Perspective is a fascinating thing. When artists want to create
Perspective is how we see the world, how we interact with our environment based on what we see. Problems can be caused by a lack
A simple puzzle-platformer,
The few levels I was able to solve in the preview I got my hands on showed off some of the most intricate and involved level design I’ve seen in a puzzle game in a while. Walls twist and warp, dropping off and re-joining, the entire location looking like a painting pulled straight out of M.C Escher’s catalogue of work. Overlapping worlds that function as the puzzles themselves as you constantly try and figure out angles and perspective shifts. It’s a level of design that ought to be applauded for how intricate and planned it all is.
The low-poly art style further reinforces this, giving general shapes and impressions yet never enough to feel as if you’re entirely sure what you’re looking at. Not to mention the soundtrack, sweeping and building at times and slowly drowning out to quiet ambience. It’s a lonely tone, but in the best possible way. The music reminds you how empty yet open the space is.
As much as I enjoyed the levels themselves, I can’t speak much to the game’s narrative. The preview demo is very cagey with what it was willing to show but from what I gleaned it’s just as out there as the rest of the game. There’s something about a voice providing narration on the fate of human nature and history and a tree that connects all of civilisation, but I wasn’t able to see much else. In any case, the game’s story looks to further reflect the surrealist art that it’s drawing so heavily from, delivering a story that may not be for everyone but has peaked my attention enough to be interested in what else it as to say. I can see some people claiming it pretentious, but I found
And I’m glad that word as finally come up: Poetry. While many might roll their eyes at my use of the phrase, I can’t help but think of a better way to describe Etherborn as visual poetry. It’s said that anything can be a poem: The sound of a long flight touching down, or the smell of mom’s home cooked meal. And I think Etherborn is an example of poetry united with mechanics. It takes an idea, a concept, and warps it into a visual expression. It shifts the players concept and views, forcing a different outlook on how the game functions, coming back to that central message of perspective.
Other titles may have tackled similar themes in the past, but there’s something about how smooth Etherborn is, how committed it is to it’s influences. It’s refreshing and vibrant, setting itself apart from the competition. There’s something about it’s simplistic look yet complex design that quietly screams for attention, taking elements from other art forms and uniting them to create a unique experience. There’s nothing quite like it, and I can’t wait to see how the final version of this game explores these themes deeper and provides and even more captivating experience.
Last Updated: April 4, 2019