Ether One Review

Ether One Featured

Ether One Logo

Developer: White Paper Games
Publisher: White Paper Games
Platform: PC – GOG*, Humble Store, Steam

Are you someone who enjoyed the exploration of Gone Home but isn’t interested in puzzles that are typically aplenty in adventure games? Are you an adventure gamer who thoroughly enjoys wracking their brains on puzzles? Somehow, White Paper Games managed to make a game for both crowds with Ether One.

Ether One places players in the shoes of a “Restorer”. According to an omnipresent voice, you’re told that this means you enter into the mind of a dementia patient and try to restore their memories. Looking through memories not your own is an interesting concept and manages to overcome the sci-fi technology of it all. The story slowly unfolds and has a pretty heart-wrenching conclusion if you see it through the 3 to 7 hour playtime.

The most mechanically interesting aspect is that players can simply explore and uncover memory tidbits or they can solve puzzles to proceed. Since these are not required, you can simply ignore the ones you come across and enjoy the story that way. Of course, solving puzzles does appear to give you a deeper understanding of the storyline. Choosing to mess with the puzzles, most seemed simple enough, although I didn’t enjoy how a few seemed to require careful backtracking.

Ether One Featured

What ended up being the biggest issue for me was the fact that your player held inventory can only consist of one item. Players bring extra items to home base (accessible with a button press) and place them on shelves. This completely messed with my adventure game instincts of picking everything up because not every object in Ether One is required. All the same, I took everything back home and ended up with very cluttered shelves by the end.

My favorite feature was not the storyline, as it seemed kind of sparse early on. Instead, I was simply awed by the visuals. The 3D world is all hand drawn/painted style textures. It looks gorgeous and will definitely keep the game from looking “dated” for quite some time.

This may not be the best new adventure game of the year, but Ether One is still an admirable attempt. Players of different skillsets should all be able to make their way through the storyline and enjoy it. I just do not understand why they cluttered the world with objects (some unnecessary) and don’t let you keep multiple easily accessible. Still, what an interesting game.

Score: 3.5

3 1/2 out of 5 alpacas

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