The Joystiq Free Game Club: Aether

Oh boy, do we ever love Aether, and we bet you're going to as well. Simply put, it's the story of a boy dealing with feelings of alienation as he discovers (with the help of his pet monster) that he is, in fact, not as alone as he once imagined.

As the game begins, you leave your home planet on the back of your beast, which gets through the universe via his long, elastic tongue, allowing him to snap to nearby clouds and planets and then hurtle to the outer reaches of the galaxy. There you'll find several planets, each with their own unique puzzles to solve, requiring a combination of quick reflexes and some non-linear thinking. It's all presented in attractive, washed out pastels and with a hauntingly otherworldly soundtrack.

It's everything you want an "art game" to be, with a unique visual style, a creative gameplay mechanic and a real sense of an artist's touch (two, in this case, Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaiel). It's a uniquely personal, touching game that we can't wait for you to try and share your thoughts on in the comments.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.