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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (2014) is a narrative mystery game about Paul Prospero, an occult-minded detective who receives a disturbing letter from Ethan Carter saying he is in danger. It turns out that Ethan vanished in the wake of a brutal murder. You explore to discover what happened, communicating with the dead to reconstruct what happened.

It's an unusual and macabre game inspired by early twentieth century weird fiction. It creates a realistic world but with supernatural elements. As you delve into the mystery you need to solve mental challenges, but the focus is on atmosphere, mood, and the characters you meet both living and dead.

As you progress you use your supernatural skill of being able to communicate with the dead to piece together clues. This enables you to discover the mystery behind a trail of corpses, the roots of a dark ancient force lurking in Red Creek Valley, and the fate of a missing boy.

You can conduct the investigation on your own terms and at your own pace. Although there are a few scary bits in the game, it's more clammy unease than terror.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked The Vanishing of Ethan Carter 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 23 months ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Brain Game and Narrative game with Adventure and Puzzle elements. This is a single-player game.


Play Time: This game will take between 4 and a half hours and 6 hours to complete.


Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 18 for occasional strong violence and the use of a sexual expletive. The game contains images in which mutilated characters and corpses are seen. One scene in the game takes place on a railway track where a character uses a small rock to hit another character on the head, he falls to the ground and his body lies across the track, a railway engine is then driven over his body severing his legs. This is accompanied by a large amount of blood. There is also an instance of the use of the sexual expletive ‘*!@?*’.

Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Mature (M) for Violence and Horror Themes.


The Vanishing of Ethan Carter usually costs £16.99. 

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Steam StoreSALE PC £16.99 £1.69 until 04/08/2024
XBox Store Xbox One -
Switch Store Switch -
PlayStation Store PS4 -
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 26/09/2014, updated in 2019

Price: 90% off

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Players: 1

Genres: Brain Game, Narrative (Adventure and Puzzle)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 3D First-Person and Open World

Developer: The Astro Crew (@TheAstroCrew)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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