Ether One tasks the player with diving into the mind of a patient with Alzheimer's Disease, and using the power of the recently discovered science of telepathic medicine to seek out and destroy the amyloid plaques causing the dementia. What follows is puzzle-exploration game where you explore locations from the patient's past and seek out their memories in the form of ribbons and optional projectors all while the patient's past is slowly unveiled.
The game's puzzles range from the somewhat obvious to the incredibly obscure, to the point of its detriment (you may well go through entire areas being unable to solve any of the optional puzzles), especially when considering the projectors ultimately lead to a longer ending (I'd advise anyone who wasn't able to 100% the game to at least view the bonus ending on youtube).
Trying to complete the projectors, which really are the meat of the game regardless of how optional they are, leads to long segments of backtracking and trying to work out red-herrings. This is a shame as they also carry a large chunk of the narrative along side all of the puzzles.
There is also a segment of the game, the Mines, which can be entirely missed if you do not spot the entrance along the path of the river. Missing 1/4th of the game by accident was a rather terrible design choice.
The graphics are also not stellar, being the clear product of trying to leverage a small art budget as well as possible and muddy textures are omnipresent. Although it does its best to mask the low fidelity through a painterly art style.
Music, voice acting, and sound design are very well produced however. Although until you've completed an area's projectors you will not see the sound design in its entirety. When you've fully completed an area it gains back the sounds of life. Children laugh, miners work their machines, and pubs announce closing time.
The game ends fittingly for its chosen subject matter, straying away from tasteless fantastical elements which could have been present. It did not surprise me in any strong way, but it was emotionally effective.
8.5/10 - A game with great narrative strengths, but weak and occasionally obscure gameplay design. Play it, but have some walkthroughs on hand.