In case you don’t know Eqqo is a charming puzzle game developed by the good people at Parallel Studio. The game initially came out on VR to middling reviews due to the lack of regular monitor and console support, but now here we are with the non VR Switch version, which I’ll be reviewing, so keep that in mind!
Right off the bat you’re going to know that this game is all about sweet sweet Mother Nature. We got trees n’ shit, the whole nine yards. It’s told through the narration of a nice lady who talks to stars or something. Well, either way, she wants to save her son and her son just so happens to be Eqqo! Trapped in a cage, you set him free and you go on your cool nature adventure where you will come across snakes, trees and… eggs.
On the Switch version you can play the game in two different control schemes, the choice is yours. You either use the gyroscope to turn the camera around and use the buttons to interact, or you just use the touch screen and have a little point and click adventure. I prefer the point and click style, the gyro kinda needs me on a swivel chair at all times if I want to get those sick 360 degree camera movements.
The puzzles themselves aren’t anything to write home about in terms of difficulty, but some are pretty cool. If you ever get stuck on one just take a five minute break and you’ll realise it was right in front of you the whole time.
The music in the game is certainly a highlight, there are some real nice ambient vibes going on here and I’m all for it. It perfectly matches the aesthetic of the game and that’s all you need.
Graphically the game suffers due to what I think is the fact that it’s originally a VR game. Now I’m no VR expert, but I think it’s something to do with the fact that they added blur to a lot of things in the background to make it look better while it’s all up in your face. On a 2D screen it doesn’t really do much and makes stuff a lot harder to see. The models just aren’t that great looking and you can see the jank in them when you’re in a cut scene and there’s a close up. I kind of wish they had at least smoothed out those jagged edges for the benefit of players on the Switch.
It takes about 5 hours to beat the game, probably a little more if you wanna go back and find all the collectibles. The time to beat it is fairly decent and it makes for a good experience, any shorter and I would’ve felt ripped off and any longer I probably would have dropped it. It makes for a good Sunday afternoon game that keeps you busy but doesn’t become too tedious.
One thing that stood out to me was the voice acting, which is pretty darn good. When it comes to making games that are trying to tell emotional or even deeply personal stories, if the voice acting isn’t great it kinda just always falls flat. Eqqo stands tall with its narrative thanks to the success of the acting.
All in all I’d say Eqqo is an enjoyable experience that is short and sweet. I wish the puzzles were harder and I kinda wish the game looked better but other than that I’d say I’d recommend it to people who really like interesting puzzle games about trees n’ shit.
I’m giving Eqqo a: