Ether One: A Charming Game

When Steam says sale, I’m not the only one who says “YES PLEASE.” Games at less than half price? I can’t afford not to buy that. Am I ever going to play it? There’s a good…well, there’s a chance. I try to shop around for games that sound interesting and will engage me, but I don’t always have the time and/or energy to check reviews. Hell, at 2.99, I don’t necessarily care. (You’ve got me, Steam. You’ve got me.)

Last time I stumbled across a charming game called Ether One, by White Paper Games. This is a good example of a Steam sale paying off. I put a good 19 hours into it and I still want to get the last two achievements (which should have been the easiest achievements, but alas, I started paying attention far too late and I’ll have to go through it again).

I started off as a person with no arm, and later on gained an arm holding a lantern. (First person games are weird.) I walked into an institute and a nice lady said welcome back, I’m a doctor, come sit in this chair and do things and…I’ll try to make sure you don’t get hurt.

At first I thought I was playing a horror game, but I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a very atmospheric puzzle game. You don’t interact with any other people besides the disembodied voice of Phyllis, the doctor. You wander around and pick up the memories of Jean, a woman who has dementia.

The point of the game is to cure Jean’s dementia by unlocking her memories. The memories are in the form of pretty red ribbons, and Phyllis almost always has some comment. Sometimes she was mean to me and told me to hurry up, but in the end I forgave her because she was just trying to help.

The twist near the end delighted me, then there was an extra twist at the end which wasn’t quite as delightful but I’m pretty sure I love this game. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes puzzle games.

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