Original Gamer

I’ll admit it, I’ve been in a bit of a lull lately. As much as I’d like to blame it on having to sell most my consoles and most of my games, I fear I would be telling a bit of a porky pie. I’ll be honest – my 360 had gathered a fair amount of dust before I sold it, and the last game I’d actually completed was Tomb Raider Underworld. Quite a recent game, yes, but as someone who describes herself as an “avid gamer” that’s pretty poor! I’ve been failing my own gaming standards.

Games just seemed to have lost their sheen for me, first person shooters all seem like the same game in a different case. Playing online just seems like the same screen names going over and over. RPG’s are just rinsed and repeated. Beat-em-ups? Same game with prettier graphics. How about some hack n’ slash? Nah, It’s all just the same monotonous button-bashing-bull… nonsense. As for MMO’s, well, everyone knows how much of a grind-fest they can be.

It doesn’t sound good, does it? Pretty bleak. I was still talking the gaming talk to customers and staff at work, but I felt as though I was a fraud. What is a gamer that does not game? No amount of forcing myself in front of the TV with my PS3 could get me motivated again. I had feared that it had happened, that I had grown away from games.

Bitterly I talked of a “better game” something challenging, engaging, exciting. Something different.


My kingdom for a game as intellecually stimulating as this picture…

Something like Portal, or it’s early incarnation, Narbacular Drop. Or maybe something fun like Katamari. Perhaps something with a bit more user-based creative input, like Spore? I know the games I love, but did I know what I was looking for?

Desperately, I clung to the few games I was still enjoying, forcing myself heartlessly through these simple things. Guitar Hero was booted up again, Harvest Moon was loaded, a little bit of cooking mama was dabbled in.

I was losing hope.

But then, it found me.

Echochrome. It’s rainbow box and interesting blurb drew me in (Well, in all honesty it was just the rainbow, you should all know by now how much of a sucker I am for bright colours!) , and with that it was purchased.

boxshot_uk_largeAll this, and I didn’t even need to give my Kingdom!

At first, it looks so innocent, so simple. I loaded it up and played a couple of test mazes, “It’s alright, I guess.” I said as I put the PSP back down.

10 minutes pass. 20, 30… The PSP is picked up again. I get stuck on a map, down it goes. 3 minutes, 4, 5, It’s back in my hand. Before I know it an hour has passed and I’ve frowned my way through just a couple of mazes. It was beautiful. Challenging, and simple, an interesting idea, executed marvelously. The clean lines, the elegant music, the eery echo of the narrator, it all fits together in a wonderfully on a little screen I can take everywhere with me. I don’t want to gush too much about the game, as I think it’s something that you’ll need to try to understand (read: I don’t know how to explain this game.), but trust me, it’s utterly inspired!

Just like that, with a little bit of inspired game creation, my passion is re-ignited.

Than you echochrome, you’ve saved my gaming soul!







6 responses to “Original Gamer”

  1. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I’ve still to try Echochrome. I do like my puzzle games, Portal and Braid were much loved, as was Professor Layton. And it might do me good to play something without achievement points. :p Might just have to look into this.

  2. GamerGeekGirl avatar

    I like echochrome; but I think a fantastic concept is ruined by the execution… the analog stick is too fiddly to make exact movements quickly.

    It just winds up being incredibly annoying when you know exactly how to solve a maze but the fiddliness/speed of it stops you…

    I was looking forward to it for months but because of that I’ve not played that much of it :/

  3. Lorna avatar

    I have moments like that a lot, not just with gaming…I came later than I should into gaming this generation and am playing catch up because of it, largely thanks to feeling the way you describe.

  4. Celeste avatar

    I felt disheartened like this after playing Elder Scrolls IV for about 12 months, then starting to play Fallout 3. I felt the two games were too similar to warrant me investing my time in F3. I was bored with the gameplay, quite frankly, which prevented me from playing this great game.

    I have played echochrome and I thought it was a great concept that was executed well. But I was rubbish at it, so that was the end of that!

  5. Alex avatar

    Thanks for the comments everyone!
    GamerGeekGirl – Did you know you don’t have to do the moves quickly? If you press the triangle button your little guy goes into “thinking” mode, that way you can move the maze, but he stays still!

  6. Tony avatar

    Also, if it’s anything like the PS3 version there is a button you can press to “snap in” when you have two platforms very nearly aligned.

Leave a Reply