Walt Disney himself once said that his inspiration for Mickey was the fact that mice are sympathetic characters. It’s certainly true, and that’s why today’s indie showcase left me feeling a bit remorseful for all the hurt I inflicted upon the central character. Ethan: Meteor Hunter, by independent French developer Seaven Studios, is a puzzle-platformer starring a freckled mouse with an unusually long tail. The shtick of the whole affair is that Ethan can freeze time, rearrange objects, then restart time again in order to progress through the game’s fiendish and unforgiving levels.
As the titular rodent, prepare to die. A lot. I’m not kidding here: the levels start out simple enough, but quickly turn quite deadly. Often, players will be thrust into mortal doom with nary a moment’s notice. Rather than long, sprawling levels like one would find in, say, the Sonic games, Ethan‘s levels are compacted with a sharp learning curve and little margin for error. It’s tough, perhaps even frustrating in parts, but it’s not unforgivable.
Graphically, the game is finely-detailed, but a tad on the boring side. The less said about the music the better, because it seems to be composed of a single song that repeats over and over in every level. Yikes! As for the controls, it feels pretty much spot-on, but be prepared to master some twitch reflexes.
If you need your fill of telekinetic rodents, you can check out the game here. It’s available for Windows and PSN for a mininum of $9.90, though a more expensive deluxe edition is available with some extra goodies. Mac and Linux ports are in the works, and you can help the developers out by voting to Greenlight it on Steam.