Ethan: Meteor Hunter is a 2D puzzle/platformer from developers Seaven Studio. It stars the titular protagonist, a little rat who is struck by meteorites and gains the power of telekinesis. With this new found power, Ethan goes on an adventure to collect more meteorites in order to become even more powerful. His overall goal however is to get revenge on the neighbor who destroyed his house. Is this a revenge tale worth getting into? In short…no!
Meteor Hunter is a blend of two genres; 2D platforming and puzzle solving. Ethan will run, push objects and jump across gaps and to higher ledges. In order to reach the platforms that are either too high are too far way, he will have to rely on his special abilities. This little rat can freeze time and manipulate certain objects, such as blocks or stone wheels to help him progress. The puzzles are physics-based are require quick thinking and reactions in order to solve them. Everything starts off easy enough, the player is treated to a tutorial and learns the ropes; how to freeze time, move objects around and even rewind time if you find yourself stuck. The first few puzzles afterwards are also a piece a cake (most likely to give the player a false sense of security), but then it quickly ups the difficulty.
Ethan, using his ability to freeze time
If you play this game, be prepared to die…a lot! It is without a doubt an extremely hard experience, the puzzles are designed to get you killed. They get very difficult about 4 levels into the game, and they only get harder as you progress towards level 50. Casual players will undoubtedly wash their hands of this title, this is more geared towards the hardcore players who love the old school challenge. Unfortunately while they game starts off fun and challenging it quickly devolves into a boring and ultimately frustrating experience.
The puzzles themselves can get pretty annoying yes, but what really ups the frustration is the imprecise jumping. It doesn’t seem like too much of an issue and something that can be easily overlooked early on, due to the easy puzzles and platforming. That quickly changes as the puzzles get harder and require you to react faster. Ethan often feels too floaty and will jump further than you would like. This results in him missing a ledge and falling to his death, jumping straight into razor blades, or my personal favorite; jumping onto a floating platform only to slide right off the other end and fall to his death. Dying because the game is challenging and you made a mistake is one thing but dying over and over again due to bad controls is unacceptable. Occasionally Ethan would be unresponsive to me hitting the jump and just walk to his death.
Finally finishing a level doesn’t feel as rewarding as it should. The puzzles get boring quickly and the game just doesn’t have any soul, any charm. Ethan isn’t a character that stands out in anyway, badly animated, emotionless while you play as him and he’s a total mute. He isn’t cute like Toki Tori, or cool like Sonic. I honestly didn’t care if he got his revenge or not. Nothing about his character made me want to him to succeed.
One of the easier segments in the game.
Graphically EMH is pretty uninspiring, the colors look bleak and dirty and the art style is terrible There is no sense of charm at all. On a positive note there were no issues with the frame rate or screen tearing of any kind. The sound is decent, with music that is hardly noticeable and not at all memorable. It is a real shame, as great music can elevate the gaming experience, they help add more excitement, ease the pain of repeatedly failing over and over again and get you pumped enough to want to keep going. Meteor Hunter fails in that regard.
Replay Value: Low – Meteor Hunter features 50 levels but doesn’t really give you a reason to finish them all. If you managed to stick through it and beat them all you could always go back and attempt to beat your previous times and mop up any meteorites you’ve missed. Though there is no real incentive to go back.
Ethan: Meteor Hunter features some cool mechanics and challenging puzzles, but its imprecise controls, drab graphics, lack of charm and an uninteresting protagonist sap all the fun. If you are looking for puzzle/platformer that challenges and still remains fun to play, look elsewhere. Toki Tori might be up your alley, because Ethan: Meteor Hunter is down in the gutter.
Official Score: 4.5/10
RGN Rating: Below Bronze
Developer / Publisher: Seaven Studio
Available On: PC | PS3
Played On: Sony PlayStation 3
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of the game was provided to RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jermain Jackson on 20140212 and was last modified on 20140212 .