Echo Weaver – The Metroidvania that redefines the concept of time

A mind-bending and frantic MetroidBRAINia that challenges the laws of time.

Echo Weaver

Over the years, we’ve witnessed, played, and appreciated Metroidvanias of every kind, each with their own distinctive traits that made them somewhat unique. From titles that have become absolute benchmarks for small independent developers like Hollow Knight and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, to Metroidvanias like Blasphemous that make combat and platforming their sharpest weapons, to seemingly niche games that have managed to carve out a space in the genre by introducing a particular feature that refreshes the gameplay formula, or at least doesn’t feel too much like “seen it before”.

And sometimes, it’s far from easy; in fact, it’s extremely challenging to make your mark, to prevent your project from being labeled as another Hollow Knight-like or a low-budget Blasphemous. However, a small seven-person indie game studio appears to have accomplished precisely that, delivering a Metroidvania that stands out not only for its striking art design but also for its truly distinctive concept and game features.

We’re talking about Echo Weaver, an intriguing and promising Metroidvania, or as the developers affectionately term it, a time loop MetroidBRAINia – possibly suggesting that mastering its mechanics demands more than mere physical skills, but rather, above all else, wit and self-control – set in a world where the very concept and rules of time are entirely overturned.

Has this brief introduction captured your attention? Excellent. If so, then join us as we delve deeper into the project and introduce you to its ingenious creators.

Moonlight Kids, the young and brilliant creators of Echo Weaver

Founded in 2018, Moonlight Kids is a young and small collective of independent developers created by Justin Baldwin, Chris Sumsky, and Ankit Trivedi. Their mission is to craft outstanding games while promoting positive growth, collaboration, and opportunities within the gaming community.

Though a youthful and promising team, Moonlight Kids is not entirely new to the gaming industry. Individually, many of its core members have been involved in game development and the release of over 20 titles, demonstrating their extensive experience in the field.

Echo Weaver

Their debut game as a studio, The Wild at Heart, released in 2021 and published by Humble Games on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, was truly a gem. It was warmly received by both critics and players alike, boasting over 90% positive reviews on Steam and a Metacritic score of 76 out of 100. Additionally, it clinched two awards at the NYX 2021 for Best Indie Game and Best Visual Artwork.

Since then, many things have changed, starting with the team’s composition, which has seen the addition of new members. The lineup now includes the three founders—Justin Baldwin, Chris Sumsky, and Ankit Trivedi—along with Matt Morgan, responsible for audio and music, narrative designer Ealy Ghanbari, Marcus Brown, in charge of art and animation, and Brendan McCracken, assisting Morgan in the sound department and filling roles as both designer and coder.

This is the current team behind Echo Weaver, their newly announced game. It’s an enigmatic, fast-paced Metroidvania with distinctly darker and more pronounced tones, a project that notably diverges from the narrative and themed approach that characterized The Wild at Heart. However, it shares an important commonality: the team’s trademark stunning art design that defines their productions.

Not your typical Metroidvania

«We set out for the stars in search of paradise. We found something else»

Set in a dark world ravaged by a fatal time loop that has reduced civilization as it was once known to ruin, Echo Weaver is a fast-paced Metroidvania vastly different from what the genre typically offers. It’s characterized by a complex lore and particularly innovative gameplay mechanics that leverage the concept of time.

In the game, players take on the role of a Weaver, one of the few courageous survivors who have managed to preserve their integrity and withstand the devastating psycho-physical consequences caused by that very same loop that has tainted the world as it was once known.

Echo Weaver

The most intriguing aspect isn’t so much its gameplay mechanics, the protagonist’s abilities – double jump, wall-jump, slide, or dash, all mechanics familiar to many games of the genre – the platforming, or its progression system. Instead, it’s the way in which all these components have been conceived, presented, and reintroduced—a system that completely upends the traditional rules of space and time.

Let’s be clear, Echo Weaver doesn’t reinvent the wheel or bring something entirely new to the genre, nor does it stray far from what we play on a daily basis, especially when considering the game’s underlying themes or its main gameplay features. However, it presents them in such a unique and unconventional manner that they feel distant, almost alien in their modes and criteria of representation. This makes it impossible to remain unaffected or not be struck by the so-called “wow effect”.

The first particularly interesting aspect we notice is the game’s core concept: time, and the unique interpretation that the folks at Moonlight Kids have given it. In Echo Weaver, time isn’t merely the perception and representation of the sequence of events, but rather a currency—not just an abstract entity beyond our control, but a metaphysical entity that we can utilize, spend, and master. Even the loop, the space-time cage that holds us captive, becomes a consumable resource that players can extend by collecting specific artifacts. These objects, called echoes, are particular consumables found while exploring the biomes and can be used at the player’s discretion to unlock gates, heal, trade, and facilitate the progression of our Weaver.

Echo Weaver

However, time won’t be a simple element to understand, let alone a mechanic easy to master. In Echo Weaver, time flows, all too swiftly—as you can see from the screenshots above, the life bar isn’t the only gauge slowly depleting until it’s exhausted. That’s why running from one end of the game world to the other to reach that blessed checkpoint won’t help you. No, you need to stop thinking of time as the inevitable rapid flow of events; you’ll have to approach the obstacle differently, reshape the timeline, and master the loop by exploiting the secrets.

But what are these secrets? Well, why should the developers reveal them to us? If it’s a secret, it should remain as such, right? Jokes aside, they’re a resource that we’ll uncover gradually as we explore the world of Provenance. They’ll enable us to understand how to break the loop and, apparently, they’ll also serve as our equipment. According to the developers, there won’t be upgrades or abilities to unlock (not even skill trees?), and perhaps not even a proper character enhancement system, but only secrets that will empower us to do everything when and how we want. The only challenge will be figuring out how they work and how to exploit them to our advantage—no small feat, indeed…

Another particularly useful tool that remains mostly shrouded in mystery is the protagonist’s main weapon: a peculiar three-pronged throwing weapon, reminiscent of a shuriken from afar. However, it won’t merely serve as a combat weapon but also as an intriguing teleportation device, allowing you to instantly materialize on the other side of the map depending on where the weapon lands after you throw it. Could this be another ace up our sleeve to facilitate breaking the loop? Only time will tell!

Does Echo Weaver already have a release date?

Echo Weaver currently does not have a release date or an estimated launch window. The game was recently announced, so it will take some time before the folks at Moonlight Kids reveal more details about the game or a potential release date.

According to what we can gather from the developers’ official website, the game expected to be released soon for PC, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One, with no indications yet regarding versions for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4.

For now, the developers haven’t disclosed many other details about the project beyond what we’ve revealed, so we’ll have to wait to learn more.

In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to Moonlight Kids’ X page for the latest announcements and updates about Echo Weaver, and don’t forget to add the game to your wishlist on Steam.

That’s all for today. Until next time!

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Grown up with MediEvil and DOOM and fascinated by the video game world since 1998. This passion stems from a desire to discover and research the videogame at 360 degrees, with particular attention to the Indie scene.