We really like Echoes. It's such a simple concept, that's been beautifully realised by developers Halfbrick. In essence, you control a hat and collect jewels. Well, that's what the perspective would have you believe. In reality, you're in control of Charlie, a young artist who has been whisked away into a far away dream-world. Think Wizard Of Oz meets Asia.
The story matters not one iota, because the gameplay is so simple. You're slapped into a maze, with a top-down view of Charlie's hat. Your task is to collect gems that are littered around the maze. Simple? There's a twist. Everytime you collect a gem, you'll trigger an echo, which is a direct replay of the movement you made to collect the gem. These echoes cause you to lose a life if you connect with them. Thus, as the game goes on and you collect more gems, the maze becomes littered with multiple versions of yourself. We can confirm, it's more difficult than it sounds.
The controls are super slick, allowing you to zoom around the maps with relative ease. Of course, it gets difficult because you'll find past replays of yourself blocking paths and getting in the way. You'll need to use precision and skill to make it through the stages.
The maps get increasingly difficult, with some really neat designs later on, including an hourglass, peace sign and a map of the developer's homeland, Australia! The music's neat too, with a synth driven soundtrack drumming the action along.
Sadly, the standard arcade mode is a little shortlived, but there are other tasks on hand to lengthen the experience. Jackpot, Survival and Clockwork all offer slightly different ways to play, even if they are naturally linked to the game's underlining theme.
There are also trophies to collect, which offer extra incentive to complete some of the game's more difficult tasks. For £2.49 Echoes is one of the better PSP Minis. It's a shame there couldn't have been a few more maps, but we'll cross our fingers for a fuller sequel. If you're looking for something short, cheap and addictive though, Echoes will fill your needs.