The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is an adventure video game created by the independent Polish development studio The Astronauts. The game was released in September 2014.

The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter is set in an open world environment, in which the player can roam around and explore at will. The player can use paranormal abilities in order to solve crimes, such as sensing where important objects are located and reassembling the timeline of events tied to a certain death.

Assuming that a player will understand the path of progression within a game is a risky move to make; many big budget games remove this risk to the extreme and give the player a linear path that cannot be strayed from. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a murder mystery adventure puzzle game that takes the opposite approach – giving the player virtually no help whatsoever.

After a warning that your hand will not be held through the game, you are transported to a set of train tracks where you discover you are a detective investigating a disappearance. As there is no tutorial, you are left to start exploring and interacting with various objects. You soon come across a murder scene where you use your apparent psychic abilities to create a recreation of the crime by piecing together fragments of evidence. The first murder scene puzzle is certainly the most difficult to solve; both due to the fact that you haven’t done one before, and the tiny little details hidden to uncover.

As the game progresses there are more of these puzzles which become easier as you begin to understand the mechanics of the game. These murder scene puzzles can become a little repetitive by the end, and the side puzzles throughout offer much more enjoyable and varied challenges. The crime scene investigations can also become quite frustrating when you end up spending ages searching for the tiniest little final clue.

Publisher: The Astronauts
Developer: The Astronauts
Genre: Adventure, weird fiction horror
DRM: Steam
Release Date: September 26, 2014
Metascore: 81/100
Price: $19.99 USD

You can purchase the game from

You can purchase the game from Amazon for $19.99