Review Etherborn Is 2019s Trippiest Puzzle Game

first_img Etherborn is one of the most unique puzzles games I’ve had the pleasure of playing in recent years. It presents players with puzzles that force them to think outside of the proverbial box. The surreal environments not only function as puzzles, but they’re stunning to behold. Though brief, it leaves one feeling wholly satisfied. That’s a great accomplishment considering this is developer Altered Matter’s first title.Gravity is at the core of each of Etherborn’s five levels. To get to a stage’s end, players must walk (or run) along floors and walls. Transitioning to and from different surfaces requires an incline connecting that connects them. Doing so shifts the camera’s orientation, giving players a different perspective of the terrain. The goal is simply to make it to the end of a level. The challenge comes from the journey. Oftentimes, solutions are right in players’ faces. It’s a matter of observing the environment and remembering how the rules work. Etherborn is deceptively challenging, which makes completing stages all the more rewarding.Falling off ledges results in a swift death. Yet, you must sometimes drop from ledges in order to progress. Pink vines show where you can safely drop down, but not every stage or section has them. This forces you to make leaps of faith, especially when you’re unsure of what to do next. As long as you don’t drop from a great height, you’ll land safely. I’m emphasizing this specific mechanic because it is likely one most players will forget, even though it’s extremely crucial.There is a central hub called the Endless Tree. Completing levels opens up paths along the tree which you can use to access the new worlds. Between levels, a disembodied voice speaks about the origins of mankind and of the human condition. If there is a deeper meaning to the narrative, it went over my head. I had an easier time deciphering the mind-bending puzzles than I did the nebulous story. But I can’t hold that against Etherborn. We’re all here for the puzzles, not the story. Confusing or not, the narrative lends the game a dreamlike atmosphere that is in line with the otherworldly aesthetic. The story isn’t intrusive, which is a plus.Etherborn is the graphical equivalent of an expressionist painting. The player character is little more than a walking nervous system housed in a vaguely humanoid shell. It is somewhat disturbing playing as a clump of veins and arteries, but it somehow works. Each world has a distinctive color scheme that helps separate each visually. The soundtrack isn’t in your face but it helps draw you into the world with its subtle orchestrations. Presentation-wise, Etherborn delivers a relaxing experience.Depending on how fast you solve puzzles, you can complete Etherborn in a single sitting. After completion, you can try out New Game Plus. This is essentially the same experience as before since the levels remain unchanged. The main difference is the crystals used to complete certain puzzles are now located in harder to reach areas. Though I appreciate giving players this added content, I didn’t feel the need to revisit the same worlds.Etherborn is an excellent debut title. It delivers a solid puzzle game experience coupled with a pleasing visual style. The levels are challenging but never frustrating. The gravity-based gameplay forces players to truly think of every possible solution. Though relatively short, it lasts long enough to feel fulfilling without overstaying its welcome. If you’re looking for a cool and unique puzzle game, then you should give Etherborn a shot.Get Etherborn at Humble StoreMore on Geek.com:Review: ‘Dragon Quest Builders 2’ Is Two Great Tastes in OneThese Are The Games You Should Check Out in July 2019Review: ‘Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’ Is Bloody Awesome Sorry, You Can’t Date Keanu Reeves in ‘Cyberpunk 2077”Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form Stay on targetlast_img