Echoes Is A Game About Psychology & Mental Health

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK, so I thought I’d tell you about Echoes [official site] – a newly announced episodic exploration puzzle game that explores themes of psychology, mental health and the relationship between the two. I’m a sucker for games that strive to generate wider and nuanced conversation around sensitive issues. Echoes appears to be one such game AND it looks really pretty into the bargain. See:

Not too much to go on just yet, however episode one is named Diagnosis and will study the beginnings of the protagonist. The world you see up there apparently depicts sections of the character’s dreams, which is where the opening chapter introduces “mind break” – a unique mechanic that helps players overcome “challenging and alien” parts of said dreams.

Here’s the official word from Echoes developers Thermo-Dynamic Games:

“Echoes is an episodic game which explores psychology and mental health, it ties exploration gameplay with puzzles and features two distinctive visual styles based on the core narrative themes.

“The Narrative follows a patient’s journey through counselling and overcoming their mental issues. The story, unique blend of visuals and challenging gameplay will come together to create an unforgettable experience.”

I think this sounds really interesting and although not particularly keen on the episodic release model myself, the process of seeking help regarding mental health issues does tend to be one done in stages. Without sounding overly profound, this could in turn work well here, as the player attempts to uncover the protagonist’s story while exploring the key themes at the same time.

In any event, its creators promise more news next month, a full release of episode one later this year, and early access “soon” via Itch’s recently revealed Refinery programme.

More information on Echoes can be found this-a-way.

From this site

11 Comments

  1. Whomest says:

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  4. sirdavies says:

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  7. Paul B says:

    I came expecting eight typically intelligent comments on RPS about this interesting little game, that bravely tackles mental health issues. Instead, there’s a meeting of spambots, with no mention of the game whatsoever – what a shame (a shame that whatever defences a web-site puts up, the spambots will always find a way round it).

    As far as the game goes, I just wish I could borrow the “mind break” mechanic for myself in real life. With my mental illness, I get some pretty vivid dreams/nightmares – not sure if they mean anything though they’re often very symbolic (dragons, dogs, religion). I’ll be interested to see how this developer tackles this aspect in their game, and how their character’s illness/recovery progresses over the course of the planned episodes.

    • DeadCanDance says:

      They always mean something. They often make deep statements about who you are and what happened the day before. Not trivial things like “I ate pasta at the restaurant” but “that person looked at me and I felt strange”. The whole dream will live around the “strange feeling” of the day and will use various symbols to express it. Just like totems or ancient egypt gods, one image or symbol isn’t enough to picture what they want, so various symbols will be used and often merged. I suggest you read interpretation of dreams by S. Freud and later any book by his disciple Jung.

      • Paul B says:

        Thank you for your thoughtful post DeadCanDance. I have tried interpreting some of my dream symbols but I’ve realised that, while some symbols have universal meanings, some only make sense when thought about in relation to yourself.

        I actually have a book on dream symbology by Jung but I’ve not made any time to read it yet – I think, after reading your post, I will make some time to do so – thanks!