Ethan: Meteor Hunter is a puzzle-platformer brought to us by the independent game developer Seaven Studio. You play as Ethan, a fierce rat who has gained telekinetic powers thanks to an unfortunate happening with a meteor. With his new gift Ethan is able manipulate time and objects, two talents that become extremely handy in dealing with puzzles.
You are introduced to Ethan, a rat with the ability to manipulate time and objects thanks to a close call with a meteor. You will use your newfound powers to work your way through an increasingly difficult series of puzzles. It reminded me of a modernized Mario. Ethan isn’t a game that you will mindlessly point and click your way through. The puzzles are challenging, engaging, and vary enough to keep the game fresh and entertaining.
Ethan: Meteor Hunter reminds me of the classic Mario game, however the graphics are updated to fit the modern gaming needs. You can clearly see the difference between several kinds of wood, stone and other materials used in the game. Thanks to the variation of deathtraps, puzzles and other mechanics, each level will feel completely different. The game doesn’t requires much from your computer so you won’t need an absolute beast to run it but it is advised to play it on a Dual Core processor with at least 2 GB RAM.
Down at its core, Ethan: Meteor Hunter reminds me an awful lot of the classic Mario which says a lot about the 2.5D side-scrolling platform side of the game. It has all the elements that is needed for a great platformer and it has been spiced up with puzzles, time stop mechanics and the usage of real-time physics with a wide array of objects that can lead to multiple solutions to the puzzles. Don’t let the easy levels at the start fool you, the difficulty increases quickly. Getting the Broken Arm achievement is inevitable, you’re going to die once the game starts becoming tougher. Due to this, Ethan: Meteor Hunter one of the most challenging and excellent platformers that you will play.
The time stop mechanic used in the game is innovative and proves to be an interesting gameplay mechanic. Freezing time can only be done when you have a charge available. The charges generally appear when needed. This gives you a good idea of what you need to do, although it will not solve the puzzle for you. The game will outline an area in which you have absolute control over the objects which can be picked up, moved and rotated. Most of the times, these time stops have to be correctly timed and you need to understand that wooden objects will go up in flames when it reaches a torch. Having this simple knowledge and using it will avert pointless deaths.
This is not another mindless p0int & click sidescroller. The game does a fabulous job of staying fresh by presenting unique challenges and puzzles. There are a levels where Ethan will be glued on a pogo-stick, or controlling an aircraft blasting anything that may present a threat. All of this seems a bit odd in a platformer game but it makes a nice change of scenery.
The mouse and keyboard control can be fully remapped to your own liking, which is positive for any player that prefers to play purely with a keyboard. The gamepad controls can’t be remapped but the settings they have going work like a charm and are in fact quite easy to learn. I played the game with an Xbox 360 controller, it is also compatible with Sony’s Dualshock.
Are you competitive? Good because every level in Ethan: Meteor Hunter has a leader board where you can place yourself in three different categories: time, pauses used, and amount of fragments collected. You can focus on one at a time or you can focus on all three together. You can compete in the world leaderboards, or compare your achievements to your friends.
Ethan: Meteor Hunter contains 3 different worlds with no less than 17 levels each, for a total of 51 unique levels! This amount, combined with the hundreds of puzzles and different ways to die serves for plenty of variation in the game and loads of enjoyable gameplay hours.
Other than the soundtrack, the Deluxe Edition also contains an art book filled with several pages of deadly items and mechanics needed to complete a level. You can also find a few detailed character developments, several death causes and still animations, prototype developments of the backdrops and even a title development process. There’s also a game guide hidden in the Deluxe Edition if you find yourself stuck on a level needing a little help.
There are 30 achievements to unlock if you play Ethan: Meteor Hunter on Steam, for those obsessed with collecting badges or trading cards. In order to complete the badges, you need eight cards which is the average amount for most games, and the badges certainly look shiny.
Ethan is a great game guaranteed to give you countless hours of enjoyable gameplay. It’s clear that Seaven Studios put a lot of time and effort into this game and didn’t skimp on the little details you may see with other indie titles.
Ethan: Meteor Hunter was released on PlayStation Network and PC late October 2013 but was recently Greenlit on Steam and will soon be available on the PlayStation Vita.