Went in completely blind to this one, had no idea what the game was about, and even after finishing the majority of it, i’m still not entirely sure I know.
However, after my time with the game, im fairly certain it’s the type of game that is better the less you know about it, so if you have any intention of playing it (it’s a first person adventure game similar to Dream or Dear Esther), I would recommend closing the page now and going in blind.
Vanishing of Ethan is, at it’s heart, an exploration adventure game, from the start you are dropped into a breathtaking natural world and completely left to your own devices. The world kind of opens itself up to you as you explore it, and the ‘puzzles’ will reveal itself as you do.
The majority of the puzzles involve uncovering the details of murders which have taken place across the environment – done by finding and interacting with objects scattered around. Once you have interacted with all the items needed you are transported to the past, and have the opportunity to piece together the murder and discover what happened.
As previously mentioned, the graphics are lovely, lots of light rays, water reflections and greenery. Similar to other games of this type, the music is also great – I wouldn’t say it’s as memorable as… say… ‘dear esther’s soundtrack, but the piano melodies and ambient noises certainly work well and help give even more atmosphere.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is an interesting but short adventure in a foreign world – almost like ‘European countryside simulator 2014’. The puzzle elements work, but aren’t the highlight of the game at all. Simply walking around and taking in the sights is worth your time, but possibly not your money.
Approximate Game Length : ~3 Hours
Actual Worth / Steam Price: £6 / £15 = 0.26
Should you play it : Could easily be skipped due to the genre of the game, but worth playing.