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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person perspective adventure game with a plot inspired by 20th century crime novels written by authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, Stefan Grabiński and Algernon Blackwood. You play as detective Paul Prospero who has supernatural powers. He generally handles the tasks the police and priests won't touch. He receives letters from a boy called Ethan Carter that start out as fan mail, but soon it turns out Ethan can see things as well, and for his last case he travels to Red Creek Valley to find out what has happened to him.

It is an open world type of game that can be explored freely. There is no tutorial, HUD, journal or equipment — the order in which Prospero visits the locations can be chosen freely and generally there are no puzzles that need to be completed in a fixed order to progress. That way it is possible to start an investigation until stuck and then return to it later. There are also many optional parts.

The game combines both exploring the world and solving environmental puzzles, which mainly involve examining or finding missing pieces and then determining what the order of events was and then recreating it. Whenever something of interest is discovered, a text description appears on the screen and Prospero can use his vision to view it in the past. This leads him to new clues. The larger investigations require him to find multiple items or locations that are connected. Progress is shown through the central character or item that triggers the investigation. When enabling vision, the size of the vision circle determines how much has been found. Once all vital elements have been discovered Prospero needs to use his vision to determine the chronology. He visits the different locations or items, determines the order through a sequence of increasing numbers and then lets the vision play out. If successful, the sequence is completed and the investigation is resolved. If not, the sequence suddenly halts and the order of the chronology needs to be altered.


The Vanishing of Ethan Carter PlayStation 4 Going through the mine was one way of getting down, I suppose
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter PlayStation 4 Recreating the murder at the mausoleum
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter PlayStation 4 By the water
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Windows When you need to find and apply a certain object the game will explicitly tell you (Redux version)

Promo Images

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Screenshot
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Screenshot
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Other
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "Zaginięcie Ethana Cartera" -- Polish title
  • "The Vanishing of Ethan Carter: Redux" -- PC re-release title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.

Critic Reviews

Garage Band Gamers Xbox One Jan 27, 2018 9 out of 10 90
Games Finder Windows Jan 16, 2016 8.5 out of 10 85
ZTGameDomain PlayStation 4 Jul 21, 2015 8.5 out of 10 85
PC Gamer Windows Sep 29, 2014 82 out of 100 82
GameStar (Germany) Windows Oct 01, 2014 81 out of 100 81
APGNation Windows Oct 11, 2014 8 out of 10 80 Windows Sep 30, 2014 16 out of 20 80
Way Too Many Games Nintendo Switch Aug 17, 2019 6 out of 10 60
Gameplay (Benelux) Nintendo Switch Sep 27, 2019 Unscored Unscored
Gameplay (Benelux) Xbox One Jan 31, 2018 Unscored Unscored


Topic # Posts Last Post
redux 2 Freeman (65086)
Sep 18, 2015



  • The Game Awards
    • 2014 — Best Independent Game — Nominated

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Contributed to by mars_rulez (43834), Pottero (450), Kam1Kaz3NL77 (403818) and Sciere (746592)