Parents' Guide to


By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Artistic adventure can be disorienting and repetitive.

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What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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If there's ever a question about if video games can be considered art, this puzzler could be considered an answer. Etherborn is a visually stunning experience similar to walking inside a painting that's a surreal blend of Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher. It's a breathtaking and impossible world in which players must walk, run, and jump, following paths that shift gravity on a whim. It's a game where what's up one minute can easily pull you down the next. While it makes for an artistic wonderland, it's also more than a little disorienting. Because of the constant shifts in perspective, the directional controls are constantly shifting as well, meaning it can get frustratingly difficult to move around and to judge how to take certain jumps.

Another problem Etherborn faces is its overall lack of depth. While the world's visually appealing, there's still not a lot to it. As a result, it starts to feel repetitive very quickly. Once the novelty of wears off and after you get used to the controls, you can't help but feel like you're just going through the motions. Run here, jump there, wash, rinse, and repeat. Outside of chasing a disembodied voice, there's no real motivation to progress. In an ironic twist, the game's actually pretty short from start to finish. But after the boredom begins to sink in, the slow pacing makes it feel like completing the adventure takes much longer than it actually does.

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