Ether One is a first person adventure that deals with the fragility of the human mind. There are two paths in the world you can choose from. At it’s core is a story exploration path free from puzzles where you can unfold the story at your own pace.
User reviews: Very Positive (222 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 25, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"It has a melancholy to it, and a wistfulness that I rarely find in games. They kept it grounded, focusing on the loneliness of memories slipping away."
Read the full review here.


“The world of Ether One is a superbly detailed and well thought-out place.”
4/5 – Joystiq

“It’s been just two days since I last player Ether One and I’ve not stopped thinking about it since. I thought about it before I went to bed last night, and the night before. I thought about it when I woke up this morning. I thought about it when I had lunch. So far I’ve sunk 12 hours into a game easily completable in four. I’ve not nearly managed to restore all of the projectors. And I've hardly scratched the surface.”
9/10 – Strategy Informer

“Superb: A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.”
9/10 – Destructoid

About This Game

Ether One is a first person adventure that deals with the fragility of the human mind.

There are two paths in the world you can choose from. At its core is a story exploration path free from puzzles where you can unfold the story at your own pace.

There is also a deeper, more adventurous path in which you can complete complex puzzles to restore life changing events of the patients history in order to help the validation of their life.

Parallel paths make Ether One accessible to a range of skilled players. Invite your friends and family around to pick their brains for help taking on challenging environmental puzzles, or soak in the atmosphere of Pinwheel at leisure. From a young age we enjoyed the first person puzzle games that required you to write cryptic notes on spare pieces of paper to unravel mysteries. Ether One aims to bring back pen and paper puzzle solving, whilst still being accessible and optional for people not wanting to get stuck and frustrated on the harder puzzles.


  • First Person Adventure Game.
  • Open narrative exploration in the town of Pinwheel.
  • Optional puzzle solving.
  • Accessible gameplay with additional controller support for players that aren’t as skilled with complex controls.
  • Challenging pen and paper puzzle design you can decrypt at your own pace.

Deluxe Edition

The Ether One Deluxe Edition comes with the Ether One OST, Game Script, & Comics along with a few more goodies. Please note that there is no additional in-game content.

The Ether One Original Soundtrack by Nathaniel-Jorden Apostol features more than 40 minutes of music created exclusively for Ether One. The soundtrack comes with MP3 & FLAC format along with custom artwork for the soundtrack.

MP3 & FLAC format files will be placed in the Ether One folder in the Steam Directory: ...Steam\steamapps\common\EtherOne\Soundtrack

The Ether One game scripts contain all of the spoken dialogue along with some things that got cut from the game. We hope you find it interesting to see how we developed the narrative for Ether One. Please note: These scripts contain spoilers for the game. You may wish to finish Ether One before reading these. We have noted down specifically which game script contain spoilers in the download.

PDF format files will be placed in the Ether One folder in the Steam Directory: ...Steam\steamapps\common\EtherOne\Scripts

The Strange Tale of Byron Spencer was created by Mark Penman & coloured by Andrew Tunney. It provides an alternative fiction for the world of Pinwheel.

PDF format files will be placed in the Ether One folder in the Steam Directory: ...Steam\steamapps\common\EtherOne\Comics

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows Vista, 7 or 8
    • Processor: 2.2+ Ghz Dual-Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 460 or equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Windows XP is not supported for Ether One. Laptop equivalent GPU's struggle in comparison to desktop GPU's. VR: Ether One currently only supports the DK1 Oculus developer kit. We're hopefully going to provide updated Oculus support in future updates.
    • OS: Windows Vista, 7 or 8
    • Processor: 2.6+ Ghz Dual-Core
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 560 or equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Windows XP is not supported for Ether One. Laptop equivalent GPU's struggle in comparison to desktop GPU's. VR: Ether One currently only supports the DK1 Oculus developer kit. We're hopefully going to provide updated Oculus support in future updates.
Helpful customer reviews
130 of 190 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 3
While I appreciate the originality of the idea and theme, the execution of the gameplay falls flat. Simply put, it's boring. And when it's not boring, it's just frustrating, two qualities that will ruin a game every time. Why do I play games? For fun. This game misses that mark by a longshot. The voice acting is good. There is not much else I can say that is positive.

Despite the use of Unreal Engine, the rendering is cartoonish, stylized and outlined as if it were hand drawn. I understand if this was a creative decision, but it's a shameful waste of Unreal Engine's potential. Texture resolution is extremely low, even on max settings. Regardless of this, performance is not great, indicating shoddy construction and poor use of the engine's resources.

It is never clear what can be interacted with and what can't be, and the interact mechanic often doesn't work, so you end up clicking on something multiple times before discovering if it's static or not. Solutions to puzzles are arbitrary, counter-intuitive and make no contextual sense, so that it becomes a random guessing game with a lot of back and forth expirementing. It has that old-school Hidden Object Game feel to it, where you end up trying every possible combination with everything in your inventory. Except you don't have an inventory. You can only carry one item.

If the point of the game was to get you to feel the frustration of memory loss and dementia, then it succeeds. It could have more appropriately expressed itself with logic and memory puzzles. The mind is a use-it-or-lose-it faculty, so a game designed to exercise it, while addressing the issue in the story, may have been the admirable goal of the developers. They over-reached, and fell miserably short.

Worst of all, achievements that I earned did not unlock for me. That was the final straw that prompted me to write my first ever Not Recommended review. For the price, there are many more far superior games to choose from.
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34 of 40 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 27
It's not easy to properly comprehend the effect debilitating diseases have on people until you experience their effect yourself. It's easy to see them as terrible but improbable occurrences, something that clearly happens but is impossible to envision yourself suffering from. And yet, dementia scares the hell out of me. The idea that there's this invisible force that has no cure, no prevention, that will almost certainly affect you at some point in your life and only becomes more likely the longer you live somehow feels so much more real to me than cancer, or ebola, or any other life threatening disease that I could come in contact with.

Perhaps that's due partly to how much dementia affects not only yourself, but the people around you. Watching your grandparents forget you along with themselves is a cold shock to reality that puts things into startling focus the way statistics and symptom lists never could. And it's the inescapable nature of something you can't predict or counteract that makes it difficult to just push the thought out of your mind that one day you might wake up and have forgotten who you are.

Ether One isn't really about a hypothetical cure for dementia, or the life of someone finding slowly losing themselves to it. To me at least, it's about giving that human perspective to something in all likelihood we will all go through. Inhabiting the memories of someone undergoing experimental treatment, you travel through their life learning the events that shaped them and then watching them fall away as the disease takes hold and they struggle to hang onto even the moments most important to them.

It's depressing but not in a way that makes you sad, so much as it causes you to feel empathetic as you watch a character you've become emotionally invested with have everything taken away from them. Reading through personal letters, town events, job descriptions, and fidgeting with character belongings, you get to know these characters to even their most mundane and ordinary level. Life is often unfair, but Ether One captures the sense of uncontrollable tragedy and desperate attempts at resolution that's almost painful to see because it's so understandable.

Ether One has built a world so close to our own, but given it a purpose and a life that makes every scrap of paper and ordinary item feel meaningful. I wanted to know more about these characters, to pry into their emotions and personal thoughts to try and understand what they were going through, and Ether One allows you to do this in a way that doesn't feel intrusive or emotionally manipulative. You're trying to help your character remember who they are; trying to put things back together in a desperate hope to save their memories, and prove the procedure a success so nobody will have to go through something so destructive

Ether One's only real problem is that it tries harder than it probably needs to to be a more traditional game than first-person exploration games are often considered, and ends up making it incredibly hard to see most of its content that it hides behind obtuse puzzles and logic that's often difficult to understand. There are a lot of objects you can interact with, but just enough which you can't that it's often incredibly difficult to know which items are for solving puzzles and which have been included just as a means of world building. My solution to this was to attempt to scavenge everything I could pick up, but that makes for an extremely cluttered and impractical playstyle that still often left me clueless when it came to solving an actual puzzle.

I say puzzle, but the projectors you need to reassemble in Ether One were often more comprehension barriers than logical conundrums. I was at such a loss as to know even where to start that even with the answer typically staring me in the face it was near impossible for me to solve anything without the help of a guide. In a lot of ways it feels very much like the sort of obtuse puzzles found in a lot of old adventure games, an I imagine people missing those games will feel right at home, but in my case I was more frustrated at trying to parse an endless stream of relevant and irrelevant information than I was satisfied by actually managing to solve one.

And it's a shame because it makes it extremely easy to miss huge swaths of content for those less inclined to sit and ponder solutions or look them up online, content which gave a larger context to the story that I feel is important anyone playing the game experience. Were it any other game I'd have likely given up and just skipped to the end, but Ether One deserves more than that. I felt like I owed it to the game to see all it had to show me, no matter how trivial it might be because even meaningless documents and items could eventually serve some significance.

Ether One certainly hasn't dissolved my fears of dementia, but it definitely helped show me that I could be doing more for those affected by it instead of turning away because I'd rather not deal with the emotional trauma of someone you have to reintroduce yourself to every meeting. What that might be I'm not entirely sure of yet, but I feel Ether One is important for even daring bring these ideas up, and I hope they won't be lost on others who play it.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
This will go down as one of the best games I have ever played. Everything about it, from the great voice acting, to the nuanced story-telling, to the stunning world building. The feeling I had upon completion of this game was not unlike finishing a beloved novel. Once I am done I enter a period of post story depression, wherein I am sad the world I had been living in is now over. That is exactly how I felt after completing EO. I wish I could take my memory away of this game and play it again for the first time so that I could have the same feelings of awe and wonderment. The feelings I had were not unlike playing/completing the amazing games I played as a youth.

To point, I highly recommend this game to ANY player. With one caveat. Know that the game you're about to play has a set pace, is not an action game, requires remembering details and difficult puzzle solving, and maybe 30% of the incredible story telling comes from notes/newspapers/items/ect. you must find YOURSELF in the world of the game. This game requires and deserves your time and attention. Also, like a good book, the story and answers to questions are not all handed to you in a gift wrapped box at the end. You, like the developers trained you throughout the game, must use the pieces to solve the puzzle that is EO. If any of this sounds like the worst way to play a game, then wait until you do feel like something thought provoking. Like many pieces of great art/entertainment you need to be in the right mood. If I had just finished playing something like Call of Duty and then tried to play this game, I might not have enjoyed it as much. So wait for yourself to be in the mood for this game, that way you give yourself the best opportunity to enjoy it.

+Voice acting(waaaay above average)
+Graphics (it has a style, and does it well)
+World Building (I don't know if the town the game is set in exists, but god did it feel like a real place with a real history)
+Story-Telling (There is a deliberate pace to the story-telling, and its executed superbly)
+Game Play (Again it requires reading and collecting, both things I already do in any game that allows me. But it is an adventure exploration game, so there is a lot of reading/collecting)
+Ending (without revealing too much, there are two endings. Both are great, but the second one, which I stumbled on accidently, left me without words and nearly in tears)
+Puzzle-Solving (to say the puzzles in EO are difficult is an understatement. I had to consult a guide on a number of them. Luckily I found a guide on the steam forums that gave three hints before giving the solution so I felt like I was cheating less)

+ bugs (this game has them, every game has them. Luckily the ones I encountered in no way effected my gameplay)
+ length (I wish it were longer. I don't feel cheated in any way, but like all good things, I just wanted more)\

Bottom line - You should play this game, just play it when you’re in the mood for it.
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33 of 50 people (66%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
I'm one of those who really, really wanted to love this game. I heard so many great things about the story, but I never got far enough to know if it's really that good or not. The controls are terrible, the gameplay is obtuse, and the whole thing seems designed to induce motion sickness.

The motion sickness was what really got me (and I see from other reviews that I'm not the only one). I play first person 3d games all the time and I never have a problem, but in Ether One I never last more than 15 minutes or so before I have to turn it off (and I get a headache and upset stomach for a long time afterwards). I suspect the main cause of this is the movement of your character. You can reduce the head bob, but you can't turn it off. More importantly, you walk *excruciatingly* slow (feels like walking underwater wearing a heavy suit), while the mouse sentivity for looking around is ridiculously high. They don't match, and the dissonance causes motion sickness. Now, you can reduce the mouse sensitivity, but in order for it to match the movement speed, you have to turn it all the way down, and then you're not only walking through water, you're also drugged and unable to move your head around.

I persisted long enough to solve a couple of puzzles, but the game really gives you no guidance whatsoever on what to do, and everything is counter-intuitive. The level design is quite poor. For example, there are several points where there is a lengthy audio clip playing, but you have to stand still to hear it all, and there's literally nothing to do while you listen. No reason to stand there. So you either keep walking and miss some of the background, or you just stand there until the audio finishes feeling bored and foolish. Furthermore, for some reason you're only allowed to carry one item at a time, yet you can store as many items as you want on a shelf which is instantly accessible from any point in the game. Why make the player jump back and forth? Either you only want us to have one item (and there should be a reason for that), or you want us to have access to many items, in which case we should simply be given an inventory.

It may be true that the story is extraordinary, but it's not worth the slog to actually experience it. I think there is potential here, but the problems are too severe for the game to be playable.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
After playing a few hours, I'm feeling a lot of things, but I don't know how to describe them or the experience I was just having. However, I think the greatest of those feelings is...wonder.

Ether One is not the most polished title in terms of gameplay sometimes, but it is utterly unique and something I would highly recommend to anyone even SLIGHTLY interested.
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