the game again.

    Once again we apologise that we let this bug slip into the released product!

    Halfbrick - Team member Mik.