Before the Echo combines elements of both rhythm and role-playing games to create an entirely unique experience.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (10 reviews) - 80% of the 10 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,082 reviews) - 86% of the 1,082 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 20, 2011

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Reviews

“... [Before the Echo] is one of only four or five games I've ever played that lives up to its potential so absolutely and with so little room for improvement.”
100% – http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2011/11/07/sequence-review/1

About This Game

Before the Echo combines elements of both rhythm and role-playing games to create an entirely unique experience. Join Ky on his ascent of a mysterious Tower, guided onward by a mysterious girl named Naia. Encounter deadly monsters and ridiculous characters, and discover the grand scheme behind Ky's mysterious imprisonment...that is, if you can survive the journey.

Key Features:


  • Fully voice-acted, 10+ hour story mode
  • With music by Ronald Jenkees and Michael Wade Hamilton
  • Deep item synthesis and spell customization mechanics provide a full RPG experience
  • Full integration of Steam achievements and cloud saves

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or Greater
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 250 MB
    • Video Card: 512 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card (shader model 3)
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • OS: Lion 10.7.5
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or Greater
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 250 MB
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
    • OS: glibc 2.15+, 32/64-bit. S3TC support is NOT required.
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or Greater
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 250 MB
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+ (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable)
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (10 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,082 reviews)
Recently Posted
Tummyache
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
When I was a kid, I really liked DDR. I bought this game because I thought it would be like DDR. I am disappointed that this game is not a whole lot like DDR.

I'm having trouble separating my disappointment of this game as a scratch to my DDR itch and how I feel about the game as its own thing.

So first I have to say, if you want to buy this game because you're like me and want to scratch that itch, give it a pass. The objective of this game is to miss a bunch of notes on purpose, which drives me absolutely insane. Just watching arrows pass by without being pressed.

By itself? I dunno, it's got a lot of cringey humor and some mediocre voice acting. The RPG elements seem kind of compelling? But also really confusing? It just feels really unpolished, I had a lot of trouble grasping how well I was doing because the visual feedback is less than great. I think, mechanically, this kind of step rythm game just wasn't meant to be mixed with an RPG.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Jowwdown
( 13.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 18
Fun DDR-style RPG.

Story is okay, could be improved.

Worth checking out if you're a fan of rhythm games!

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Minandreas
( 22.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 4
Definitely an awesome game for anyone that enjoys step mania, DDR, and possibly even rhythm and music games in general. However, if you find Step Mania or DDR challenging or frustrating, this game is likely going to be too hard for you. It forces you to not only hit arrow keys in time with the music in the same fashion, but adds even more layers of difficulty. There are no color codes on the arrows themselves to tell you what beat the note is on. So you have to go purely on listening to the music, and sometimes the arrows are just on really awkward notes or tones of the song, like a series of 16th notes where only a few of them have arrows on them. Tack on that you are watching three sets of arrows at once instead of only 1, having to swap fields of arrows to be hitting, and apply strategic thinking to when to cast spells and what to cast SIMULTANEOUSLY and you need to be so good at something like Stepmania that you don't even have to think about the arrows. You have to be able to do them almost completely subconsciously to keep up with this game (At least at the Hard difficulty level) If you're that good, this game will knock your socks off. It's incredibly fun.

The only real downsides to it come from sheer lack of variety. The game has RPG mechanics for sure, and that includes trying to collect items with a % drop rate. Meaning if you get unlucky (And you WILL get unlucky) you may be grinding the same exact monster for half an hour. Which means the same damn song for half an hour straight. What is worse, each monster does not have it's own song. Some repeat. This can get seriously old.

For 5$, this game is awesome. Something I've never seen before and very well put together. And at that price, the lack of variety is understandable. Personally, I'd love to see a sequel, and would be happy to pay four times as much if they just make sure to really crank up the variety so the game isn't such an awful feeling grind at times. The foundations of this game are rock solid. It just needs a few more coats of paint.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
booger
( 20.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
I really enjoyed this game. I like the whole dance, dance revolution mixed with some slight rpg elements. Decent story.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Leo of the Butts
( 15.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 30
I loved every minute of playing this game. The art is beautiful, the music is great, and the gameplay is very unique. The story isn't very deep and complex, and the game gets a little grindy at the beginning of each floor, but it's definitely worth what you are paying for it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[GoC] Col. Mustard
( 10.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 25
Score – 8/10 (Excellent)

Despite the game feeling a bit of a grind at times and the last couple of boss battles being infuriatingly difficult compared to the rest, Iridium Studios has cleverly morphed the humble rhythm game into a full-blown RPG and it surprisingly works well. Before the Echo has done for rhythm games what Puzzle Quest did for match-3 puzzle games and I like it. Before the Echo is highly recommended for lovers of rhythm games who want a bit more plot and strategy added to the mix.

http://www.choicestgames.com/2016/05/before-echo-review.html
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sojiro
( 18.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
I strongly recommend this game. This is an excellent and original blend of RPG and rhythm game. The gameplay is not just relatively unique but also very well crafted. It's interesting, engaging, and well balanced. The acting and story are also very good, not amazing but clearly above average. The art and interface are also good.

I usually don't like music games, but since I'm a big fan of RPGs and got this in a bundle, I decided to give it a try. And am I glad I did! It hooked me in so well I ended up finishing it 100% and watched all the ending credits in detail to learn more about the people who worked on this amazing game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
buz
( 16.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
If you have ever found yourself tapping along to a good song, you may enjoy this game. If you enjoy a feeling of accomplishment when multitasking, you may enjoy this game. Both of these match me, and I think this game is great. You level up, and can craft gear from loot you get from monsters, like in an RPG. The variance in spell setup and types of monster's and their abilities (guardian abilities) adds a strategy element to the game as well. Do you want to deal direct damage spells, with some spells that siphon hp from your opponent? Or do you want to deal damage over time spells, and utilize shield and heal to outlast your opponent. Will you utilize simple, easy to cast spells that cost high mana, or harder to cast spells that have a shorter cooldown? The game also really tests your ability to make snap decisions, as often you have to choose whether or not to stop casting a spell, or rebuilding mana in order to sheild yourself against a super-charged attack. At $5, this game is a steal. You not only have to think about the timing around hitting notes on time, but also what time in the song to cast spells, you dont want to cast it right before a big attack, but you do want to cast it if there is lots of easy mana coming up in the song. Definately buy it, if you dont like it in the first 2 hours you can get a refund. Definately worth a shot.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ninjas4life437
( 41.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 20
Game is not playable on my computer anymore :( Also it may not be playable on yours as well. If it pauses to synch and then quits on you then you know why.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
East
( 10.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 15
Before the Lawsuit.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
22.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
Definitely an awesome game for anyone that enjoys step mania, DDR, and possibly even rhythm and music games in general. However, if you find Step Mania or DDR challenging or frustrating, this game is likely going to be too hard for you. It forces you to not only hit arrow keys in time with the music in the same fashion, but adds even more layers of difficulty. There are no color codes on the arrows themselves to tell you what beat the note is on. So you have to go purely on listening to the music, and sometimes the arrows are just on really awkward notes or tones of the song, like a series of 16th notes where only a few of them have arrows on them. Tack on that you are watching three sets of arrows at once instead of only 1, having to swap fields of arrows to be hitting, and apply strategic thinking to when to cast spells and what to cast SIMULTANEOUSLY and you need to be so good at something like Stepmania that you don't even have to think about the arrows. You have to be able to do them almost completely subconsciously to keep up with this game (At least at the Hard difficulty level) If you're that good, this game will knock your socks off. It's incredibly fun.

The only real downsides to it come from sheer lack of variety. The game has RPG mechanics for sure, and that includes trying to collect items with a % drop rate. Meaning if you get unlucky (And you WILL get unlucky) you may be grinding the same exact monster for half an hour. Which means the same damn song for half an hour straight. What is worse, each monster does not have it's own song. Some repeat. This can get seriously old.

For 5$, this game is awesome. Something I've never seen before and very well put together. And at that price, the lack of variety is understandable. Personally, I'd love to see a sequel, and would be happy to pay four times as much if they just make sure to really crank up the variety so the game isn't such an awful feeling grind at times. The foundations of this game are rock solid. It just needs a few more coats of paint.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
Fun DDR-style RPG.

Story is okay, could be improved.

Worth checking out if you're a fan of rhythm games!

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
50 of 57 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
As a RPG and Stepmania enthousiast, this would seem like the perfect Indie game for me. And indeed, it was fun to play. It was unique. It was something fresh. And being a RPG fan, I am used with doing repetitive things in order to get that one rare drop.

One warning is that even casual gamers who would like to simply play the game and go through the story, might still face some moments where they have to engage battles over and over to get that last item for a recipe. Bite through it, the way you make story progression is quite slow in itself. Ronald Jenkees kicks ♥♥♥, but not after the 6~7th time in a row. Yeah, having only one fixed song per enemy doesn't get you on your toes that much.

On sales it's usually just one buck, so hopefully no buyer's remorse after you've even spent an hour at it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
31 of 37 people (84%) found this review helpful
Recommended
20.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2013
A pretty damn awesome rhythm game that sells dirt cheap. The music alone is easily worth the retail price and if you like a bit of RPG sensibilities with your music gaming that has an actual storyline... get it now!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
23 of 25 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 29, 2015
Now I have to admit when I first started playing this game I had quite low expectations of it. I absolutely love rhythm games but I couldnt see how they could successfully combine this into a RPG style. Although I was proved wrong as this game is AMAZING!!

The mechanics of the game are very unique and there is nothing quite like it. You use the rhythm of the music to fight a battle. To this you use the arrow keys and click them as soon as the arrow reaches the bottom of the screen. And this is when it gets unique. You have 3 fields to control via this rhythm ability. Mana, Attack and Defense. Mana is collected and can be used to cast spells in the attack field. You can switch through these fields at your free will. You need to make sure that you use each field correctly and at the right time to survive and win the battle.

The story of this game is what most suprised me. It had me hooked throughout the entire thing. There are many twists in the story that keep you guessing throughout the game. The voice is acting is very well done and the characters are very likable. You really do get to know the characters. In a rhythm game a gripping story is the last thing I would have expected. I am not going to go into detail about the story but just experience it for yourself and you will see how great it is.

The whole look of the game is completely incredible. The art style gives a real great look to the game that compliments the awesome gameplay.

Throughout the floors you get different items. You have collect these items through playing the levels. I felt the items abilitys were very well balanced and contributed well to the gameplay. These items are obtained through a random drop rate on levels. Some items have a very low drop rate on levels later on the game. Unfortunetely this is where my only bad point comes from this game. To get these items it can become very grindy with you having to repeat these levels multiple times in a row just to get it. This can get very boring after a while.

I'll end this review with the best part of the game, the soundtrack. It is made of music by Ronald Jenkees and Michael Wade Hamilton. I always feel that a game has a great soundtrack when I like it so much that I even listen to it outside of the game itself, and with this one I did. It is incredible and goes great with a rhythm game.

Overall this game is a true masterpiece and a bit of a hidden gem. This game is possibly one of the best I have ever played and I really highly recommend it.

TheIronicGamers rating system
  • Don't ever buy this game.
  • Maybe consider it on a sale.
  • An average game.
  • A good game that should definitely be considered.
  • A must play!
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23 of 26 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2013
Before the Echo (the game was known as Sequence previously) is an interesting RPG. The game plays like Dance Dance Revolution with the notes divided into 3 separate note tracks running concurrently on the screen for casting spells, defending against attacks and regenerating mana. There is a quirky story to pull you through to the end but what won me over was most definitely the music tracks behind the gameplay.

I can't really gauge how difficult it is to play for beginners to the genre due to my many years of playing rhythm games from Stepmania, Guitar Hero and my current timesink of Osu!. Anyone who has played such games should find no problems however with adapting to the mechanics.

Due to the RPG nature of the game, it can become a grind for specific items to drop on the monsters which are used to craft items needed to progress in the floors. The game does not come with any additional content beyond the story that I am aware of (I played mostly at release back in 2011).

Before the Echo wasn't the most challenging game personally but it sits in my game library as a comfortable purchase when I look back over two years. Give it a go if it is on sale but just be aware it may not be fun for everyone; the usual disclaimer case for most games in the rhythm genre.
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
I have to admit, this game surprised me. I got this game from a bundle and decided to install it to try it out. I end up really liking it and played it until the very end. It's a rhythm based game, you have to change between 3 panels with Q and E, you use the arrows to hit the notes.

When I saw the tutorial I thought the game would be insanely confusing and hard to play, but it's quite nicely done, as you see all 3 panels at once at any time, so you see what is coming.

The art is really cool, the music is awesome and the story is even more awesome! I wanted to play until the end to know what happens... It's full of surprises, it's hiralious and you get hooked right into the story.

The spells aren't limited to only damage, you have shielding, direct damage, DOT, healing, boosts... Alot of different spells to use. You have to kill the monsters and ascend floors until you reach the top. All monsters have specific drops which you have a certain percentage of getting everytime you kill them (with music of course). You also have to craft/find your gear and you can learn new spells by using scrolls and completing the songs with high accuracy or note combos.

Theres not many bad things to say about the game... My only real issue with the game is the hitboxes... Sometimes it looks like you miss but it actually works and sometimes you think you succesfully hit the note but you didin't. Luckily this rarely happens so it didin't affect me too much. Maybe i'm just bad at the game though, I don't know!

This game is definately worth looking into, especially since it is only 4.99$. I'd say anybody that likes good stories or rhythm/music-based games should really try it out!
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22 of 28 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
A truly great and engrossing indie game. The music is good. I wish there were a few more songs, they start to get a little repetitive as you near the end of the game.
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18 of 21 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 9, 2013
A rhythm rpg? In the weirdest mashup since Puzzle Quest, this brilliant little indie game manages to create a unique niche and thrive in it. The writing turns some people off but I enjoyed it and found it relatable. Maybe that says more about me than the game itself. It definitely gets grindy, but the mechanics are very unique. Can frequently be purchased super cheap. Give it a shot, you'll probably be surprised.
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
41.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
I love rhythm games. Whether it's Elite Beat Agents, Dance Dance Revolution, Project Diva, Rhythm Heaven or iDOLM@STER, I can't get enough of tapping along to arrows and beats. When you combine my love for that genre with my love for RPGs, surely you'd have a winner right? Well, Before the Echo proves that isn't necessarily true. Before the Echo attempts to bring together RPGs, rhythm mechanics and cringe-worthy hipster jokes. In theory, these three aspects could get along rather famously. Unfortunately, in this case they get along about as well as a feuding family.

After waking up in a strange tower with no idea how he arrived there, Ky is beset by strange monsters. Guided by his 'shepherd,' Naia, Ky has no choice but to work his way up the seven floors of the tower, defeating enemies and guardians through the power of rhythm. Only then will he be able to escape his strange experimental prison and return to his own world. Sadly, only the ending of the plot holds any real interest, and even then it's pretty bizarre and will be hit or miss for most players. The previous several hours leading up to it gives you little insight into what's happening or the purpose of the tower. I suspect this was done to increase the mystery and suspense, but all it does is leave you feeling irritated and without purpose.

This is worsened by the horrific script and characters. The dialogue is clichéd, overwritten, uninteresting and seems to rely on pulling out cringe-worthy jokes every few lines. This can be forgiven to a point, since most of the jokes intentionally parody the lameness in hipster culture. Unfortunately, they're not very funny. The characters have incredibly two-dimensional personalities and you'll feel no affection for them at all. The only saving grace is the voice acting. Script aside, the actors, for the most part, do a tremendous job of portraying their characters. Strangely enough, one of my favourite parts of the game was the credits. They're narrated by the actors playing Ky and Naia and it's probably the most enjoyable credits sequence I've experienced in any game.

With that out of the way, let's get down to the nitty-gritty: the gameplay. In essence, Before the Echo can be broken down into two parts: rhythm battles and RPG-style item synthesis. On each of the seven floors, your primary goal is to collect the materials needed to create a key that will open the door to the next floor. To obtain these ingredients you must battle nearby enemies. After defeating them, you have a chance at obtaining various items that will likely be useful in synthesising items such as armour, weapons, new spells and the required key.

Sounds good, right? The problem is that some of these items have a relatively low drop chance and you're often forced to play the same 2-3 minute battles over and over and over again. In fact, on the seventh floor, I had to replay the same battle 13 times before the item I needed for the key dropped. It can be absolutely infuriating being forced to do the same battle again and again.

On the bright side, the battles themselves are pretty fun and incorporate some very unique ideas. Once you begin, you're presented with three different boxes on your screen. One is for attacking, one is for defending, and the third is for regenerating mana. Both you and your enemy have a health meter and it's your job to deplete theirs to zero before they either do the same to you or time runs out.

So, where's the rhythm, you ask? Once the music begins, each of those boxes becomes flooded with arrows. As arrows come down, you need to hit the corresponding arrow key. So, when the enemy's attacking you, you'll need to hit the arrows in the defence box. When you're attacking, you must hit all the arrows in the attack box to pull off spells. The catch? Only one box can be active at a time. Whilst you can see them all on screen at once, you have to swap between them using the Q and E keys to be able to interact with them individually. This can lead to some particularly hectic moments, especially on the higher difficulties where choices must be made on whether to sacrifice your attack to defend or vice versa. It's a very clever and intense little system that can provide a great deal of challenge for veterans of the music genre.

To actually attack your foe, you must choose and cast spells assigned to your sphere by hitting the corresponding numerical key. At first, you can only take a couple of spells into battle at once, but by the end this can be expanded to seven. New spells are learned by synthesising items and passing specific musical challenges. The attacks themselves include direct damage, damage over time, healing and more. There's a decent variety, but the real strategy comes in picking one spell over another. Do you pick a spell that does more damage but has a shorter recharge time? Do you take the most powerful healing spell even though it requires a huge amount of mana to cast? The spell choice adds a much needed layer of depth to the game.

If that doesn't sound hard enough then don't worry, it doesn't stop there. Each floor of the game has a guardian that presides over it and can interfere in each battle. By exercising their individually unique powers, guardians can seriously hinder your progress. Some can drain your mana while others can reverse the position of arrows, block your view of the arrow grids and even change the playback speed of the song. Once you finally forge the key and finish a floor, you then must then confront the guardian and defeat it. The guardians attack far more aggressive than regular enemies and the battles tend to have shorter time constraints. It's great fun.

Underlying all this great fun, however, is one massively poor design choice: synthesising items costs experience. Picture it: you spend an hour destroying enemy after enemy and collecting all the items you need, only to fail your synthesis and lose two levels worth of experience. It's incredibly frustrating. Each time you synthesize you are literally betting your hard-earned experience to increase or decrease the chance of success. On later floors it can be utterly devastating to lose so much. At least you don't lose the items, I guess.

The music used throughout the game is of fairly good quality. Fitting in with the theme of the game it's mostly electronic-sounding, which will really be a hit or miss thing for individual players. The tracks used during battle are solid, but there just isn't enough variety. Across the seven floors there are only around 10 songs used, and you're stuck with the same song for each battle. So, if you're fighting that same enemy five times, you hear the same song five times, which gets monotonous. Outside of the battle the music just sort of merges in with the rest of the game and is easily forgotten.

Aesthetically, the game starts off solid but starts to disappoint the further you play. The stylistic, artsy design of the characters and environments are fantastic the first time you encounter them, but they're reused far too often. Background graphics are reused a number of times throughout the game and enemies are palette swapped to an offensive degree. Character design, however, is well-rounded. Each of the guardians sports a unique and interesting design that sets them apart from each other and matches their somewhat stereotyped personalities. Ky may look like a generic hero, but you certainly can't fault him artistically.

So, did I enjoy Before the Echo? Yeah, I did. It's a fun game with some great mechanics and intriguing ideas going for it. If there was reduced experience gambling, less incessant grinding and a few additional songs, it could have been a far superior game. It may not be hardcore enough as either a rhythm or role-playing game for some, but there's still plenty here for both camps to like.
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