Trapped in darkness, you must use visualized sound to guide your way through threatening environments. The sounds you create will bounce off obstacles, revealing the shape of the surrounding world. It won't be long before your only way of sensing the world attracts a horrifying evil that devours both sound and souls.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (17 reviews) - 88% of the 17 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (359 reviews) - 93% of the 359 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 11, 2015

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Dark Echo

SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 4

-66%
$2.99
$1.01
 

Reviews

“Dark Echo is a brilliant, unique, and incredibly tense must-have masterpiece.”
5/5 – TouchArcade

“A masterful execution of minimalist design… play this with headphones, in the dark, alone.”
Indie Game Enthusiast

About This Game

Trapped in darkness, you must use visualized sound to guide your way through threatening environments. The sounds you create will bounce off obstacles, revealing the shape of the surrounding world. It won't be long before your only way of sensing the world attracts a horrifying evil that devours both sound and souls.

Survive through 80 levels that will make your heart race and leave you with an irrational fear of red lines. A foreboding soundscape, best experienced with headphones, sets the tone for your journey. Explore, solve puzzles, and most importantly - stay alive.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or higher
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7 or higher
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or higher
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (17 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (359 reviews)
Recently Posted
Reeze The Vampire
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 17
I love the concept here, and the design is really solid. The only complaint I have is that it gets boring really quickly. But if you have a few minutes to kill here and there it is certainly a good choice for that. Really cool design, and a really fantastic atmosphere.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
diolki
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
The concept of this game is wonderful, and the first twenty or so levels are very enjoyable. Learning how to use sound to both navigate and avoid the monsters is fun while not excessively challenging. Then however you get to the later levels.

Moving platforms, that you cannot see. Sudden forced movement that you can't explain. Almost impossibly fast reactions required to avoid death many times when you don't know what to expect, and when the game manipulates what you think you've learned by making that same behavior kill you.

To a certain extent this could define any particularly challenging game, but I feel Dark Echo crosses the line from challenging to just down right frustrating because the game seems to require you to play through the level and die several times to learn exactly how to move because there is no way to know what you should do on your first, second, or even third try. But after that you've seen all the traps, and know exactly what to do to avoid them because you've DIED to each of them before.

I have been enjoying this game, and I will finish it, but I was forced to rage quit when a level seemed clearly designed to require several attempts to learn the exact pattern of the traps so you could navigate them, which seems like a poor design choice. That said however, if you don't mind a little potentially rage quit inducing challenges, I'd highly recommend this game none the less.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BoxOfFaces
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
Dark Echo is a game does a lot with very little. It takes one core mechanic - in this case, echolocation - and builds everything off of that, which is something I honestly wish more games did. It makes for a very tightly-woven experience where the gameplay, environment and story (what little story there is, at least) are all woven together seamlessly in one immersive experience. Granted, this game lacks visuals entirely, outside of the visual representation of echolocation, but that's also part of the genius of it. The echolocation system is intuitive and grows on you quickly to the point of feeling second-nature, plus it makes the player use the mechanics given to them to not only solve the puzzles and beat the levels, but also explore the levels and make sense of their environment. Not only that, but it has the players doing these things simultaneously. The game gives you no context as to where you are, what you're doing or why you're doing it (I guess you could say you're going into the experience "blind" . . . I'm sorry), so you just have to use context clues to figure things out. These are usually things that would be completely mundane in a game with visuals, but figuring out what things are purely based on your sound-wave-line-things and the sound effects in the game makes even the simplest environmental details intriguing. And as you play the game, you will get much better at "seeing" with the echolocation mechanic. Like I said earlier, the single mechanic which the entire game is based on works perfectly, is extremely intuitive and most importantly, is a lot of fun to use. It's also really fun to look at in its own weird way, which is good considering it's the only thing you can see throughout the entire game.
I also want to touch on the "horror" aspect of this game, since that's one of the tags for the game. This game is very tense purely based on its mechanic, making it one of the purest tension-fueled experiences there is. The focus on making the game feel tense and atmospheric was a good choice, seeing as the fear of the unknown works perfectly with the "blindness" of the player." The horror elements are not at all elaborate (as this game is built on simplicity) and won't provide a traditional horror game experience by any means, so I'm not sure I'd call this a "scary" game, but it is surprisingly thrilling. You will be running from monsters and avoiding deadly traps as you traverse mazes, and the death sounds are a bit gruesome. Still, this game is not for the horror audience. If you don't like scary games, I'd still give this game a try, although be warned it is tense. If you're okay with scary games, there's no reason not to try it. If you're looking specifically for a scary game, this is not the one for you.
Overall, this is a great game. I wrote this review mostly to commend it on its tight and simple game design. This game knows what it does, and it does it extremely well. This is something I wish more games developers would think about more when making games. "What's the core of this game, and how can we tie everything in the game to that core?" Doing this 100% with every game simply wouldn't be possible, but keeping this idea in mind when designing a game I think could help create a tighter, more immersive experience.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
GasMask
( 8.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
Two words: BAT SIMULATOR!

Helpful? Yes No Funny
SomeCuddlyKittens
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 2
Really interesting puzzle game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Brink Of Sanity
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 2
Dark Echo is certainly an excellent take on the idea of sound-based perceptionin a video game, though there are some negative aspects i would like to cover later. I would recommend that you buy it, play it, and get a refund, for reasons you'll see later.
First, though, the game is mostly an excellent experience. Suspense is created very effectively, as well as some mild horror. The game's mechanics are very polished and nice, with it's slightly randomized sound wave direction, so that no walk will be exactly the same; the sneak mechanice's effectiveness in water could be adjusted for more realism, but i understand that it's wave length is so expansive for the sake of the suspense and challenge; the enemies' speed is just enough to provide great suspense, and the large enemy is certainly a great fear that the game always gives you a chance to avoid (or rather, run from). The simple style of the game provides a nice ambiance, so that if you stop making sound for even a few seconds, you will be lost until you make sound again, likely putting you in danger.
Now on to negative points. First off, the game is NOT worth $2.99, since there is simply not enought content, in my opinion, to be priced that high. $1.49 maximum. The game is inconsistent in the later levels(30-40 mainly),in that it "throw's away" the machanics it has taught you from the beginning. one level leaves you stranded in a widely expansive empty map, following sounds of dripping water just beyond your view. no other place in the game requires you to listen for direction or guidance. another level leaves you in a room where you must obeserve the pattern of moving landscape to find an opening to stop the motion at a specific time which will allow you to progress (harder than it sounds). My biggest point, though, is level 37: "lost", in which you are placed in a large landscape of rough-walled caves where you must walk around blindly until you randomly find the exit, with other paths leading you to dead ends with enemies.
The game also has a "light mode", which is simply a negative print of the game with enemies added to nearly every room, faster enemy movement, turned rooms, or some rooms' layout changed. The game's achievements also consist of "beat normal mode", "beat hard mode", and "collect every secret". The game is good, but mostly due to the extravagant price and lack of both general content and replay value, i'll put it this way:
I should have my refund soon.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sherlock Holmes
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 2
Brilliant conceptual exploration and adequate theming. People who say the game was too small to be worth money don't know what it's like to be a struggling artist. I do, and I'm happy to pay to play this really clever idea.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Alex
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 29
It's worth about 0.49 cents. It's a good game for 10 minutes, then you realize it's basically a flash game from addictinggames.com.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Medicanica
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
Very short game, but fun and interesting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
corydelavega53
( 4.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
YES.
Play it.
I can't WAIT to see how this plays out.
The creators of this game REALLY know how to make the player use their imagination and ears to "see" what's going on around you... truely frightening!!! Headphones are MUST!!
Maybe there's a story, and maybe not, i don't know...BUT this game would be amazing regardless of mindless level grinding, or a story driven path..
Either way...
Refreshing game.
Very refreshing!

20/20 would kill self to write review again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 3
Two words: BAT SIMULATOR!

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 2
Really interesting puzzle game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
189 of 231 people (82%) found this review helpful
165 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 11, 2015
This game was terrifying.
Yet exhilarating.
Kept me on the edge of my seat.
I only screamed like a little girl five times.
Maybe twelve.
I may be a little girl.

Best two dollars I’ve spent this year.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
75 of 79 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2015
Dark Echo is an evocative piece of art with one of the most brilliant sound designs seen in videogame history. That uses stealth and survival horror conventions to materialize the fears living in our subconscious through abstract and geometrical shapes inspired by the paintings of Rothko

«It’s always night, or we wouldn’t need light» -
Theloniuos Monk

Do you remember the first time when you played Super Mario Bros 3? And while you were running through a prolonged and almost infinite hill, pushing the jump button you realized that now Mario could fly. And then, you were amazed with this magic sense of discovery while you explore a vastness sea of pixelated clouds. Creating the magic illusion of exploring a new world in which every single element is full of novelty, an explosion of the senses.

Our gaming memories are full of this accomplished moments of realization. Like the first enemy that you glitch in Axiom Verge. The first kiss you give in Yoshirou Kimura’s cult classic Chulip. Or when you rewinded the time in Braid to reach an unattainable floating plattform for the first time.

Dark Echo has one of these memorable and most captivating single moments experienced in recent videogames. In the form of the first time that you keep pushed the action button, and releasing it you can see how an explosion of visible and corporeal sound waves helps to materialize a previously occult and cryptic hidden dimension. With a plethora of abstract and evocative geometrical forms dazzling our eyes with pure joy. An intense array of emotions are concentrated in this mere act of pushing a single button. As an expression of why the videogames are considered art.

In its first hours, this magic sense of realization never ceases. An absorbing sensation that creates an oppressive feeling in the player, while he’s surrounded by invisible menaces laying in the shadows. An universe where the most feared ghosts plaguing our subconscious are waiting for us surrounded by darkness. Waiting to become corporeal with the mere stimulus of a sound.

We can only figure the world that lies beneath Dark Echo via the materialization of sounds, this fragmented instant of time when a a wave elongates making tangible a mysterious and almost cryptic alternative reality that lives isolated in a corner of our memories, close to our childhood traumas. Playing Dark Echo is like doing a unconscious journey through our fears and hopes, only using our imagination in a synesthetic way, associating sounds and its geometrical effects with inner terrors. And all of these sound elements are augmented by one of the most cohesive artistic designs seen in a videogame, clearly influenced by the paintings of Rothko in its constant use of the black and red colors.

Its level structure is not so distant of a stealth game, where we need to generate geometrical forms thorough sounds to confuse our captors. With a perfect difficulty curve that adds new elements and functions at a very slow pace. The 20 first levels serves as a tutorial, and from 20 onwards, you should prepare to die a lot. It’s like an even more minimalist approach to the VR missions seen in the first Metal Gear Solid. Also, Dark Echo shows its smart design nature by using the name of each level as an evocative clue to resolve its main obstacle. A demonstration of the love and care that its creators have put in the development process.

Maybe Dark Echo can be seen as a small game. But it’s a game in which every single element has been created with an ambitious and creative approach. A short but extremely polished experience that tries to not saturate the player with irrelevant content. Over the years and with the consequent saturation of the gaming market, I appreciate games that really try to be small but memorable journeys. Significative creations in gaming history that we will never forget.

Note that Dark Echo isn’t the first experiment created in the videogame medium to recreate the experience of being a blind person. Previously, the japanese punk videogame designer idol Kenji Eno created Real Sound: Kaze no Regret for Sega Saturn. A game that was designed with blind people in mind, using only sounds and with not a single image. In his next game, Kenji Eno will use the sound as a design fundamental again, with the release of Enemy Zero. A survival horror with invisible enemies, that only can be detected by using a sound radar.

Sadly, Kenji Eno passed away in 2013. But I’m sure that if he lived today, he would become fascinated with Dark Echo.


( The writer of this review is not an English native. So you should expect occasional grammar errors. I apologize in advance. )
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
79 of 101 people (78%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 12, 2015
It is said that if you want to create a good horror game you depend on three basic factors:

-Sound

-Darkness

-Unknown/mysterious foes

The player's imagination will do the rest.

...

For me, this game nails all these concepts, creating a really immersive and terrifying experience with very basic art & mechanics.

100% recommendable.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
104 of 152 people (68%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 12, 2015
I provide an in-depth review of Dark Echo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygdYZHIsf-w
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
32 of 45 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 12, 2015
I played this a few months ago when it was released on iOS. Great game on both platforms, but playing it on a larger screen definitely adds to the horror factor.

It reminds me of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, especially during the segments where you're being chased through the water as each footstep you take gives away your location to the monsters.

For only $2.00, it's pretty difficult to justify passing it up. If you like horror games, you can't go wrong with Dark Echo. And definitely play it with headphones on. The sound design is incredible.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
82 of 138 people (59%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 14, 2015
I want to like this game but I don't find its ambiance or gameplay engaging at all. It feels like a flash or mobile game in the sense that each level is a short path to victory with a tiny variation on the same theme. This is not a bad thing in and of itself but a game that relies on atmosphere should not present you with a transparent series of easy puzzles and little else.

I appreciate the game's clever design but I don't enjoy the gameplay. It didn't feel particularly scary, either: Red blobs make spooky ghost sounds and if you touch them they will eat you and restart the level. That is the sum of this game's horror elements. They will chase you if they hear you but they are stupendously easy to avoid. Holding shift makes you invisible to them and you can throw rocks to draw their attention away from you on a whim.

Some of the levels make interesting use of the game's premise but most felt tedious.

What I liked:
Clever concept, some levels were intriguing, perceiving your environment requires effort

What I didn't like:
Lack of tension, mobile game level design, one-note enemies, lack of meaningful variation
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
22 of 30 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 12, 2015
Sound design stripped down to the basics and a whole game built around it. The scariest things are always the unknown. A lot of 'horror' games could learn a lot from this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
19 of 25 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 11, 2015
Well, I'm a bit stuck on level 29 right now, and given as how there are 80 levels to this game, I highly doubt I will be finishing it. However, conceptually, it is pretty cool, and in practice, the game mechanics work well.

Basically, it is pitch black with the only light coming from sound, which bounces off the walls and objects, thus illuminating your path briefly. Also, your footprints leave a trail. Sadly, the sound also serves to attract an all consuming evil, in the form of red lights. Normal sound is represented by white light, doors (and I guess treaure although I'm not exactly certain how that works) is represented by yellow, and water (the bane of your existence in this game, lol) is blue. Somewhere around level 20, you find rocks which you can throw to distract the all consuming evil, which is especially handy when you also have to cross water (which also slows your movement). Each level basically ends by finding the exit "doorway" which explodes with white light when you step into it. Oh...and you can also move with stealth, which reduces your sound radius and helps you to sneak through that pesky all consuming evil.

There are some other nuances so far, such as needing to use rocks to break through walls, and certain levels where you cant hide from the all consuming evil and simply have to run for it. The level I am on currently, you have to cross waterways which actually push you into the awaiting evil (I guess this is the waters current).

The game does have full controller support, which is how I play it.

Anyway, I actually think this is a stellar game, and minimalistic perfection in what is essentially a unique puzzle game.

I give this game 8 muffled footsteps out of 10 with the remaining 2 betraying you to the all consuming evil, which I will simply dub as Shoggoth.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny