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Ether

by MathBrush profile

2015

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Number of Reviews: 2
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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.