The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – Review


Developer: The Astronauts

Release Date: Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre: Narrative, Walking Simulator, Exploration, Mystery, Horror
Age Rating: 18+
Game Play Time: 4h approx.
My Rating:


In The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, you play as Paul Prospero, an occult detective who receives a disturbing letter from Ethan Carter and realizes that the boy is in grave danger. When Paul arrives in Ethan’s home of Red Creek Valley, he realizes things are even worse than he imagined. Ethan has vanished in the wake of a brutal murder, which Paul comes to see might not be the only murder to investigate. Using both regular and supernatural detective skills, Paul must figure out what happened to the missing boy.




The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is one of my favourites narrative games. If you like murder/mystery with a hint of horror and supernatural, amazing visual and love to solve mysteries, you’ll probably enjoy this game.

Things I liked:

  • The visuals of this game are amazing.
  • The story is compelling and the mystery keeps you guessing.
  • The end was heartbreaking but also open to interpretation. You can find two or more opinions online about the ending and what it means.
  • In my opinion, to play this game, you don’t need any gaming skills. The concept is simple and the controls as well. You wander around a beautiful landscape trying to find clues and piece together the puzzle of the Vanishing of Ethan Carter. The puzzle mechanics are usually simple and you quickly get the hold off them.
  • The gameplay time is between 3.5h to 5 depending on if you play hastily or explore every corner of the world, which is a decent amount of time for a game like this.

Things I didn’t like:

  • There on one specific passage that is a little more gamy and might require a couple of tries to get past it or just ask some of your gamer friends to help you.
  • You can’t save the game whenever you want and the checkpoints are not necessarily obvious with can be very annoying and result in some loss of progress.
  • This is a personal preference but I don’t like the “open to interpretation” type of endings. But this didn’t affect my enjoyment at all.

At the start of the game, the creators give the player a warning that they won’t hold their hand throughout the game, but to be honest, I never felt the need to have the game telling me what I need to do next. I loved this game and its story and I would recommend it to people that are not hardcore player and want to solve a mystery and enjoy a nice story.

This is my first attempt to review and recommend narrative games that I think readers that are not hardcore gamers would enjoy. Did you find this interesting? Is there some specific information you would like to read about that I can add? Please leave your comments and feedback below!

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