Aether

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Aether is a curious action/puzzle game that begins when a young boy befriends an odd, octopus-like sea monster. They set off to explore the universe together, aided by the creature's long tongue which allows them to latch onto and swing from clouds and other airborne objects.

Your first task is to escape the Earth's atmosphere by swinging upward into space. Once outside of the Earth's gravity you'll find colored directional markers that point the way to other planets. You'll have to slingshot yourself between moons and asteroids to travel, at least until you find yourself in a new planet's gravitational pull. Each planet hosts a hapless inhabitant in need of assistance, which you can provide by solving some sort of action-based puzzle.

Aether's hook-and-swing travel mechanic takes some getting used to at first, but once you get the hang of it you'll be swinging skyward and across space with ease. One of the game's most interesting aspects is the way it uses a small slice of 2-D space to create a large and freely traverseable universe, where the rules of gravity and direction shift as you swing. I couldn't help but think of both Super Mario Galaxy and Pixel Junk Eden as I played. Aether's minimal story elements don't always mesh well with the game design, and a few of its puzzles don't provide enough feedback and direction. Don't let those gripes stop you from checking it out, though. It's a unique, clever little game.

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Comments

I had fun when I played this last weekend. Give it a few minutes, you'll figure out the mechanics, and it might even touch ya a bit on the emotional/child side.

I tried it, and while I liked the art style, I really couldn't get comfortable with the hook-swing mechanic - it was really frustrating to me. Ah well.

The gravity change is so subtle and brilliant. I absolutely love the swing mechanic.

This was a fun browser-based game. Being able to finish it in ten minutes or so was a definite plus.

Downloaded this the other day...very cute and fun. The swing mechanic IS a bit tricky at first, you have to use all your directional keys to make it work. But it's really cool once you get the hang of it. I love the art style.

Am I the only one who thought it was really dark?

I'd say Edmund McMillen must have been a pretty messed up kid, but in retrospect so was I. I suspect we all were.

Childhood's not as great as people remember it being.

Yeah, pretty dark, but overall very artsy and simplistic and fun. I liked it.

Very nice indeed, although I echo the fact that some puzzles are a bit vague.

Edit: Somehow I finished it. I have no idea what I did for the last puzzle, but it worked. (the water world puzzle)

Koning_Floris wrote:

Very nice indeed, although I echo the fact that some puzzles are a bit vague.

Edit: Somehow I finished it. I have no idea what I did for the last puzzle, but it worked. (the water world puzzle)

Spoilers wrote:

[color=white]You eated the fishies.[/color]

Am I the only one who propelled himself into the vastness of space for as long as he (or she) could stomach?

Very strange but very cool mechanics.

I love how the bottom of the screen is turned into the direction of the strongest gravity field.

Sort of a modern figurative interpretation of The Little Prince story.