Tiny Echo by Shelter developers Might and Delight is a real hidden gem. It’s very in line with what the studio is known for - creating beautiful handcrafted worlds complete with stories about nature - but with Tiny Echo, instead of making an animal game featuring a group of cute critters trying to survive the brutal wilderness (and that most likely made you cry), the Stockholm team went completely left-field and created a bite-sized ethereal puzzler that deals with ghosts and spirits.
Playing as a one-eyed sprite named Emi, your job is to deliver post to different creatures and spirits that hide within the nooks and crannies of a lush forest. As you join Emi on her rounds, you get to meet the various members of the community as they go about their lives and daily routines in a peaceful, unearthly realm. It's a point-and-click puzzle adventure but in the breeziest of terms. The focus isn't really on brain teasers but exploring this strange world and getting to know its spirit folk.
My main reason for hyping up Tiny Echo is that the vibes are immaculate. It's gorgeous but also eerie, and I'd almost call it spooky, but not in a horror kinda way. With no spoken dialogue or words, Tiny Echo's world is strange and dreamlike, the crisp sound design and Twin Peaks-esque soundtrack adding a slightly surreal and ethereal feel to everything. There's also a lot of emphasis on smoke and shadows, which make the entire world seem like it's about to dissipate with one gust of wind.
Sure, I’m getting a bit poetic up in here but that’s the kind of game Tiny Echo is. It's honestly really cool how M&D created such an atmosphere, and I've not played anything else quite like it since.