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The Adventures of Poco Eco: Lost Sounds app review

The Adventures of Poco Eco: Lost Sounds (IAMYANK/Possible, 2015; iOS and Android) is a companion app to the ambient album Lost Sounds by artist IAMYANK. This adventure follows its hero’s journey through a brilliantly rendered, dreamlike world influenced heavily by sound (appropriately, given its musical provenance). The journey begins at “Poco’s Island.” The opening sequence shows the geometrically stylized protagonist Poco Eco walking alone through a village, looking down. He then falls off a cliff and discovers a device that looks like a cassette tape, which begins to play music. A pixie-like cube named LEDBUG leads Poco Eco to his first adventure in “Lotus Ocean,” where you, the user, take over.

Tap different locations on the map to direct Poco around the landscape. (This mechanism is somewhat clunky and takes a bit of getting used to.) In each new map location, Poco must hunt for “amps,” press glowing red buttons, and hop around the cubic, neon scenery to solve the puzzle. Tap different objects — such as a ruby-like lotus flower or giant speakers floating in the sea — to trigger different sounds. After reaching the end of the maze, Poco will surf to a new location. The more maps you explore, the more developed the world-building, with additional details including the appearance of “spirits” that seek Poco’s help as well as the antagonist “NOISE.”

This tap-and-go adventure complements its simple story and basic puzzles with a flood of lush 3D graphics and soothing sound. This would be a good choice for fans of the contemplative music-experiment app Sound Rebound. However, those users who are looking for a more advanced (or action-packed) puzzle game may lose interest after the first few levels.

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 5.1.1 or later) and Android devices (requires Android 2.3 and up); $.99. Recommended for primary users and up.

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