When It comes to horror games on Android , I’m not a fan. I just find them good enough to kill some time. I mean, there’s not enough horror in these horror games; they don’t live up to the category. But Dark Echo is different. It’s pure creepy and has enough horror in it to get your heart pumped.
You know how, once in awhile, you see a game that could be considered the best game of that particular category, hell, it just could be the best game ever. Well, that’s a bit exaggerating; let’s just call it one of the best game that ever set foot on Android platform. That’s Dark Echo. It’s clearly in my top 20 Android games list. The sole reason for which could be that it’s really hard to get horror right in a game and Dark Echo really nails the total horror concept. So without further ado, let’s dig deeper.
The gameplay is simple actually – you are a human being, that’s the only thing I’m sure of in this game, trapped in darkness and your mission is to.. uh. not die. Yeah, that’s a way to put it. You have 80 levels to clear while trying your best not to die, which is going to be quite difficult as you proceed further. You’ll die. A lot.
The game begins as your screen is always dark, the only thing visible here are your footprints. Your whole surrounding is dark and the only weapon you have is sound. This is where it gets interesting. I’ve never played a game in which sound is the main factor instead of visuals. Who knows, this could really be a fresh and original idea.
You tap and hold a part of your screen to walk in that direction. You have to follow the sound. As you walk, you make a sound. This sound creates a visualized echo stream that reflects from the objects or obstacles around you and reflects back. This amazing and minimal visualization of sound shows you what’s ahead, where’s the danger, and where’s the safe path. A simple tap on the footprints will create a small echo, and a long press and hold gesture will create a stomp that leads to a larger echo which you can follow to go ahead or know about your surroundings.
It’s been stated by now that sound is an important factor in this game, so you better put on your headphone to get an immersive experience. Oh, and don’t forget to turn off the lights while playing it.
As much as you rely on sound in Dark Echo, sound can also be the reason of your death. Your surrounding has monsters. And just like you, these monsters, too, follow the sound. So, you get the point, these soul eating monsters can reach you by following the sounds you make. Be careful.
Different aspects of the game are represented by different colors. For instance, your footprints create white lines, red lines represent danger, yellow lines represent locked doors, the blue line represents water, while the thick white lines represent the exit. Your goal is to find this exit to proceed to the next level.
The Visuals & Sound
While the game boasts a solid gameplay, the same can’t be said about the visuals. But that’s not a negative point. As the whole gameplay of Dark Echo is based on the fact that you can’t actually see much, having eye candy visuals don’t make any sense. However, the graphics or visuals that it offers is fairly good and somewhat soothing and pleasant. It’s not great, it’s just good.
As of sound, this is where it takes the cake. The soundtrack is incredible. From the sound of footsteps to the sound of doors opening, from dripping water to howling winds, the soundtrack screams creepy. I never realized that footsteps made such a loud sound. Oh, and that desperate scream when you die; that’s enough to scare you when you are alone and in dark.
Dark Echo is one of the most creative game I’ve ever played – be it smartphone or PC. The gameplay is solid, artwork is superb, and the sound is a treat to the ears. It has 80 levels which are enough to keep you entertained for some hours. It’s irrationally scary. I mean, you can’t see anything yet it still manages to scare you a bit from time to time. That’s quite an achievement not most of the horror games can brag about. Words don’t do Dark Echo justice, you have to play it to understand how awesome it is.