Welcome to yet another brand-new series, Indie Game Spotlight. Here, we’ll be taking a look at tons of indie games one by one and discussing what makes them enjoyable, unique, and worth playing. These articles will act like mini-reviews or “vertical slices” for the games in question, with no spoilers and no in-depth analysis, only giving you reasons to check these games out by describing what they are and what makes them stand out. Indie games, if you weren’t aware, are small-budget games developed by mostly independent studios. These games are, in a way, the bread and butter of the industry. They’re short and offer some of the most unique experiences you’ll come across, with a ton of heart and creativity poured into them. Today’s game is “Echo Generation.”
What Is The ‘Echo Generation’?
Ever heard of the studio Coco Cucumber? These guys were responsible for “Planet Of The Eyes,” “Riverbond,” and the upcoming “Ravenlock.” With “Riverbond,” they came up with a 3D voxel art style that is one of the most beautiful visual make-ups I have ever seen in any game. It’s pixel art but in three dimensions, and it’s gorgeous. They took this style and evolved it for their next game, “Echo Generation.” “Echo Generation” is a turn-based adventure game that takes heavy inspiration from the retro 80’s style and shows like Stranger Things. The game is simple: you pick a character from a bunch of presets, and your mom then asks you to go play with your sister. That sets the plot in motion as you run around town and the surrounding area and come across weird characters, and fight some of the most visually stunning and massive creatures. Monsters? Okay, so basically, one of the first fights you’ll pick in the game will be with a raccoon, which is hilarious but makes sense; raccoons are annoying. Then the game will take you on a ride and pit you against giant rats, an animatronic jester, a giant mech, and so on. Every single fight in this game is gorgeous, with enemy designs that are unique and stunning to look at. Why are you fighting these things? Because your character is an aspiring filmmaker, and it’s a game! Simple! There’s no logic to this game’s plot, and they never make it clear if you are actually fighting these creatures or if these are just figments of the kids’ imaginations, which makes them all the more fun.
The combat here is turn-based, as mentioned, and you have a party that includes you, your sister, and a “buddy” like a cat or a tiny robot. You’ll find buddies across the journey, and they’ll join your party, and then you can switch between them as you please. There are tons of options available when it comes to your attacks, most of which will unlock through progression or by finding comics. Every time you or your party members level up, you get the option to invest in increased health, strength, or mana (which lets you use your special moves in combat). Invest wisely, as making bad investments can lead you to soft locking yourself in later battles. You earn money as you finish fights that you can spend to buy more comics and other items, but everything is expensive, and money doesn’t come around easily, so spend your money wisely.
The music in the game is worth noting as each track is incredibly composed, with a heavy 80’s synth on some and an overall eerie vibe on others. Amazing stuff in the department of music. The lighting is next. Immaculate. This whole pixel art with realistic lighting trend that a lot of games are going for is just downright incredible, and while “Echo Generation’s” lighting ain’t that realistic, it’s just phenomenal in every sense of the word. The environments you’ll explore are also amazing, with tons of visual variety, and the color grading and saturation at play here make every scene pop. Visually, this game is stellar and uses color to its advantage. The game also uses sound well and is a solid, unique, and beautiful package. This is “Echo Generation” in a nutshell: a gorgeous turn-based adventure with no dialogue, a questionable yet interesting story, fun combat, and a fantastic art style. The question is: Should you play this game?
Should You Play ‘Echo Generation’?
The short answer is yes. Yes, you should totally play “Echo Generation.” It’s adorable, loveable, and just a good time. I wasn’t born in the 1980s, and yet this game makes me nostalgic for that era, and that’s exactly what the game was going for. The whole Stranger Things inspiration and vibe can also be seen front and center, and it just works in the game’s favor. If you are wondering about the completion metrics or time for this game, then the game can simply be completed in 6ish hours if you just do the story. If you wish to unlock all the achievements for this game, then I’d recommend using a guide, as a lot of them are missable, and that will bump your play time to 8–10 hours tops. “Echo Generation” is available for $24.99 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC, and was on Xbox Game Pass until recently. This game is awesome, and I’d totally ask you to check it out!