StaceyGAetherAether, the latest from Armor Games, a collaboration between Edmund McMillen (Gish, Triachnid, Coil) and Tyler Glaiel (Magnetism, Paths), is a gloriously imaginative puzzle game where you swing through the stars to reach the planets.

You start on Earth, with the visit of a creature that takes you on a strange odyssey. Using the [ASWD] keys for direction, you click on the left mouse button to launch the tongue of the creature up into the clouds. Swing from cloud to cloud to go higher up until you reach space, then swing from star to star to launch yourself toward one of four other planets and solve a puzzle for each one. Once you're above the clouds and you have enough speed, you can also just hurtle through space without being attached to any stars. AetherThere are different colored navigation indicators pointing you towards each planet that look like butterflies.

Two-key combinations can also help you gain momentum, for instance pressing up and left at the same time can help you can gain enough swing to go completely around in a circle.

Each planet's puzzle has a different type of solution. When you successfully solve each one you see a flash of light. After you complete all four puzzles, head back to blue earth to complete the game.

Analysis: Surely influenced by The Little Prince, the game seems to take place within the imagination of a child. On each planet you encounter creatures with some kind of complaint or anxiety, each trouble is symbolically released through creative puzzles.

A few things about the game were a bit wonky. On some of the planets, solving the puzzle didn't solve the creatures' problems, which was confusing. The somewhat clumsy physics of the tongue while swinging makes it difficult at times to build momentum. Combined with the gravity of a planet or moon, this makes it awkward to leave a planet, so starting off is the hardest part to get used to. It was also difficult to tell where the planets were as you were approaching because the navigation indicator would disappear.

But those are small quibbles in an otherwise amazing game. The designers have made a truly compelling experience with excellent atmosphere. It's a fantastic artistic endeavor with delightful physics-based game play and creative puzzles. You can also just spend some time flying through space or the clouds, the music and movement are so relaxing. Play Aether!

52 Comments [leave a comment]

This game is excellent. That's all that needs to be said.

Well, I completed everything except for the one with the moons that you can grab onto, but I can't seem to complete it. I think I'm supposed to

hover over each moon until it explodes or something, but I can't seem to stay there long enough for that to work.

Amazingly fun game and very good ambiance. Unfortunately, it was very short.

I have no idea how to solve the puzzle on each of the planets? I talk to everyone and then what, do I have to find something? or do something? I don't understand the basics of how to solve the puzzle? Any help would be appreciated.

I've gotten the island one

ate the fish in the water

And I've done the grumpy/happy planet

landed on each moon until they landed and exploded

But now i'm stuck on the snow one...any hints?

evilmrhenry -

There are three moons that you need to destroy. I thought the easiest way to destroy one was to
Jump up and down repeatedly.

And the one with the moons you can grab onto is...

grab on and spin ALL the way around a few'll notice it getting bigger and then explodes

For the planet where you can go underground:

You need to swing along from the crystal growths about halfway up. With each swing, a note will sound.

for the pink planet you need

to go inside of it (find the mouth) and grab on to all of the floating crystal thingies

For the snow one you need

come crashing down on it from space

Island w/water

dive and eat all the fish

Planet with cave

fall through the hole and swing from diamond to diamond, when you do it fast enough you'll solve the puzzle

Planet with moons you hang from

hang from each moon and spin all the way around it until it explodes

Planet with emotional moons

land on each moon until it crashes into the world below

then all you have to do is...

go back to earth

In the cave, after making all the notes chime, and the core is smiling. How do you EXIT the cave...?
The controls are getting on my nerves, though; and how long it takes to get to any particular goal. The game has so much going for it, otherwise. Grrrr

whoo. that was quite the interesting game. although i'm happy that at the very very end it says "to be continued..." because that means that there's going to be a second one. or a sequel. can't wait!

it was kinda easy, though, once i figured out the green planet.

Wow. The first one I went to was the underground one, and I was tempted to just quit right there because

1) I didn't have the sound on

2) All the spinning was making me queasy

But I managed to finish. Neat game. If you need me, I'll be the one with his head between his knees.

I'm stuck at the sad planet.


Just make sure the tongue is long enough to swing you anywhere onto the surface

2 words:

the other word is just me holding my mouth open in amazement for some time.

And oh so sad... or is it just me?

Everybody is so enthusiastic... Is is just me having this bug when scrolling suddenly stop? All the physics remain the same, but no matter where I go, I still see the same screen. Makes it somewhat difficult to leave a planet since I cannot see or even blindly aim towards the clouds.

Starting all from scratch for the 3rd time is not so appealing. If it's just me, I guess I'll try again from another computer...

great game, the atmosphere and music is so relaxing... the graphics are beautiful

So, on the planet with the emotional moons:

how many did you have to make crash in order to complete the puzzle? I've done three, and after the third one got a funny noise, but nothing on the planet seems to have changed.


Wow, I just came home from a lecture where I learnt that "Aether", in Greek mythology, is where the Gods live, the air which is too thin for man to breathe in.
This game is stunning, yet somewhat scary, I was in constant fear of getting lost in space.

Jess, there is an fourth moon, higher than the others. I found it because when i first came on bibulon, i crashed on the moon.

Another thing, if you come back to earth after each planet finished, you will notice it gradually becoming smaller.


There's one high above the "girl face" on that planet.

this is a truly lame game. I can't even find the first planet. How do you find a planet and the puzzles? Stupid game.

I can't even start the game yet!!!!

The loading screen stops at 41%


And how to deal with it?

Wow, that was an unexpected ending...

Okay, there are a lot of good hints here, and I'm going to go ahead and compile them into a walkthrough because it's about time I contributed more than just a sentence or two to the mix

Overall Gameplay Tips -You can check the name of the planet you're on in the upper right hand corner when you first land on it. -Some planets are a bit tricky to get back into space from (Gravida and Debasa in particular). Your best bet is to get a bit away from the surface and just swing until you're going in circles. -Remember centripetal force: When you let go of a cloud or star, you fling off at a tangent to the circle you're making. So if you want to leave a planet, your best bet is NOT when you're on top of the cloud, but when you're next to it on the upswing. -There are three ways to tell if you've solved a planet: The flash of light, the mood of the planet (not its inhabitants), and whether or not the planet's "butterfly" pointer appears when you're in space.

Blue-green Planet (Earth)

Remember how this all started with the boy wanting to explore?
Every time you solve another planet, Earth gets a little smaller.
Come back to Earth after you've solved all the other planets to see the ending.

Pink Planet (Gravida)

Hey, this planet looks... dead.
Check out the open mouth.
It must get boring all alone inside that shell.
What can pass the time?
Maybe some music?
Each of the crystals plays a note when you swing on it.
Swing on all of the crystals in turn.

And because at least one person had a problem doing so, to leave the core,

just swing up to the surface from the crystals - don't worry about lining up with the open mouth again.

Blue Planet (Malaisus)

Wow, that guy's a jerk. It has nothing to do with the puzzle, I just thought I'd mention it.
Although he does look like the creature you're riding. I wonder if this is where he comes from?
He must be hungry after taking you all over the galaxy.
Maybe he should eat?
What is there around for your creature to snack on?
Eat all the fish.

Yellow Planet (Biblion)
Before we get into the puzzle here...

This may be a bug, but I noticed there are two faces on this planet - one happy, one mad. So you may not be able to use the mood of the planet to determine whether you're done with it.

Hmmm... There's only one alien on the planet. Who's he talking about?
Mothers get upset when their kids run away.
The planet is upset... who are its kids?
Those moons sure are talkative.
How can you bring them home?
Stand on top of the wayward satellites.

Green Planet (Debasa)

Wow, what's with the atmosphere here? Kind of thick, isn't it?
I wonder where it's all coming from?
Check the upper atmosphere.
Maybe something should be done about those moons.
They don't seem to like it if you swing around on them too long.
Swing around on the moons until they explode

Though the text made me cringe on several occasions it was a very enjoyable experience.

After all, we can't all be Dr. Seuss.

The major complaint I have with the game is that my key buffer or mouse click buffer, not sure which, overloads during play and I have to wait for all my key strokes and mouse clicks to catch up. It makes for a game I can't play, period.

Ooh, got it. Thanks all. :) I finished it...what an odd, lovely game. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

The major complaint I have with the game is that my key buffer or mouse click buffer, not sure which, overloads during play and I have to wait for all my key strokes and mouse clicks to catch up. It makes for a game I can't play, period.

I had the exact same experience. A shame as it looked/sounded very nice when it wasn't getting beeped over by my motherboard speaker....

If you are having problems with the browser version, there is an option to download the game at the start. I found that if I just waited a moment and didn't try to click anything, it would catch up.

John Moses: Once you are in space, follow the colored arrows - they look a bit like butterflies. Once you are near a planet the indicator will start to point down and you can fall onto a planet.

How do you get the character to swing all the way around? It hits a maximum arc swinging back and forth whenever it's under the influence of gravity. Is there a trick to the game physics that I'm not insightful enough to try?

I have played the game on two different PC's both online and downloaded, same problem every time; the motherboard speaker whining at me from the buffer overload. I am bummed too, the game (what I could play of it) was fun.

A pause or save feature would have been nice though.

Strange ending.

Username: If you press Esc, that will pause the game.

StaceyG, I tried hitting Esc but nothing happened, I think it was due to all the commands trying to play catchup. I swear it blows my mind that only one other person is experiencing the same problems I am.

that is one seriously awesome game!!
the end was weird though...

and there is a pause, press P and the screen says PAUSED.

sorry for double post, but Username, esc didn't work for me either then I pressed P and it paused.

I can't find any planets. I've been following one arrow around for five minutes or more and space just keeps on going and going and going...
I tried another arrow and it just disappeared off the screen. Suggestions anyone?

It was kind of short. You think they'll make game packs for it?

auroraB: This was something irksome about the game - when the color arrow disappears toward the bottom of the screen that seems to mean you have arrived at a planet, you just need to keep going down to the surface.

Love this game. It took me a while to figure out though... Did anyone else find that sometimes all the butterflies just looked grey??? I hope there's a sequel.

The atmosphere and the music are what is most compelling to me. If more people could create games like this to pass the time, I probably would be a completely unproductive member of society. Thank god games like these don't come out everyday... I would never get anything done.

I'm not sure if the ending was supposed to be happy or sad, but either way a fun little game

Not that I dislike the music, but a mute button is ALWAYS nice. That aside, very cute (if quick) game.. it's too bad you can't cheer up everyone, but I guess that's a sort of life lesson.

Did i just?

Yeah i think i did.

But it was a metaphor?

And it was real?

Sort of?

I'll figure it out eventually. Awesome ending.

I can't get the snow planet, Biblion. I've stood on the moons, I've landed on them from great heights, nothing's happening! What obvious thing am I doing wrong?

You have to stay standing on the top of the moons and they will start to sink. It may take a few tries to stay on long enough

ok... im confused, how do you change the screen you are on? i kept spinning on the planet at the beginning but i cant find a way to move go into space.

I cant get out of the darn pink planet! It wont let me go any higher than those crystals......

After i finished the planet with grabbable moons, I found a very small planet with things that look like beans, saying "please don't hurt me!"

Anyone know what that is?

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