As a society we’re slowly becoming more aware of mental health. The entertainment industries haven’t been helpful along the way, with mental illnesses often used as the reason for a villain or criminal’s motives. That’s offensive at best and dangerous at worst. In recent years we’ve started seeing more protagonists with health illnesses, most famously in Mr Robot. We’re happy to see that mental health is being featured fairly by more videogames too. The latest to catch our eye is an upcoming episodic adventure called Echoes.
Newcastle-based Thermo-Dynamic Games is creating an attractive game that promises to address diagnosis, counselling, and overcoming mental health issues. The game is said to start out charming to pull you in but soon becomes challenging as it incorporates mental health into the gameplay. The game mixes exploration with puzzles and moves between two different visual styles. Apparently it takes place in the main character’s various dream states, so the visual style probably reflects the state you’re in. There’s a simple announcement trailer here:
The first episode is, perhaps unsurprisingly, called “Diagnosis”. This episode will introduce the character and a unique “mind-break” mechanic that has us interested. We know the game will become difficult and that puzzles will block players from progressing, but it’s not clear how the “mind-break” mechanic comes into it.
We’re interested to see where this goes but there’s aren’t many details available. The announcement has only just been made and we’ll supposedly hear more next month. How many episodes should we expect? Is it PC-only? Will it work with VR? We have lots of questions and the most important is only partly answered: it will be released later this year.
Main image: Thermo-Dynamic Games