Echoed World is a puzzle platformer game. In it, you play as Algiz, an Architect imbued with the power of life.
Long ago, after creating the universe, the Creator split all of his power into seven fragments and granted them to seven Architects. Six of them, including Algiz, created beautiful worlds. But the last one, Tyr, being a perfectionist but lacking the power to create life, failed to achieve anything that is satisfactory to him. Lusting after Algiz’s power as the Architect of Life, he came to his land and stole the crystal that houses Algiz’s power as he slumbered after his labour.
When Algiz woke up, he lost the power to create life. However, as the Architect of Life, he still has the power to drain and restore life. With this last sliver of his former strength, Algiz set out in pursuit after Tyr.
You need to use this power to overcome obstacles and navigate the levels. There are vine curtains which allows you to climb up to other places, mushrooms that function as elevators, the woody plant you see in the picture above forms bridges, and a bulb that works as a bounce pad. There are also some plants lying around that are just a source of life force and nothing else.
At the end of every level except the last, there is a large stone door blocking your way. They can be opened by injecting life force into a stone with circular markings, with the number of circles showing how many units of life force are needed to unlock the door. Aside from this, there are also buttons which can be held down by Algiz or a large block, and the buttons activate doors when held down. As for hazards, there’s a coral-looking thing that shoots lethal projectiles horizontally in one direction, crystals that shoot lightning bolts, and humanoid lava monsters (I assume) that immediately kill you when they catch you.
I personally like the life mechanics for the puzzles. It fits the lore of the game and Algiz’s status as the Architect of Life. The game itself has fairly standard puzzle platformer mechanics otherwise.
The art in this game is extremely beautiful. I like the artstyle. That said, the two humanoid models (Algiz and the lava monsters) seem to be rendered in some other software with completely separate lighting, textures, artstyle and probably made by completely different artists as well, then green-screened into the game. Compared with everything in the game the two models look extremely cheap and ugly.
The animation for the growing and wilting of the plants are done nicely in a way that reminds me of Don’t Starve. However, the animation for Algiz and the lava monsters are less stylized and look like stock animations stitched together in comparison. They seem rather out of place and are just not as good as the visuals of the rest of the game.
The narrator’s voice is rather grating. It seems like the VA is trying to do a gruff, masculine voice, but the results made me want to offer the VA lozenges. There are parts where it sounds like the VA is straining his throat way too hard to produce the rough voice.
Lastly, there’s this.
The block got itself locked up in this angle and can’t press the button at all. There is no way for me to push it down either, so I need to restart the level. And when I do that, my crystal collection progress for the previous levels got reset as well. Damn.
I am not exactly happy with the game, as you can tell. There are so many things, like the art for most of the game and the life mechanics, that I like, but the flaws just get in the way of my enjoyment.