Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In

Download



Story File
IFComp 2015 release
For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page

Ether

by MathBrush profile

2015

Web Site

(based on 20 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

"For the first time in centuries, something is different. Your tentacles tingle as you float to the east past icebergs and whirlwinds. You skirt a pocket of hot air, bounce through a field of ice, and finally come upon a massive stormcloud filling the sky to the east."

A game about a flying cephalopod and its airy world. This short adventure recreates the feel of exploring a world in a graphical game, and uses a 9x9x9 cubical grid. Navigate the world in 26 directions as you collect items and use the properties of your environment to unlock their power. An in-game walkthrough is included, as are instructions for those new to parser interactive fiction, where you type in commands.

Game Details

First Publication Date: October 1, 2015
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: Inform 7
IFID: Unknown
TUID: wsjmvbv5tsyrsp9g

Awards

10th Place - 21st Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2015)


News

Expand all | Add a news item

Editorial Reviews

Emily Short's IFComp Review Collective
Lucian Smith on Ether
IF has two traditional axes on which it is judged: story and puzzles. Even Graham Nelson’s old description of IF as ‘a narrative at war with a crossword’ breaks down the genre this way. Ether’s story is simplistic, and its puzzles are trivial. And both are almost beside the point, because Ether concerns itself with neither axis, instead delighting in a third: exploration. Even here, it departs from most exploration-themed IF where the point is to explore a location: here, the point is more to explore movement within an environment, and to explore the abilities of the PC.
See the full review

Old Games Italia

In Ether ci ritroveremo ad impersonare un cefalopode volteggiante in un mondo d'aria alla ricerca di alcuni oggetti che ci permetteranno di viaggiare verso un nuovo mondo. Bene: la trama finisce qui. In questa avventura, infatti, non c'è praticamente nulla da fare se non raccogliere queste strane sostanze; il problema è che non è presente il benché minimo ostacolo o enigma, inoltre molto spesso per proseguire nella narrazione basta solo aspettare qualche turno per far accadere un evento. Via via che si raccolgono gli oggetti il mondo attorno a noi cambia secondo un ben preciso schema, ma, purtroppo, il modo in cui questo è giustificato è abbastanza fragile.
See the full review

Renga in Blue
The main novelty is the world is entirely open on a three-dimensional grid, where the edges invoke different opposites (windy/calm, for instance). Puzzles generally involve floating to particular objects and maneuvering them to a particular environment.

The chunk of red ice bobs upward. It now lies far to the north and far below you.

A lot of work was put into the directions and the fact objects float about, but in practice I found myself typing >GO TO OBJECT a bunch and eventually I was there. I imagine the author spent months getting to code to work correctly to get to the point where it could mostly be ignored by the players (which is both good and sad at the same time).


See the full review

Tags

- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)
(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

5 star:
(3)
4 star:
(10)
3 star:
(7)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
Write a review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
This cephalopod is user-friendly, November 18, 2015
by CMG (NYC)
You're a nautilus, but not a normal nautilus. You inhabit an airy world and it is yours. You are its overlord. You've lived in other worlds before, and now you've mastered this one too. It's time to move on to yet another world. Gameplay is about assembling the necessary magical/metaphysical elements required to open the next "great doorway" in your journey.

Movement in this game is three-dimensional. You can travel in all the cardinal directions, and also up and down, and combine directions, i.e. down north. This seems like it could be overwhelming, but it's not. All the directions have different qualities (less pressure in the upper atmosphere, for example) and you've always got a clear sense of where you are and where everything else is in relation to you.

I feel like this would be a great game for beginners. It gives you simple challenges, rewards you with new powers when you complete the challenges, and rounds itself nicely off at the end by throwing you into a situation where you have to use all your powers in combination.

Your nautilus character isn't completely fleshed out, but has a definite personality and memories from its past worlds, and the game gradually resolves itself into a kind of epiphany for the nautilus on a grand scale. Everything is blended together: the story, the mechanics, the exploration, they're all the same thing, and it feels effortless.

(Spoiler - click to show)It's also really neat how you slowly realize that, hey, this game has an NPC, and the entire world is the NPC.

I don't think that Ether will appeal as much to experienced players who want more difficult puzzles, but that's not the goal it's setting for itself. It wants to be casual and uplifting and it succeeds.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
My first enjoyable parser experience, November 19, 2015
by Felicity Banks (Canberra, Australia)
Related reviews: IFComp 2015
I was nervous about the parser experience, because I generally end up frustrated (sometimes to tears) within minutes. My brain doesn't work that way, and doesn't want to learn.

This was literally the only parser game I've ever enjoyed from beginning to end - mainly due to the very friendly walkthrough (which I consulted at every single step, after a few attempts at doing stuff on my own).

It's a fantastic game for true beginners, and works well as a teaching tool (my attempts at other parser games now last twice as long before I quit) without being even a tiny bit patronising, or breaking away from the story.

A downside in terms of personal taste is that the nautilus is (as you may have guessed) not human. It feels fairly human in personality, but I just don't relate to the epic and impersonal goal.

I was able to just barely understand (for the very first time) why people like puzzles in a story, even though I don't personally like them. Really grateful for the whole experience. It changed the way I see parser games.

If you love parser games and you're trying to convert a n00b, start here.

If you like parser but don't feel like staying awake trying to figure out a nightmarishly difficult puzzle... this game is for you, too.

If you enjoyed Ether...

Related Games

People who like Ether also gave high ratings to these games:

Final Exam, by Jack Whitham
Average member rating: (17 ratings)
Final Exam takes place in the near future after an AI revolution has led to the establishment of a new sort of government. You are seeking a job within this government: your performance in the “final exam” determines the outcome. You...

Party Foul, by Brooks Reeves
Average member rating: (22 ratings)
You're cornered, trapped. There seems to be no escape. You aren't in a jail cell. No, you're in the cocktail party from hell and only by using your wits and luck are you going to get out of this suburb alive.

Degeneracy, by Leonard Richardson
Average member rating: (15 ratings)
The glitterings of Gold, Jewels, Tapestries, &c. belie the Corruption of he who 'til recently occupied this high Seat. A white Carpet, once flanked by Sycophants & Counsellors, now lies untravelled. It leads away from the Seat & towards...

Suggest a game

Recommended Lists

Ether appears in the following Recommended Lists:

A starter pack for those new to interactive fiction by MathBrush
I had a list like this before which I deleted, but I noticed it had a lot of views on intfiction, so I thought I'd make a new one to help people out. It has 10 web-based games, 10 parser games for beginners and 10 parser games of medium...

Doug's Top Ten of IF Comp 2015 by Doug Orleans
I played all 53 entries in IF Comp 2016. These were the top ten games on my ballot. Note that I rate games on slightly different criteria for the IF Comp than I do for IFDB; in particular, as per the Comp rules, I select my vote after...

Polls

The following polls include votes for Ether:

Games with non-standard directions by Andrew Schultz
I'm wondering about games (primarily parser) with weird directions beyond NW/SW/SE/NE, up, down or inside/outside. I like the example in the Inform docs (Charles S. Roberts) about hexagonal directions but have no clue how to go about...

Games for Beginners by WriterBob
I'm looking for games that are suited for adults who are new to IF. My purpose is to share these games with friends and let them get experience IF without being frustrated by mazes or guess-the-verb issues. Please avoid children's games....

For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible games of 2015 by Brendan Patrick Hennessy
This is for suggesting games released in 2015 which you think might be worth considering for Best Game in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here will...

See all polls with votes for this game

Links




This is version 10 of this page, edited by MathBrush on 13 June 2016 at 8:41am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item