Video Game Ethan: Meteor Hunter (PC) (2014)

Ethan: Meteor Hunter (PC) (2014)

Overview: A physics-based puzzle-platformer where you play as a mouse with the ability to pause time (using a power-up) in order to interact with blocks and progress through the game.


Relevant Links:
Ethan: Meteor Hunter Website
Ethan: Meteor Hunter (Steam Store Page)
Ethan: Meteor Hunter (PC) (MetaCritic.com)

Game Mechanics:
Progress through a level like a standard platformer (except without the modern wall jump). Collect "Pauses" and use them to move stone and wooden blocks to help you cross gaps or reach platforms higher than you can jump. Like characters in Dustforce (2012), Ethan can build up momentum for bigger jumps by first sliding down slopes and then jumping at the bottom.


Upon reaching the end of the level, the player's # of fragments, pauses used, and time for completion are compared to in-game benchmarks.

20160215: [20160224]
I gave this game a try today and it wasn't that bad. Unfortunately, it crashed on me and it wasn't anywhere interesting enough to boot back up.

20160224: [20160311 Edit]
I didn't remember if the crash that happened was the game's fault or the fault of an incompatibility between my video card drivers and Windows 10. Giving the game the benefit of the doubt, I gave it another go.


Having finished the tutorial, I felt the game's potential puzzle mechanics were interesting but hardly felt compelled to play anymore of it.

First Impressions:
With less than half an hour of gameplay, it wouldn't be fair to make any final judgments, but I wasn't fond of the graphics and the controls felt unrefined.

Steam: 17 minutes.

20160311:
Today I decided to play at least three levels beyond the tutorial.


In the end I completed four and quit during the fifth.

Steam: 53 minutes (total game time)

Comparison:
While initially interesting, the gameplay that comes from pausing and moving bricks has a tendency to break the flow of the game. This effect is, perhaps, exacerbated by the limited use of pauses. In contrast, layingblocks is an integral part of Blocks That Matter and moving around boulders and platforms is an integral part of Trine, but the game flow in both of those games feels more steady.


Thoughts:
Pro:
+ In general there seemed to be a healthy amount of checkpoints. The fourth level I played was an exception to this (no checkpoints), but the gameplay was also a bit different and fresh.

Neutral:
~ End of level goals has the potential for replaying a level (I did so for one of the levels, but I didn't feel compelled to do so on the others)
~ Graphics grew on me a bit. I'd say they're decent.

Minor Cons:
- Slightly broken game flow
- Controls feel a bit off


Cons:
- The game lacks appeal

Recommendation:
There have certainly been games which I have not enjoyed in the first fifteen minutes and then suddenly play them for hours. Unfortunately, Ethan: Meteor Hunter remained lackluster and I would not personally recommend it to anybody.

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