Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Ether One

1:00 PM on 05.14.2014 // Steven Hansen


Talking to someone you know -- maybe have known your whole life -- who is suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia is heartbreaking. At best, they stare at you, smiling warmly but helplessly. Any mental associations or memories shared crash down one-sided. The person is well meaning, but can't reciprocate.    

Ether One deals with mental breakdown with a sort of reverse Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind approach. What if memories could be restored?

Ether One (PC)
Developer: White Paper Games
Publisher: White Paper Games
Released: March 25, 2014
MRSP: $19.99

There's been blowback against first-person games that don't feature a gun or at least a sharpened tooth brush. Anything to harm someone with. While exploratory and firearm free, Ether One isn't exactly in line with The Stanley Parable or Gone Home. Not entirely, anyway. 

You can progress through game mostly by soldiering on and collecting certain objects, but the handful of locations you visit also feature Myst-reminiscent environmental puzzles. Solve them and you'll restore old projectors that clue you in on what's going on outside of what the gently authoritative British voice of god tells you. You get out of it what you put in, which is refreshing and a bit scary, because you actually have to use your head. That's what it's all about.

As a Restorer, you're wading through someone's memories of a coastal British mining town, guided only by the doctor you're in constant communication with.

There are no people, only what's left behind. Letters and notes. Objects scattered about the world that may or may not prove useful. Those you'll be examining, picking up, and likely storing on shelves in The Case, which is your central hub. You can go to and from it at any time with the push of a button.

You'll store objects of interest there, view film reels from restored projectors, or wonder what's in the giant, sealed safe. Downstairs there is some cork board where copies of important notes or flyers you find are reproduced. It's pen and pencil without literally requiring you to have a pen and pencil, though perhaps slightly less efficient than just looking down at notes. But notes get lost or eaten by dogs or get olive oil spilled all over them.

The quaint, working-class town is replete with places to explore and story to discover, lives to unearth. Puzzles, mercifully, are generally contained to a single building or area, rather than leaving you wondering if that bottle of bourbon you picked up at the beginning of the game is going to be the key to a puzzle eight hours later.

The puzzles themselves also deserve praise for their combination of variety and originality. There is some overlap. A lot of four-digit codes to discover (conveniently written, albeit hidden, somewhere on hand). But mostly they follow a sensible, organic, contextual and lateral logic. They're by no means easy, but your eureka moments may vary. I couldn't figure out what to do with a bunch of pistons and sought out hints online. Actually, I sought out hints a couple times for full completion, though you're free to impose stauncher standards on yourself. Story text through notes often helps hint towards solutions.

Ether One nails its puzzles, atmosphere, and sound (ambient and voice acting). It also nails its story -- whether or not you decide to fully unravel its world and its mysteries -- culminating in a, well, refreshing, smart finale that will stay on my mind for years to come.



Ether One - Reviewed by Steven Hansen
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Ether One

  Mar 05

Ether One confirmed for PS4, holy crap I still need to play this

No release date yet, but it will be digital and physical

  Aug 15

Ether One is coming to the PS4

According to the developer, it's coming 'soon'

  Feb 26

Ether One will finally materialize on March 25

The first-person puzzler has come through Greenlight

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Fast HGH Facts

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

So I Got a 3DS

Negotiations are over. Rainbow Six Siege is a no buy from me as of now.

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 72: Sexy Dog

Meesa Back! (or, here, or something.) Dev Log #1

Cblogs of 11/23/2015 + Sexuality in Videogames

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Fuck racism man, shit ain't fair. Can't stand it and I shouldn't have to. Nobody should.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Embedded pictures in Quickposts seem to be broken for me right now.
Flegma avatarFlegma
To my surprise, I've more or less figured out Rodea Wii U controls. Still a different game from the Wii version, but not as decidedly inferior in my eyes. Did the legacy medals do anything in Wii version?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
"Am I a kid, or a squid?" I ponder as I stare off into the horizon. A wise man once told me "Son, you can be whatever you want to be. You are only limited by your lack of ambition " And I want to be a squid. A squid now.
Parismio avatarParismio
Captain America: Civil War trailer dropped!: [youtube][/youtube]
lewness avatarlewness
Gah, wanna go Alexander farming but The Old Hunters ;_;
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Holy shit, Splatoon is addictive.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Duck Hunt was a trickier unlock than I expected. Jigglypuff, you are next on my list! [img][/img]
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Yay, this arrived today. Nekro is quite happy, as he's been looking forward to playing this game for a while. [IMG][/IMG]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Dtoid mobile has apparently broken again. This is it. This how the dtoid ends. *black hole opens, dtoid disappears*
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Gave Ronin one more chance before I chucked it in the "never to be finished" pile, glad I did. It could have been so much better but as a frustrating time waster it's not bad.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I'm sitting on the Fapcast's most recent recording. I just feel like I need a day for myself after, you know, freaking out about rent.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Why is every Quickpost now spaced out like poems with random amounts of stanzas that never ever rhyme?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Was anybody else here extremely disappointed by the ending of Assassin's Creed 2?
Parismio avatarParismio
Just tried Fallout 4 on my PC Via my Cousins steam account and nope, it does not run for me very well. Buying the PS4 version it is!
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
You know who never took any shit from anybody? Dr. Blight.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Am I the only one who has to pull up their sleeves to play competantly at videogames? When my hoodie's sleeves are down I play like a piece of shit but when i pull them up, I have more flexibility.
Shinta avatarShinta
PSA: Just picked up Falco amiibo at Best Buy. They had about 20 Tom Nook, 10 singles of Splatoon Boy/Girl, the Splatoon triple pack, about 30 Marths with a big sign saying "Look Who's Back!," Dark Pit, and probably about 15 others. Not too shabby.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
I long for the day that people get over their weird circle jerk hatred for FFXIII related things and just ignore things they don't care about.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I'm upgrading my PC on the cheap and I'm going with AMD, out of these two CPUs, wich one is better?, A8-7650K or FX-6300?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -