Indie game developer Cococucumber has made a name for itself in the gaming industry by delivering accessible throwbacks that put a fresh spin on old genre formats. Their latest title, Echo Generation, is part of their self-styled ‘Voxel Trilogy’ and offers Switch owners a chance to experience a nostalgic and charmingly funny adventure/RPG hybrid.

Storyline and Setting

Set in the ’90s in the small town of Maple Valley, Echo Generation kicks off with the player emerging from a cluttered bedroom, greeting their mother, and embarking on a journey to investigate the neighborhood. The game takes a page from classic titles like Pokemon and EarthBound, with strange occurrences like talking dogs, missing children, and a crashed spaceship in a cornfield. The story unfolds like a twisted version of a summer holiday adventure, blending fantastical elements with comedic banter and oddball characters.

One of the standout features of Echo Generation is its distinctive voxel-powered visuals, which bring the game world to life like a crafted diorama. The animations of characters and enemies are fluid, and the game looks stunning both in handheld and docked mode. While the game excels in visual design, it falls short in its blend of adventure game mechanics and RPG elements. The gameplay loop consists of fetch quests, item collection, and battling a variety of monsters and extraterrestrials. The combat system is turn-based, reminiscent of the Mario & Luigi series, with a focus on precise timing and strategic inputs.

One of the drawbacks of Echo Generation is its uneven difficulty curve and the need for grinding to progress through the game. The party’s supporting companions often feel underpowered, especially in the face of tough enemies and boss fights. While the game offers a variety of skills and abilities to master, some of the more complex mechanics can be frustrating and may require multiple attempts to perfect.

Despite its gameplay shortcomings, Echo Generation shines in its standout moments and atmospheric storytelling. From helping an old lady cross the road to facing off against the terrifying ‘Prom Queen’ in a closed high school, the game is filled with memorable scenes that keep players engaged. The juxtaposition of eerie and nostalgic elements, paired with exceptional sound design and writing, adds depth to the overall experience.

Echo Generation is a fun homage to classic genre greats, offering players a mix of nostalgia and modern gameplay elements. While the game may not revolutionize the adventure/RPG genre, its visual style, atmosphere, and narrative strengths make it a worthwhile experience for fans of indie titles. Despite its flaws in gameplay mechanics and progression, Echo Generation manages to captivate players with its charm and creativity.

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