Neon Echo Preview – Save the world with cute girls and EDM


Neon Echo Cover Art Preview Thumbnail

Neon Echo hit Steam’s Early Access late last month where it bills itself as an action roguelite title with anime aesthetics and a rocking electronic music. Judging from all the promotional content, Neon Echo has style, but is there substance?

We checked it out in its early state, which is planned to last over the course of the next six months at minimum, where it already plays like a complete game. Despite what seems to be a small budget, Xinyuan Studio has managed to create a clean experience.

There were no major bugs to speak of and already a fair amount of content for a title with a low asking price. If this were not an Early Access title, I’d be more than content with what’s on offer so far.

Getting into Neon Echo itself, the story jumps you in quickly. Essentially the world has undergone turmoil as a force referred to as the “noise” comes with the ability to turn people into monsters. For whatever reason, EDM is the cure.

It’s a nonsensical plot that doesn’t catch anyone by surprised seeing as this is how they sell themselves on the store page. The characters are enjoyable enough, but the English voice acting is among the worst I’ve heard in all of gaming.

This is a Chinese game, so it’s no surprise that the dub isn’t perfect. However in Neon Echo’s case, it seems they were unable to hire professional English VAs and/or decided to have the Chinese VAs also voice it in English.

What we end up getting are voice actors who can’t pronounce most terms correctly in a manner that’s kind of endearing. But those wanting a quality experience should stick to the native Mandarin Chinese language.

Despite the setbacks in regards to writing and voicing quality, they did not skimp out when it came to the core gameplay loop. Combat is engaging both in visuals and experience and they throw in enough to keep things fresh each run.

Most stages consist of going through premade levels and defeating enemies where getting to the end rewards players with resources or buffs. There are some that mix things up, such as platforming challenges, minigames, and minibosses.

The biggest issue now is that since stages are not procedurally generated, repeating runs means going through some of the same exact levels as before. This can be a bit monotonous, especially since plenty of roguelites consist of doing multiple runs to progress and Neon Echo is no different.

Combat is smooth, but it’s disappointing how little music affects the gameplay. Each character only has one of their skills rely on timing it to the beat of the music. Everything else requires much less timing and thought outside of dodging that it’s easy to forget this was one of Neon Echo’s selling points.

The same is said about how music affects the presentation, which is not much. There are some games, which aren’t rhythm titles, where the soundtrack takes center stage to enhance the experience. Doom would be one of the more popular examples.

This is just another case of their promotion of being music based falls flat in practice, as by default Neon Echo’s music is oddly subtle. Fortunately volume levels can be adjusted, but a game focusing on the music aspect should not be holding back.

Neon Echo’s a lot of fun and hits all the good hallmarks of a solid roguelite title out of the game before it’s official full launch. There are some quirks in design now that most are willing to forgive as this is an indie team with an Early Access game.

Hopefully they do listen to feedback and implement everything that aim to achieve for their full vision of the Neon Echo. Since there’s a potential hit here with a fun design, great aesthetics, and solid gameplay already set as the foundation for their future.

Echo Neon is available now on PC via Steam Early Access.

Echo Neon was previewed on PC via a code provided by Xinyuan Studio. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.


Got into gaming thanks to a nice old lady who lived across the street. Enjoy most genres of games.

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