Epic space battles, killer robots, and access to a strange set of abilities from entities from another dimension. These are the things that Echo Prime has to offer players, and players will definitely be treated to some intense fighting action, although fair warning is needed, as your fingers might be included in the casualties of war.
In Echo Prime, players take on the role of an intergalactic officer that comes in contact with entities called Echoes, which in turn grants your hero with different abilities such as rooting enemies in place and being able to put toxins or electrical charges on the floor. This is pretty much the only thing that adds variety to the rather monotonous gameplay; however, as each level just pretty much requires the player to go from one end of the stage to another in typical platformer fashion.
How you would combine your acquired echoes, however, is where most of the enjoyment would come from. Players will be able to gain access to and equip different abilities, in addition to extra ones provided by other players. Aside from this, players also have two different types of attack, which includes sword based melee attacks and firearms for ranged offense. Control are also simplified, as the only thing players have to do to attack is tap on the intended target, and attacking will be performed automatically, allowing players to perform combos to concentrate all offense in a single target, or attack multiple enemies at a time to keep them at bay.
Defensively, players can use the two finger press to block attacks, lessening damage absorbed, or swiping away from enemies to dodge. Swiping towards enemies, however, will result in a slashing maneuver that will deal decent damage to enemies. One problem with the overall control mechanics, though, is that sometimes the character will not perform as intended, such as in the case of when tapping at enemies to attack them would rather result in players moving into the line of fire. This problem is prevalent especially in the case of mobile devices with smaller screens. More skilled players, however, will quickly be able to adjust and more skillfully control their character.
Although already a paid app, Echo Prime also has an in-app mechanism going for it. Currencies can be earned by killing enemies and completing objectives, and this can be used to purchase new weapons and armor that both increase your statistics as well as give your hero a new look. Premium currency in the form of emblems can also be used for purchase, although this is only sparingly rewarded. Premium currency can also be used to revive heroes that fall during missions. This provides less skilled missions to be able to repeat the stage without necessarily loosing progress.
The game also has a combat simulator that will allow players to face off against endless waves of enemies. This is the best way for players to earn in-game currencies, level up both their characters and their echoes, as well as determine as to which combination of active, passive, and dual type abilities would best suit their playing styles.
Echo Prime definitely does not have the best when it comes to graphics and sound, and players will be reminded of, at best, Playstation 1 era animations whenever they enter a new chamber or ship. There’s a lot of depth to be experienced within this particular title, however, and the vast variety of echoes that would potentially be at your disposal and matching them up given however many slots are currently available to you is pretty much what will keep you going. Don’t expect too much from the storytelling, however, and it would be sometimes much better to just go with the flow and attack whatever’s in sight rather that to follow through with whatever plot is being presented to you. It does get quite tedious and repetitive after a while, and your fingers might get tired after a couple of battles, but this can be remedied by a few minutes of rest and a few adjustments on your echo loadouts just to add a bit more variety to your gameplay.
Echo Prime is a game that requires players to act more than think, although a bit of strategization is required, especially when it comes to deciding what abilities would best suit the situation. It’s not an RPG in the strictest sense, but there’s also quite a lot of customization that can be done in order to make fights easier. If you want a no frills platformer that provides just enough control for players to make changes on how they would like to perform during missions, then pick up Echo Prime. It’s a game that’s good for a standard beat ‘em up game, and although you can do better with other options, you can’t do any worse, either.
Tested on iPhone. Final Score: 7/10
Echo Prime was developed by Robot Entertainment. It is available for iOS devices via the iTunes store and was released on October 24, 2013.