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Monday 16 July 2007 (updated 17 July)
Update: While we're not backtracking on our opinion that Echochrome has the potential to be one of the sleeper hits of the PS Network, we've just found out that the game was far from Sony's 'original' idea. The game has existed as a tech demo for PC here since last year, described as an 'interactive optical illusion' and coded by one Jun Fujiki. It appears Sony has been given permission to develop this free game for the PS network, only with preset levels - the downloadable version simply allows you to create your own.
So, original? Yes, definitely. But Sony's idea? Apparently not.
Shooters and more shooters. That was the general theme of last weeks E3. It's unsurprising then, that one of the most striking games shown at Sony's conference was a Sony Japan PlayStation Network offering called Echochrome.
Based around those mind-taxing MC Escher optical illusions that show stairs that seem to go up yet down at the same time, Echochrome appears to play like a high-brow Lemmings. Players manipulate a 3D Escher-inspired model on a 360 degree axis, affecting the route of a wooden model. Holes in a platform can be avoided by moving the model to visually block the gap, for example. A stark mononchrome non-colour scheme adds to the grown up feel of the game. In fact, the sterile nature of the art direction and cerebral gameplay has led to some derogatory comments from certain members of GamesRadar staff - it certainly is destined for niche appeal.
The video does a very good job of explaining what is a fairly abstract game concept, so we reckon we should shut up and let you watch it.
To see more screenshots of Echochrome click here.