Echo Generation: Midnight Edition – Review
Follow Genre: RPG, Adventure
Developer: Cococucumber
Publisher: Cococucumber
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Echo Generation: Midnight Edition – Review

Site Score
Good: Well-written dialogue
Bad: No voice acting
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

No matter how you slice it, the Switch remains the best option to squeeze in some gaming time while you’re on vacation. It’s probably the last summer for Nintendo’s hybrid handheld, but we’re happy to see that the console is still going strong between recent releases like Paper Mario and upcoming titles like new Metroid and Zelda games. Sometimes you’d want a smaller title though. One you can pump out on a lazy afternoon, sitting in the shade of a tree, or while you’re traveling to your next holiday destination. Echo Generation is one such game. This bite-sized adventure originally debuted on PC and Xbox back in 2021 but has now arrived on the Switch, in a so-called Midnight Edition. Is this enhanced version of the game the perfect title to take with you on your next trip or should you stick with the aforementioned heavy hitters?


Although Echo Generation is set in the ‘90s rather than the ‘80s, the game definitely has a vibe that is similar to that of Stranger Things. Echo Generation tells the story of a pair of kids who notice weird stuff is happening in the small town of Maple Town, Canada. Our main hero is an unnamed teenager who wants to make his own horror film during a lazy summer, but gets caught up in a real-life horror story instead. The tale that unfolds is packed with the typical clichés that you’d expect from ‘90s horror movies, in the best way possible. There’s a mysterious spaceship crash just outside of town, a serial killer on the loose, kids that go missing, a shady corporation, and of course the obligatory kid sister who is forcefully included by our protagonist’s mother. Oh, and there are talking animals too. While the overarching story feels somewhat disjointed and cobbled together, we did enjoy the individual scenes and the game’s dialogue, which are definitely a highlight.


Maple Town and its inhabitants are brought to life through voxel art. There’s plenty of visual variety here when it comes to environments, characters, and enemy designs. The lighting is gorgeous and helps in setting the atmosphere. We did notice that Echo Generation actually performed significantly better when playing in handheld mode compared to blowing things up on our TV screen, with a smoother frame rate. Of course, voxel visuals aren’t anything new, but Echo Generation is definitely one of the better-looking games that make use of this specific visual style.


We really think that voice acting could have elevated Echo Generation to the next level, with how well the dialogue is written, but unfortunately, the game doesn’t deliver on that front. The music does make up for this, with a varied soundtrack that easily shifts between relaxed or upbeat music when you’re walking in the street and creepy music whenever spooky things start happening. You’ll eventually find a boom box too, and with that, you can listen to music tracks on collectible cassettes that are hidden throughout the game.


At its core, Echo Generation is an RPG with a turn-based combat system, but it also shares a lot of mechanical similarities with point-and-click adventure games. There is a heavy focus on exploration and item collection. Many of the items you find on your journey are essential to progress through the story, while others are used to upgrade your party members, with your party consisting of the protagonist and his friends, his kid sister, and all sorts of talking pets. Echo Generation doesn’t fully commit to either of the two genres it takes inspiration from, instead sitting pretty much exactly in the middle. That’s not a bad approach per se, although it does mean that the game lacks a gameplay identity of its own and doesn’t offer anything unique in terms of mechanics. It fits with the ‘90s setting, as mechanically it’s a game that could’ve just as well come from this era, but don’t expect anything beyond simple fetch quests and basic RPG stats. The inherent simplicity of Echo Generation’s mechanics gives the game ample room to let its story shine.

The turn-based battle system is surprisingly similar to that of Super Mario RPG -originally also from the ‘90s-, with on-screen prompts that require precise timing in order to determine attack effectiveness. Echo Generation does take things a couple of steps further than just the QTE moves that you’d expect, with special move inputs feeling more like microgames. Coupled with the wide variety of moves, which are unlocked by having characters read comic books, this kept the battle system engaging throughout Echo Generation’s runtime. Given that there are quite a few difficulty spikes, you’ll need to do some grinding, especially to prepare for the boss fights. The human characters need to do a lot of the heavy lifting, as recruited animals typically start out at a much lower level and will need some help to become useful.

Clocking in at roughly six hours, Echo Generation can easily be completed over the course of a single day. It’s the perfect length for the story it wants to tell, although we did feel like this is a title that doesn’t offer any replay value. That rings especially true for those who already played Echo Generation on Xbox or PC and are now curious about what’s new in the Midnight Edition. While we haven’t played the original ourselves, we did our research and from what we gather, the changes probably aren’t worth double dipping: visuals have been slightly enhanced and combat was made faster and more streamlined. The biggest additions were the implementation of a quest log and a fast travel system, things that apparently weren’t available in the original release. If you’ve never played the game, the Midnight Edition is the definitive way to play Echo Generation, but for anyone returning, there isn’t enough here to justify the €24.99 price tag. Even for new players, that may seem like a steep price tag, but we’d argue that this is a case of quality over quantity, and that Echo Generation is still worth it.


When looking at Echo Generation’s individual parts, there isn’t anything about the game that particularly stands out, but it all comes together very nicely. From the gorgeous visuals to the game’s simple but familiar gameplay mechanics and the fantastic individual story scenes, we were pleasantly surprised by what Maple Town had to offer. This is a title that probably won’t appeal as much to anyone who didn’t grow up in the time period that the game is set in, but as a nostalgic time capsule to a simpler time, it pairs surprisingly well with the ongoing summer days.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Echo Generation: Midnight Edition - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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