Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. Feb 13, 2012
    45
    The ironic thing is that the most pedestrian of stories can be convincing when coupled with intelligently applied interaction -- something Dear Esther stubbornly stands against. It's as if it wants to be a part of this wonderful medium of ours without asking itself why, which is exactly why you should seek it out and learn from its failures as a game enthusiast, critic, or developer.
  2. Mar 9, 2012
    40
    Unfortunately with reviewing this game I have to think of it in terms of should someone spend their hard earned money on this game and that hurts Dear Esther in a regrettable way. It tells a very interesting story in a mysterious and ambitious way and stands out as a risky decision on the developers but manages to be at least a little entertaining for how shallow the gameplay is. At a ten dollar price range I feel like I may have over paid a little and would have felt more comfortable with a price half that.
  3. Jan 10, 2013
    30
    With no story or true narrative to latch onto, there's no reason for players to care about what's going on. And there's only one thing ever going on in Dear Esther: nothing. Broken up into individual pieces-the graphics, writing, and music clearly show talent and might have led to interesting stories or games-but together they form a dull, lifeless experience that's quickly forgotten.
User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 566 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 82 out of 227
  1. Feb 14, 2012
    10
    To call this a game would be almost entirely inaccurate. This piece is better described as an interactive fiction narrative. The only game play mechanic in this work is to guide your character through the story. However, what makes this piece of work interesting and outstanding is the atmosphere that is created through the narrator's speech, the beautiful graphics, perfect music score, and amazing ambient sound. This is an experience that no one should pass up, my first play-through took up a little over 2 hours of my time; for $10 this is a fantastic deal. Full Review »
  2. Feb 19, 2012
    4
    A pretty visual game, but it is 85 minutes of gameplay for 10$. I cannot seem myself walking through that island again. Maybe at 3$ that would not be so bad Full Review »
  3. Feb 14, 2012
    10
    Originally a mod for Half-Life 2, this remake is very different from what you might expect a game to be.
    Calling it an interactive story would
    be more accurate. There is no "action", no real items or objectives, you just explore the island while a narrator tells you a story. It is certainly not for everyone, but for people that are looking for an experience rather than a game I would highly recommend it. The visuals and soundtrack are breathtaking, the narrator does an excellent job, and the atmosphere in general is amazing. If you are looking for something different and have the time and patience to immerse yourself into it, this game will provide you with an unforgettable experience. Full Review »