EQQO (pronounced ‘echo’) is a touch-based puzzle game in which you take on the role of an unseen narrator, guiding her blind son through a sacred land filled with ancient temples, traps, and mysterious creatures. The game offers up several options for its gameplay, and you can mix-and-match depending on how you like to play. Undoubtedly at its best in handheld mode, the game lets you play using a combination of touchscreen controls, gyro controls, and good old fashioned button prompts. Our preferred method was using the touchscreen entirely, as you can easily move the in-game camera around with quick swipes while tapping on interactive objects within the environment.
Your goal in EQQO isn’t immediately clear. You’ll start off in a seemingly idyllic countryside setting with blue skies and lush greenery, albeit littered with dead trees and ancient ruins. Eventually, you’ll come across a dying serpent god who gifts you with a giant egg, and it’s then your job to escort the egg and keep it safe from any danger. It’s not long before you come across a vast network of temples, and it’s here that the game really spreads its wings, presenting you with a multitude of puzzles that, while not particularly difficult, are often quite clever.
Controlling the game’s narrator, you have abilities that EQQO himself cannot hope to possess. Using the touchscreen, you can pick up objects like stones and spears, turn cranks to lower bridges, pull chains to open vast gates, and more. The game is presented via predetermined camera angles, and as you observe the environment, more angles become available to you via shining stars, allowing you to then switch between them at will. Utilizing all available camera angles is vital in completing the puzzles, and you’ll need to switch between them frequently, especially during instances in which EQQO temporarily leaves the egg behind.
For the most part, EQQO will be entirely on his own. As you progress through the game, however, creatures known as Shadows turn up and present an immediate threat to the egg. Quite often, you’ll need to guide EQQO away from the egg in order to open certain passageways, but in doing so, he’ll leave the egg vulnerable, allowing the Shadows to descend upon it. In instances like this, you’ll need to switch perspectives between EQQO and the egg quickly, picking up stones to throw at the advancing Shadows to keep them at bay, whilst guiding EQQO down the correct path.
We were pleasantly surprised by EQQO. After a rather lacklustre opening segment, the majority of the game proves itself to be an engaging puzzle title with a surprisingly meaningful narrative to support it. If you’re after a challenge, you might want to look elsewhere, but for its price, EQQO is a lovely, relaxing experience that will keep you playing right to the end.