Pico Park

Work together and clear levels!


Pico Park is a co-op, multiplayer 2D platform puzzle game developed by TECOPARK. The initial release of Pico Park for was in 2016 via the game retailer Steam, featuring local multiplayer game play. It was later released on June 8, 2019 for Nintendo Switch. In 2021, the game was updated to add online multiplayer features to allow game play through an internet connection.

The Elemental Tetrad


Being a 2D platform puzzle game, Pico Park emphasizes the usage of player movement to achieve the goal of clearing puzzles. There are only simple movements allowed, such as jumping, and WASD keyboard type movement. The core mechanic here is about movement, in coordination with the other players on your team to achieve the objective of acquiring a key and progressing to the end by opening a door.

2 players carrying the key to the door

Most of the gameplay is pretty simple, but it requires players to work together by stacking each other up or by moving in unison.

The need for coordination is amplified by the number of ways in which a player could die, which will affect the gameplay and cause the level to restart.


Honestly there is zero story involved with Pico Park. It is just a cute animation game for players to play together. As a player, you probably would not miss the storyline either, since it was not an open world concept to begin with.


It has pixel based animation art, which contributes to a sense of minimalism and nostalgia for the players. It also makes use of the fact that it is a 2D game, to evoke the memories of old games on consoles and Nintendo DS.

This reminds players of their childhood and makes it easy for everyone to jump on.


The technology used here is online multiplayer through either Steam, or the local multiplayer mode with Nintendo Switch. The game was simple so it did not require much control or complex tech to support it. This contributed to the charm of the game as well.


#6 problem solving

Being fundamentally a puzzle solving game, Pico Park attracted the type of players that usually would enjoy solving a hard problem or did not mind failing levels numerous times over. The exasperation of being unable to clear a level only accentuates the fun or the joy that the player feels when he/she finally clears a level.

Hence, it was important to introduce mechanics that were simple, so that the player can focus on the core gameplay, yet still


This was a game suited to all types of players. The simple game mechanics is meant to be easy to teach and convince other players to join. Without this kind of simple game mechanics, Pico Park could easily scare novice players away. By using only the basic player movements, players would not avoid the game because of a lack of skill.

#37 cooperation

As previously noted, this game was meant to be played with friends so that you can strengthen your bonds. It could also be played with strangers, as the time or sensitive gameplay controls naturally causes people to lower their inhibition and pleasantries.

The tasks must be completed with the help of every player in the game, which contributes to the need for communication.

#52 puzzle

The puzzles that were created layered on the need for communication. For example, at certain levels, strings were added, connecting the players and allowed them to pull their fellow players by moving along. This helped them to drop players down to collect items, such as coins and keys. By doing so, they would be able to prevent their fellow players from dying and resetting the levels.


Pico Park is an extremely interesting and popular game, which fascinates me because it was clearly developed on a shoestring budget. It showed me that there isn’t a need to overspend, but there is a need to really focus on how the game mechanics work and how they come together to create a cohesive playing experience.

Here’s some extra gameplay demo:

Echo Arena – The Best Free Game on Oculus

Fending off enemies while throwing the disc

The best free game is a heavy title for any title (pun intended) on the Oculus, given the thousands of game titles in the Oculus Quest Store. For Harry Potter Fans, Echo Arena stands out as a Quidditch style game, where the players fly through the game arena and toss discs at their goals to gain points, while fighting off their opponents with melee combat. The thrill of E-Sports, experienced from the comfort of our room, is truly a unique VR experience which can open your eyes to the rule breaking physics that can only be achieved in VR (or in space).

The Weightless Experience

One of the best things that Echo Arena has to offer you is the experience of weightlessness. This is by no means an easy feat, especially because the user is not truly weightless while playing the game. While playing it, you are still physically standing on the floor, rather than suspended midair. As you can imagine, the game has to do quite a bit to convince your brain that you are flying, not walking. However, it also has to ensure that you do not feel motion sickness, so that you can fully enjoy and engage in its thrilling and combative gameplay.

Gameplay: Player scores by throwing a disc into the goalpost

Ru Weerasuriya, president and creative director of the game’s developer, Ready At Dawn Studios, in an interview that the team studied what makes you sick and realized that it’s all about sending the right signals to the brain. If you grab at something and you can actually clench something in the game, that doesn’t make you sick because it is a one-to-one interaction where your hands in VR do exactly what your brain wants them to do. [1] Thus, the mechanic of grabbing and pushing off objects in the arena was added to Echo Arena to support player movement, a crucial aspect to allow players to fully engage with weightlessness.

Through these design tricks and seamless motion tracking, Echo Arena unlocks weightlessness for the player like no other game can.

Presence and immersion

Outside of weightlessness, the game also achieves total immersion and a delightful sense of presence through the use of spatial audio and reduced motion blur. Immersion is fundamentally about tricking one’s body that they are in a different space, based on the visual, audio and all other senses.

Spatial audio was also incorporated to make the arena feel real and allow users to communicate or locate their teammates freely via team chat. The subtle angles of the audio direction allows users to truly feel as though they are physically co-located with their teammates and even swivel their head to accurately find the location of their teammates.

In other VR titles like Rec-Room, when the player moves, one’s vision narrows, to allow users to feel less motion sickness as the brain and eyes are only exposed to what is directly in front of them. This approach, however, exposes and break the sense of immersion that the player has. Instead of doing that, Echo Arena limits the movement speed to 5 meters per second for the players, so there is no need for narrowing the vision and motion blur. Hence, the user can actually feel like it is a more natural environment, contributing to the sense of immersion and real life.

Suggestions for improvements

The only problem I see with Echo Arena is its unintuitive throwing mechanic. I am unsure if the mechanic was intentionally made to be different than throwing a frisbee in real life, but I often found myself wondering about the physics of the discs, whenever I attempt to toss it with the principles that I learnt for frisbee in real life. I would suggest the developers to incorporate more throwing training and guidance into the game, especially for users who are unable to hit their goals accurately and easily during the first few tries in the tutorial stage.


Echo Arena is an incredibly fun and interesting game, coupled with multiplayer combat and easy to understand game mechanics. I highly recommend any beginners getting started with VR to try this game out, and experience for themselves the unique possibilities only afforded to VR players. Since it came out in 2019, it has been a major hit on the Oculus platform and I can only imagine more players loving this title as VR adoption continues to ripple across the world.


1 – https://venturebeat.com/business/echo-arena-hands-on-gameplay-of-zero-gravity-multiplayer-in-vr/