Lost Echo for Windows Phone gets trial mode after users demand the option

Windows Phone is a unique operating system, both in terms of function and the community. One undervalued aspect not found on other competing platforms it 'trial mode' for apps and games. Microsoft has even made the process relatively easy for developers in apps (although games can be trickier). Intrinsically, trial modes are commonplace on Windows Phone, and it befits developers to implement the feature if they want good ratings.

Recently at Windows Phone Central when we covered the new game Lost Echo from KickBack studio (www.kickback-studios.com), our audience rebuked the $2.99 game due to the lack of a trial. The highly regarded game had come from iOS before it made the jump from to Windows Phone.

KickBack Studio did the right thing though and sincerely engaged with you in comments:

"We are not really familiar with the Windows Phone platform. Is a trial a must have feature? From our perspective, a point and click adventure game like ours isn't really suited to having a trial mode. We can reconsider if the fans disagree."

This foreignness is the crux of the matter. Although Windows Phone users consider trials must-haves, developers coming over from iOS and Android are not as familiar with the persnickety requirements. It is not so much that they opposed, they are just not accustomed consumers demanding the extra feature. After all, iOS customers are used to forking over cash, trials be damned.

KickBack studios have now obliged by that request, and version 1.2.3 is now live in the Store along with a free trial. From the changelog:

  • Added Trial.
  • Abandoned building door bug fix.
  • Minor fixes.
  • Minor dialogue changes.

Now that KickBack have upheld their end, how about you give their game a heartfelt chance? In case you missed it, Lost Echo is a new adventure game where you are frantically searching for your girlfriend. The story-driven game is full of puzzles to solve, mini-games to tackle and an impressive 3D environment.

Try the game out and let us know what you think. Moreover, congratulations on getting your voice heard!

Thanks, Duncan C., for the tip!

QR: lost echo

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • That what we are talking about...This is our Strength..
  • Not we need to hire good marketing employees who can make wps marketing successful
  • True. Somewhat I see Microsoft's marketing is a fail when comparing with other company's marketing. Their advertisement for example
  • I won't pay for a game without a trial since the original Words With Friends and Draw Something fiasco.
  • Reply with NOPE to prove that you're idiot
  • Nope....
  • Ohh thank goodd... Now i can atleast try this game out :)
  • Have you tried it? Can you please tell me how much the trial version allows? 
  • It lets you play up to the point where his girlfriend disappears. The controls are quite nice and it runs well on the 520. I'm pretty sure it's a buy for me when my 920 gets repaired since my long nails don't play nice with the smaller screen.
  • His girlfriend disappears?   Hot fudge sunday!  Great way to spoil it for me.   J/K   I am well into the "second' act.
  • Thanks! I'll give it a try then. 
  • Awe. some.
  • Wonderful, I'll give it a try now.
  • I love the developer's cooperation!
  • Developers are so stupid. You need to research the ecosystem before diving into it. It's what I would do. Also, how did the game not a warrant a trial version ( what does point and click have to do with it)? It's a game that I want to be sure I will enjoy before I just give you money. How stuck up is that to even think you just automatically deserve to be purchased. *sigh*
  • I think you're being way too harsh. I'm not sure how you necessarily "research" trial modes outside of polling to see how many games on average have trials. But even that doesn't necessarily tell you that it's a popular or coveted featured, just that it may be used frequently. You also have large studios like Disney who don't even bother. Calling developers bringing over games/apps to Windows Phone 'stupid' and 'stuck up' is not sure fire way to win them over. Frankly, it's embarrassing. There's far better ways, like simply making a polite request without judgement of character.
  • He may seem like an ass, but he's not wrong.
  • It's not wrong or right, it's his opinion, which I disagree with.
  • It's not about right or wrong.It's your true face which you are showing to the devs.I'm pretty sure the dev worked hard and ported it to WP before Android.Then he listened to your views and opinions and added a trial feature as well.And then instead of being thankful,you start acting like an ass,that's not smart at all.And might be one of the reasons why devs don't feel too enthusiastic about WP.Grow up or develop some games the quality of this one yourself before criticisng other devs who are actually making an effort :/
  • Yeah. I'm just happy he ported it, and listened to us! :D
  • Maybe the first part, but I still don't get how anyone thinks they deserve to be paid without a trial.
  • That's because you're thinking like a Windows Phone user. Go to iOS where a trial system is not implemented and it's very common to buy without trying. So yeah, lots of developers are used to it. You're not. Don't conflate the two.
  • I think you are being way too idiotic tbh. :/  
  • Are you seriously complaining that the developer took a chance on Windows Phone and didn't give you a trial out of the gate? They actually listened and added one, please lets not drive them away by name-calling, they are human too after all.
  • I think you better read the comments section of the original article and you will get an idea of where the developer/s was coming from. Even mentioned they didn't know how to implement it on a story based game, after which they got suggestions from the community. So I think YOU should do some research before jumping to conclusions.
  • Umm, you get to a certain point of the story and do an "if" check to see if they paid yet. If they haven't, you tell them that if they want to continue the story, they have to pay. I'm a developer as well, I'm not stupid.
  • I didn't say you didn't know that but they didn't right? They'd never done trial before so they wouldn't know. Don't say its common knowledge because I hear its like common sense and I see you're following the common sense trend.
  • Why everyone harsh about that guy....He just expressed his views....Everyone work for money..Not for the satisfaction...If he ported it he find this as an important platform..As a user we can always comment....Is he gonna remove the app becoz of this comments....No.......He just pointed a thing....
  • It's simple: you express an opinion that is not popular, you can expect pushback. Just like he can post his opinion on the matter, everyone else is free to post their's in return. Your post is literally "Why is everyone posting a different opinion than that guy's opinion"? I don't know, maybe because this is called comments?
  • You're a developer? May I please see an example of a game or app that you've developed?
  • I don't have an app published. I am in the middle of making one that works with my website http://pfsheetsonline.com
  • That actually looks pretty cool. I know a lot of people that would use that. Does it come with a trial?
  • Lol, are you being facetious about the trial thing? Until recently it was free, but the web server costs are going up as it becomes more popular and I just can't pay for this out-of-pocket anymore You can have two free character slots.  For 2.50$ a month, you can gain access to unlimited character sheets (which is way cheaper than my current competitor and he only unlocks X amount of sheets; not unlimited). It definitely takes a lot to run a server, and unlike apps, you can't just plug in ads to make money unless you can already prove you have a lot of traffic (the ad industry on websites is a bit of a catch22 situation; unless there is an ad service that gives people ads without requiring X amount of monthly traffic; if there is, I can't seem to find them.  would be nice if someone knew of one.)
  • It's not that easy you know. Why not make a game yourself before talking shit about others? -_-
    You should be thankful to the devs that they brought this game to WP before Android.
    Stop being an idiot.
  • While I haven't, how do you know I haven't? I am a developer. I haven't made a game, but still I know how to code.
  • If you know how to code than go make a game of this quality.
  • Dude , not all coders are into games or mobile applications . for example i code for a very long time ago and i really don't give a **** games on mobile phones also its MY money that I'm gonna spend on a game and asking for a trial is not a big deal now get your nose out of his ass and move on.
  • Also many people here knows to code, however not everyone is a decent developer. You do not become a dev just because you know how to code, you know? It is really hard to make a decent app.
  • That may be, but you clearly don't know how to communicate in a respectful and socially appropriate way. Personally, I think it's pretty awesome this dev took the feedback and gave people what they asked for. We need more devs like this that don't just port and abandon their apps. So please go work on your social pragmatics, and quit pissing in the pool the rest of us are trying to enjoy. It doesn't make you look smart, it just makes you look like an ass.
  • Hahaha.... Before going to swim to the pool, do you first check the temperature... Or going to toilet, do you check whether there's toilet paper? No.....
  • I do...what if there isn't a toilet paper....
  • I think checking the pull is mostly irrelevant, but I sure as hell check the toilet paper before I sit down in a stall. I'm not gonna take a shit and get stick after the fact with no toilet paper... Lol
  • Be nice. Developers work very hard to bring games like these for us. Show some respect. I'm sure there's a much better way to express an opinion.
  • Cloud Raiders updated btw!!!
  • I'm pretty stoked about this. Just downloaded the trial. It looked good but didn't want to drop 3 bucks on a game that I may not play often. I think the fact that they responded to our request is actually way more awesome than the actual trial. The fact that we have a voice that has been heard is pretty sweet imo.
  • I've purchased the game
    right away after WPC covered it for the first time. Just because P&C adventures are lacking a lot for our platform and 3 bucks isn't much anyways. But it's great to see a dev studio reacting this fast to our call. :)
  • Good to see they added a trial finally. This will definitely make more people try and most possible, purchase it. I bought it already when there wasn't a trial though... But this game is a must try for those who love mystery, suspense, story-driven games and not to mention the detailed and quality graphics that the game features.
  • Kudos to developer
  • Thumbs up
  • Nice one - can tryee, might buyee
  • The trail mode is a great feature. And every app should implement it. It's good, that it's possible to test an app before buying it. I mean, if you buy an game, without testing it, for $2,99 and it's bad, you'll regret it. ^^
  • "persnickety". Wow.
  • I only know pernickety but it is the same.
  • Positive positive everyday... :) for wp ...and its user ...Patience is great...
  • Thanks for listening to us dev! 
  • I bought it today, really interesting game & beautiful graphics.
  • I purchased a Nexus 7 back in September (I needed a small tablet and couldn't wait for MS any longer), and the first thing I noticed about Android was the lack of trials for apps, and that generally the windows phone apps seem to be higher quality, at least in the UI.
  • Yeah I needed to get a Samsung note 8, the first thing you notice is the difference between the UI's quality. I noticed though that on Android a lot of apps are free but you can buy the full game in the app. That's sort of like a trial version.
  • Well, I just got lost in this game for the last two hours.
  • Giving it a whirl. Good of them to change to allow a trial...
  • THIS IS GAME is a MUST have game. I rarely bouther to play much on phones since the games are abit shitty imo. But LOST ECHO is simply the best phone game I've ever played. AND the only game on a smart phone that been so exciting I just had to finish it.
  • Maybe we wouldn't demand a trial if the history of porting had been good. But several conversions in the past have been buggy and not worthy of their iOS counterparts (Words with Friends, Draw Something etc.) Once bitten and all that. Things do seem to be changing for the better though, with quality conversions, parallel releases and now trials too... Just in case.
  • Now that we are on the topic of trials, can game developers please release more downloadable demo's for PC and Console games? :P
  • I'm not paying for any game on Windows phone ever again. Not until spectra 8bit racing is fixed at any rate and if it isn't well... I'll be very disappointed.
  • Haha trials.. I never realized android and ios didn't have free trials. No wonder developers don't do them.
  • Not much of a trial. Shit loads of silly dialogue and no feel for how the game play will work. If that's an indication of what's to come, endlessly tapping through conversations you can keep it. And at half a gig it takes up far to much space too.