A new Echo Generation demo was just announced for a limited-time release. The supernatural turn-based RPG from Riverbond developer Cococucumber wears its inspirations on its sleeve. We got an early look at the demo’s gameplay!
Announced today by Cococucumber, the Echo Generation demo will be available from today, December 7, to December 15, 2020. The demo will be available on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC via Steam. The full game is currently slated for release in the first quarter of 2021.
You can check out the newly-released demo trailer below. The first half of the trailer focuses on the demo gameplay itself, which covers a town exploration sequence and a spooky animatronic boss encounter. It then shifts to areas and foes to expect in the full game.
Echo Generation follows a group of kids exploring weird happenings in small-town Canada. Aesthetically, it’s easy to see what Cococucumber is doing here. It’s Stranger Things meets EarthBound. The timeline has moved firmly into the 1990s, but small children running into monsters feels a lot like you’ve seen it before. Add to that the signature voxel look the team worked so hard to build in Riverbond? And maybe a dash of ToeJam & Earl vibe? It’s a distinct mixture, but you can taste the individual ingredients.
Gameplay-wise, it also follows this path. The RPG combat, like most attempts in the modern era, leans on Paper Mario-style active button presses. Leveling up also draws on Paper Mario‘s simple setup. Do you raise your HP or strength? Or skill points? You can only pick one, but keeping these numbers small makes each point significant.
The Echo Generation demo is definitely a short one. You’ll be able to get a taste of the systems, as well as the point-and-click style of fetch-quest puzzles. July’s reveal trailer suggests a larger adventure and more in-depth combat systems! But there’s only a slice of the early game here. It also seems like there’s a lot of polish to be done. Traversing the world feels clunky and slow. Entering and exiting conversations and menus feels early for a game only a few months from release.
But what is clear in the demo is the execution of the game’s voxel aesthetic. Echo Generation runs at 4K on Xbox Series X and 60 frames per second wherever you’re playing, and it uses this smooth look intentionally. The visuals here evoke the pixel era without mimicking its output. The soundtrack backs up this effort. There are retro influences, sure, but these are decidedly 2020 compositions.
The Echo Generation demo is available until December 15, 2020. It’s available on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One and PC.