User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 608 Ratings

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  1. Feb 16, 2012
    10
    This game exudes polish. it is so organically presented and real attention was paid to color palettes, voice-over work and timing. its a gorgeous game that tells a cryptic yet emotional tale. it's a shame that it only takes an hour and a half to experience it, but i see it as a massive step in the right direction for games being finally taken seriously as an artistic medium. you don't haveThis game exudes polish. it is so organically presented and real attention was paid to color palettes, voice-over work and timing. its a gorgeous game that tells a cryptic yet emotional tale. it's a shame that it only takes an hour and a half to experience it, but i see it as a massive step in the right direction for games being finally taken seriously as an artistic medium. you don't have to solve puzzles to get past a door, but to understand the story better you have to look and really listen. it is an interesting gameplay mechanic, i am guessing the drawing board in their offices said "look, this is a story, but we're gonna tell it in a way that television, movies, books, paintings and photographs (and other games for that matter) have never been able to do." that is an achievement. Expand
  2. Feb 24, 2012
    9
    It is just a beautiful game. It redefines how we play video games today..... a MUST HAVE. It has amazing graphics. And it's really for anyone. It's just such a smart game. You can play it over and over and over again. It never gets old. I just love it!
  3. Apr 19, 2012
    0
    This is not really a game when you remove the traditional gameplay style. Besides the boring storytelling, decent music and good graphics of the Source Engine, this HL2 mod turning into an Indie as a remake should have been a computer-graphic movie instead on YouTube rather than playing through it. Therefore it's not worth the money and the playing time.
  4. Feb 14, 2012
    9
    This remake looks better than older but this is mod for half life 2.so you have to half life 2 and thats bad for someone
  5. Feb 16, 2012
    9
    I think this is the most unusual "game" of he last years, nevertheless i think it's worth and 40-60 minutes of your life to meet the interesting story lined presented in a form of monologes, absolutely unique music and sound effects and Source engine based beautiful picture of the lost island.
  6. Feb 20, 2012
    10
    One word - unique. It's hardly a game. Not much of gameplay here, but story is great and visuals astonishing. You just move your character across the island, hearing the cryptic narration, looking for clues, enjoying the landscapes... Nothing is really explained here, you need to put the puzzles together in your own head. You'll finish your first playthrough in about 1,5 h and Im prettyOne word - unique. It's hardly a game. Not much of gameplay here, but story is great and visuals astonishing. You just move your character across the island, hearing the cryptic narration, looking for clues, enjoying the landscapes... Nothing is really explained here, you need to put the puzzles together in your own head. You'll finish your first playthrough in about 1,5 h and Im pretty sure you'll find yourself staring in the ending screen... trying to make sense of all what you have seen.. then again, you'll visit the island one more time. And maybe one more... Great experience, great game, great art. Why 10 out of 10? It's a masterpiece in it's own genre.. I can't think of any other project, so emotional, so engaging .. with so less effort. There's no special effects here, no bombs exploding, no tragic deaths on screen.. There's just the island, the mystery, voice of the narrator.. Blowing wind, shadows playing tricks on you.. And music. Beautiful music. Expand
  7. Mar 4, 2012
    10
    Dear esther puts you into a beautifully crafted world, the attention to detail is just excellent. Its one of the few games that ive played where it just leaves you sitting there wondering what just happened. The visuals, music and dialogue are all incredible and are weaved into the game perfectly.
  8. Apr 11, 2012
    3
    This isn't really a game. The only upside of this title are the graphics (great use of a old engine), and supposedly it's history, which I didn't bother to hear because the "game" itself is sooooo boring.
  9. Mar 8, 2012
    10
    This game is simply pure art. Something between good movie, game and book. Or combination of them all. I really experienced island and was there with main character, deep inside his mind. Ending is very sentimental. I can only hope there will be more games ( or what ever it is ) like this one.
  10. Mar 8, 2012
    10
    Play Dear Esther in a dark room, headphones on, no distractions, and subtitles turned off. Dear Esther is a broadly magnificent and genuinely moving experience, and that was almost entirely on a sensory level. Playing the game on ultra, I've never seen something this beautiful before. Not even the great BF3 on ultra can't compare itself to this island. Deciphering the plot â
  11. Jun 4, 2012
    10
    A wonderful experience that is a breath of fresh air in a genre bogged down with boring iron sights shooters. Most negative reviewers of this experience are missing the point entirely. Like someone watching a play of Hamlet while yelling they want their football. I guess this game is not for everyone, just the intelligent.
  12. Jul 16, 2012
    7
    Dear Esther is not a game, so it should not be reviewed as a game. It uses a game graphics engine, and game controls, but games require at least a basic level of skill or interaction, and Dear Esther requires nothing more than movement (as do 'maze' games, but they require skill).
    What you do have is graphics, a story, music and atmosphere; things which most modern games require and are
    Dear Esther is not a game, so it should not be reviewed as a game. It uses a game graphics engine, and game controls, but games require at least a basic level of skill or interaction, and Dear Esther requires nothing more than movement (as do 'maze' games, but they require skill).
    What you do have is graphics, a story, music and atmosphere; things which most modern games require and are critiqued upon in games reviews, so it's these things that should be evaluated. Dear Esther excels in all of these areas, putting most games which try to be 'atmospheric' to shame.
    The problem is, because it looks and feels like a game, you want to do game things, at the very least, jump, crouch, open doors and pick things up. Once you get over this lack of freedom and settle into the narrative you start to enjoy the experience a little bit more.
    It should probably come with a 'this is not a game' sticker, but if you keep an open mind, and offer Dear Esther your time and patience, you'll enjoy a visually enchanting, and occasionally creepy story.
    I would still have liked the ability to jump and crouch!
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  13. Jul 26, 2012
    8
    It is truly difficult to rate this as a game. But rather than viewing it as a game it should be viewed as an experience. Therefore, the elements need to so often be in sync, as there are fewer elements in this story than in most. Most often the visuals, narration, and sound combine as perfect elements. The sprawling landscape of the tattered, seemingly once inhabited island is beautiful,It is truly difficult to rate this as a game. But rather than viewing it as a game it should be viewed as an experience. Therefore, the elements need to so often be in sync, as there are fewer elements in this story than in most. Most often the visuals, narration, and sound combine as perfect elements. The sprawling landscape of the tattered, seemingly once inhabited island is beautiful, as are the caves and water. Its stunning to walk through and be able to observe, much like a stroll in a place you will forever want to go to but never be able to go. The landscape is only outdone by the caves, which are dewy and wet and feel as such. Truly though the mastery of the game is in the audio. Jessica Curry's soundtrack is sublime and brimming with melancholy. Each piano strike feels somewhat forlorn, but remains beautiful and reminds one of the nature of the adventure. To accompany the music is a wonderful narration, which is the basis of the game. The narration guides the player through and allows the player to try and piece together the broken pieces of the past of the main character. Multiple play throughs will allow for more narration to be opened, as it becomes further evident that the character is deeply troubled and that he is not coping well with the past. The game is not without flaw as the play time is very short. Its unfortunate as the story being more fleshed out would have been welcome. But game is fantastic regardless and deserves reflection and discussion about its narrative. A true rarity in games. Expand
  14. Oct 14, 2013
    8
    [Game] Dear Esther I really enjoyed your art movie game thing it was.… fun or something but really I did like it I swear.... Fun to play the whole-game-art-thingymagig with just one hand on the mouse for one hour and then it was over. What was that? I understand that if I play it again then there will random story reconstruction? I guess I better play it again. Released 2012.02 and[Game] Dear Esther I really enjoyed your art movie game thing it was.… fun or something but really I did like it I swear.... Fun to play the whole-game-art-thingymagig with just one hand on the mouse for one hour and then it was over. What was that? I understand that if I play it again then there will random story reconstruction? I guess I better play it again. Released 2012.02 and played 6 months later. Score 8. Firm. Expand
  15. Feb 25, 2014
    0
    The system won't accept negative values, so I had to vote 0.
    I really enjoyed the ending because the character does exactly what you wanted to do since mid-game.
    There are tons of things you could enjoy more, including being raped by a gorilla.
    Save your money, don't buy this game.
  16. Aug 6, 2012
    10
    I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this game. Just understand, this game requires patience and the understanding that it isn't what you'd commonly think of as a game, it's more of a graphical experiment. You walk through an island and marvel at it's beauty, with bits of story here and there. If you don't have the patience, I do not recommend this game to you.
  17. Feb 8, 2013
    9
    This isn't a game and wasn't really meant to be a game so I'll review it for what it is, which is visual/auditory art that you walk around in. Most kids won't appreciate this title, the emotional impact would just go over their heads just like they'd be bored with experiencing any art. The environment design is top notch especially for the old engine. If you've ever played an MMO or FPSThis isn't a game and wasn't really meant to be a game so I'll review it for what it is, which is visual/auditory art that you walk around in. Most kids won't appreciate this title, the emotional impact would just go over their heads just like they'd be bored with experiencing any art. The environment design is top notch especially for the old engine. If you've ever played an MMO or FPS and said, "that place way over there on top of that mountain would look cool" and get there and it's not all that impressive, well, every part of this environment just looks really nice and beautiful from any angle. The sound and music really add to this as well. This title is just a feeling and it instills feeling more than any other game I've played. The only problem I had with it is that it's so short, but the impact, what you take away from a game after playing it, was still very real. Expand
  18. Sep 16, 2013
    10
    Dear Esther isn't like anything u have played before. It isn't about competing, beat enemies, or even interacting with anything. Dear Esther is maybe more like a 3D book than it is a videogame, and in this genre, it's probably the best work ever. It also beats in inmersion, atmosphere and story to most games out there. If you are looking for a completely new and bittersweet experience, andDear Esther isn't like anything u have played before. It isn't about competing, beat enemies, or even interacting with anything. Dear Esther is maybe more like a 3D book than it is a videogame, and in this genre, it's probably the best work ever. It also beats in inmersion, atmosphere and story to most games out there. If you are looking for a completely new and bittersweet experience, and you don't mind risking 10$ in a game that you could love or hate, then go for it and prepare to squeeze your brain to understand this tragical story (even the protagonist's identity remains a discussion among the players!). Expand
  19. Feb 16, 2012
    10
    This game certainly was very different to most games of our time, I first saw it on steam and it looked pretty interesting so I looked at a review for it, instantly fell in love with the idea and bought it. In total I was able to put in about 80 minutes of game play by straight out playing it from beginning to end, I was not disappointed even by the shortness of the game. For aThis game certainly was very different to most games of our time, I first saw it on steam and it looked pretty interesting so I looked at a review for it, instantly fell in love with the idea and bought it. In total I was able to put in about 80 minutes of game play by straight out playing it from beginning to end, I was not disappointed even by the shortness of the game. For a £7 price tag (UK currency) it was defiantly a treat, re imagining the idea of what games can do. The dialogue is extremely poetic and interesting and at first you will have no real idea what the protagonist is talking about, but as you walk around the island you will start seeing signs of things as the dialogue becomes more and more obvious. Once you get into the game it also becomes very eerie and creepy. This game is nothing short of a ghost story and it represents that perfectly, I swear I saw a man carrying a lantern off in a cave this one time I was looking around the island. As the game got to the conclusion I was so gripped I had to go on, ignoring my friends talking to me over steam. This game was an incredible experience for me and for gamers who do not mind and enjoy story and dialogue more than actual interaction with the game world. I only wish now that the developers would make a sequel or a similar game. Expand
  20. Feb 20, 2012
    9
    A new medium for story telling, the story consists of diary entries and narration that serve the explorable world. The graphics are spectacular, and help aid the story by being relevant to your immediate surroundings or places you soon encounter. It's very original idea to use computer game graphics to serve a story while allowing the audience general interaction while it's taking place.A new medium for story telling, the story consists of diary entries and narration that serve the explorable world. The graphics are spectacular, and help aid the story by being relevant to your immediate surroundings or places you soon encounter. It's very original idea to use computer game graphics to serve a story while allowing the audience general interaction while it's taking place. Like a picture book on steroids, this new approach to story telling should certainly be expanded in the future. At $10, it's the price of the usual paperback and delivers a unique experience that's well worth the money. Expand
  21. Mar 1, 2012
    10
    Easily the very best game that I have played for years. The level design is first rate, as are the superb graphics and sound and incredibly immersive atmosphere. They story-telling is excellent - it gives you enough to get an idea of what is going on, yet doesn't spoon feed you. Multiple playthroughs will reward you with more narrative clips and different objects to see. It's a game thatEasily the very best game that I have played for years. The level design is first rate, as are the superb graphics and sound and incredibly immersive atmosphere. They story-telling is excellent - it gives you enough to get an idea of what is going on, yet doesn't spoon feed you. Multiple playthroughs will reward you with more narrative clips and different objects to see. It's a game that rewards patience, open-mindedness and imagination - those who only like to play shooters should avoid this, unless you feel like trying something very different. Dear Esther gets an easy 100% from me. Expand
  22. Mar 7, 2012
    10
    It is what it is. A short semi-interactive story. If you're looking for more in a "game" then it's not for you but if you accept what this is then you'll love it. It's beautiful, emotional and best enjoyed with a good alcoholic beverage. 10/10 and hoping to see more.
  23. Feb 23, 2012
    10
    If you take the discussion about "is this a game or what is it?" aside, this mod is what brings once again an inventive way of using game engines to another level! If people were to search and experience the limitation from the Source Engine (even the Portal version), you could not say this was made on an 'old' engine, pre-made brushes and whatever. If there were people to come close toIf you take the discussion about "is this a game or what is it?" aside, this mod is what brings once again an inventive way of using game engines to another level! If people were to search and experience the limitation from the Source Engine (even the Portal version), you could not say this was made on an 'old' engine, pre-made brushes and whatever. If there were people to come close to this level of world design, I would like to see it. Regardless of the facts, the poetry, voice, story, atmosphere and visual content expands our imaginations and possibilities, being a mod that can now motivate other players to start on the Source Engine, and perhaps make a game, mod similar to this or something totally different, but on the same level. If I were to say it, Dear Esther deserves a 10/10 just because of all those reasons. If I could meet Robert Briscoe ever, I would be honoured! Expand
  24. Mar 7, 2012
    10
    An incredibly beautiful and fascinating "game" with deep story and the brilliant music. It is not a game, actually, it is a wonderful prose poem, the unbelievable experience. It is a very rare piece of art in our times.
  25. Jun 2, 2012
    10
    No I don't rate a game here, I can call it an interactive storytelling experience or an interactive cult cinema movie.

    The experience and the immersion where great! I felt the wind, I smelled the sea, I felt the loneliness and the acceptance of fate, I felt the melancholy and everything. I got it day one, and I believe that 8 euro were a great price for 2 hours of storytelling, it was
    No I don't rate a game here, I can call it an interactive storytelling experience or an interactive cult cinema movie.

    The experience and the immersion where great! I felt the wind, I smelled the sea, I felt the loneliness and the acceptance of fate, I felt the melancholy and everything.

    I got it day one, and I believe that 8 euro were a great price for 2 hours of storytelling, it was like I paid those money to see a movie in cinema, just more immerse.
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  26. Jul 7, 2012
    10
    I went back and forth a lot on this one, between 9 and 10. Rationale for "10": the developers have made something that captures our imagination; we become enrapt in an environment without having to blow anything up, kill things, solve complex puzzles, etc. There seems to have been a general trend towards less story-driven content and more blowing stuff up, and in my opinion the questionI went back and forth a lot on this one, between 9 and 10. Rationale for "10": the developers have made something that captures our imagination; we become enrapt in an environment without having to blow anything up, kill things, solve complex puzzles, etc. There seems to have been a general trend towards less story-driven content and more blowing stuff up, and in my opinion the question has been, can we increase the story, the art, the atmosphere, etc., decrease the explosions, and still entertain people? This title *is* that experiment, having taken the shooting and problem-solving to absolutely zero -- and the response has been surprisingly (to me) positive. Rationale for "9": I was a little confused at the end; I had an expectation that by uncovering clues, I would be able to piece together a story that made sense. And I also read a little bit about this title, both before playing and after completing it, and I thought there would be more of a "ghost story" aspect to it. In the end I decided I was leaning more towards "10", as the rationale for "9" was reasoned away. Specifically, it dawned on me that there is no reason not to consider a game as a work of art; and as I began to consider this work amongst the many other types of works, such as poetry, music, painting, etc., and I realized that in art, there often is no "right answer" as to the meaning of the work. Some art works aren't so much important for their meaning as for their creativity, beauty, and their ability to make us think. The artist may have an idea in mind, a message to convey, but sometimes a work can lead to more questions than answers. It is often up to the beholder to decide what the meaning is, and to fill in the gaps. As for the "ghost story" aspect, once I came to find out (through fora and such) that there were mysterious shadows lurking around, and where they might turn up, I have to admit that I could no longer attempt play-throughs at nighttime with the lights out. That is a powerful statement. I'm not a spiritual person, but for some reason this story, setting, music, etc., had a very real effect on me. I'm not sure if I agree with the designers' approach of not allowing the player to get all the story fragments in one play-through, but it does give us the opportunity to go back through and pick up subtleties that we may have missed the first time through. In short, 9.5; I'll round up. Expand
  27. Oct 25, 2012
    9
    One of the most beautiful & captivating games I have ever had the fortune to play. Little can be said about this rare gem which in all honesty cannot be branded a videogame, rather an interactive experience or test of ones emotion and perception. All I will say is if you start Dear Esther with a mind like a blank canvas you will emerge with your own uniquely vivid and moving memory of anOne of the most beautiful & captivating games I have ever had the fortune to play. Little can be said about this rare gem which in all honesty cannot be branded a videogame, rather an interactive experience or test of ones emotion and perception. All I will say is if you start Dear Esther with a mind like a blank canvas you will emerge with your own uniquely vivid and moving memory of an island and story like no other. Expand
  28. Dec 2, 2012
    10
    Great interactive story. Be ready that you won't get a game, but you'll get a story. Story is just clear to me, game (uhm, story) has a great idea behind, visuals are incredible, music is spellbinding. I really admire projects of these kind because developers respects not only instincts but also a brain. I really glad that more projects are on the way, not only from "the chinese room" butGreat interactive story. Be ready that you won't get a game, but you'll get a story. Story is just clear to me, game (uhm, story) has a great idea behind, visuals are incredible, music is spellbinding. I really admire projects of these kind because developers respects not only instincts but also a brain. I really glad that more projects are on the way, not only from "the chinese room" but from other independent developers. Great stuff, really worths to spend money and time. Expand
  29. Feb 19, 2012
    9
    A very... different experience. I really enjoyed it over all. Simple and minimalist can be a good thing, and it certainly is here. Not a hack and slash in any way, very much a contemplative game. Finished it in two hours, but it was well worth my $10. Very sad, but in the end it seems hopeful, maybe because I am optimistic at heart. It's all so left up to the player.
  30. Feb 16, 2012
    9
    Absolutely brilliant. Very poetic, relaxing and beautifully enjoyable experience.
    Dear Esther is a interactive story driven game where you explore an island while you listen a story. The sounds, music and graphics, everything makes this game so artistically wonderful.
    The bad thing is that it is a bit short. However, i'm looking forward to see additional content and new stories. I would
    Absolutely brilliant. Very poetic, relaxing and beautifully enjoyable experience.
    Dear Esther is a interactive story driven game where you explore an island while you listen a story. The sounds, music and graphics, everything makes this game so artistically wonderful.
    The bad thing is that it is a bit short. However, i'm looking forward to see additional content and new stories. I would gladly pay for more content in this game.
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  31. Feb 20, 2012
    10
    If you are a David Lynch fan(as i am), then you would love this "game" To call it a game is very inaccurate. It is an emotional, atmospheric, story telling experience. Its a very alien experience in the sense that it will make you feel odd sensations and emotions you never even knew about. You'll never expect what you must do to keep moving on in your journey. Definitely the most uniqueIf you are a David Lynch fan(as i am), then you would love this "game" To call it a game is very inaccurate. It is an emotional, atmospheric, story telling experience. Its a very alien experience in the sense that it will make you feel odd sensations and emotions you never even knew about. You'll never expect what you must do to keep moving on in your journey. Definitely the most unique title I've ever played. Expand
  32. Mar 6, 2012
    10
    Amazing, i have no idea how someone could dislike this game.

    Absolutely beautiful visuals, writing and dialogue. Albeit slow, it draws you in to have full attention for it's entire rtunning time. Does not overstay it's welcome, and was worth every cent. Buy this if you want beauty out of your purchase, not longevity or gameplay.
  33. Dec 23, 2012
    6
    Dear Esther has a deep atmosphere and unique poetic narrative. The visuals and sound are great, especially for a low budget title, and the environment is as detailed as it is fun to explore. It's only an hour long and gameplay consists of walking forward and looking around, though Dear Esther is obviously meant to be more of an interactive story than an actual video game. It's biggestDear Esther has a deep atmosphere and unique poetic narrative. The visuals and sound are great, especially for a low budget title, and the environment is as detailed as it is fun to explore. It's only an hour long and gameplay consists of walking forward and looking around, though Dear Esther is obviously meant to be more of an interactive story than an actual video game. It's biggest appeal would be the location of the game itself. The Island feels so lifelike and genuine, It'd probably be an awesome place to visit in real life. I guess it just has a magically feel to it, I don't know. My biggest criticism would be it's price. I couldn't recommend this at full price, but Dear Esther was a nice experience all the same. Expand
  34. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    I was very pleasantly surprised by this game. Best experienced in the dark with a hot beverage while it is raining outside. I don't think a video game has ever communicated emotions as complex and meaningful as this one has. It's true, the level of interaction is very subtle, however, those who say it should be a movie have missed the point. Also, be careful not to mistake ambiguity forI was very pleasantly surprised by this game. Best experienced in the dark with a hot beverage while it is raining outside. I don't think a video game has ever communicated emotions as complex and meaningful as this one has. It's true, the level of interaction is very subtle, however, those who say it should be a movie have missed the point. Also, be careful not to mistake ambiguity for pretension as some critics have. The strength of this medium is that it forces the player to reflect. Though I only played it on a 15" 720p screen, the visuals are stunning. Be sure to take screenshots while playing. Expand
  35. Dec 31, 2012
    10
    I don't often buy games knowing nothing about them, but I picked up Dear Esther during a Steam sale and couldn't be happier with what I found. It is arguable that it doesn't fit the typical expectations of an interactive game, but when one considers gaming as an art form, Dear Esther fits beautifully. It allows the player to experience a narrative story at your own pace, sort of like anI don't often buy games knowing nothing about them, but I picked up Dear Esther during a Steam sale and couldn't be happier with what I found. It is arguable that it doesn't fit the typical expectations of an interactive game, but when one considers gaming as an art form, Dear Esther fits beautifully. It allows the player to experience a narrative story at your own pace, sort of like an interactive short film. The lack of total closure or specific details behind the story left me deep in thought for quite some time afterward, which is a feeling that I strongly value as an aspiring writer. Initially I did find the lack of environmental interaction frustrating, but I came to understand that it heightens the players senses when their interactivity is limited. Knowing there is only so much one can do shapes how the world of Dear Esther is perceived makes it difficult to miss any important points of interest. I'd have gladly paid more than the $4 I spent for such an experience. Expand
  36. Jan 1, 2013
    8
    First and foremost, Dear Esther is a game that will cater to a very specific type of gamer, so if you aren't the kind of person that likes walking along a fairly linear path for no reason other than to progress the story (i.e. Final Fantasy without the battle sequences) then chances are you won't like Dear Esther enough to justify the $10 required.

    Dear Esther is quite a change of pace
    First and foremost, Dear Esther is a game that will cater to a very specific type of gamer, so if you aren't the kind of person that likes walking along a fairly linear path for no reason other than to progress the story (i.e. Final Fantasy without the battle sequences) then chances are you won't like Dear Esther enough to justify the $10 required.

    Dear Esther is quite a change of pace in the video game industry, moving the emphasis away from action and twitch gameplay and toward passive narrative and storytelling. Right off the bat you are dropped in a world in which nothing is readily apparent except to just keep exploring, and all the while you hear snippets of dialogue from an unknown source. Throughout the game, these snippets come together to explain the setting and story as well as the significance of the world you are in.

    As far as what makes Dear Esther a good game, I feel like I should point out that it isn't a game as much as it is a narrated benchmark. Interactivity in the game is next to nothing as the only things you as the player are allowed to do is to go from area to linearly-arranged area at a single set speed. The controls are limited to walk (emphasis on "walk") and a slight zoom, and the only real motivation to proceed further into the game is to find the next scripted point in which you are gifted another chunk of dialogue.

    That said, Dear Esther is a remarkable narrative experience. The game is presented in a very poetic and artistic style. The graphics are beautifully presented and the dialogue is well delivered. There's a bunch of places in which cryptic spots of graffiti are splattered onto the wall, adding to the mystery of the world that you are placed into. Also, if you play the game multiple times through, you are given new secrets that explain the story further.

    In conclusion, Dear Esther is a beautiful example of narrative-driven gameplay, although the term "gameplay" is used here very loosely. The lack of any real forms of interaction would seriously challenge anyone's definition of the term "game", and as such it would be a specific demographic of gamer that would appreciate what this game is. At the end of the day, if you were one of the people who only played Diablo III or Mass Effect for the visuals and the storyline, then you wouldn't be amiss giving Dear Esther a go.
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  37. Mar 5, 2012
    10
    What a beautiful game. If you found yourself in Half Life 2 and Left 4 Dead spending just as much time taking in the artwork, reading every little message the survivors left in the safe room, and hanging out in levels far longer than you needed to, you will love this game. If you liked Amnesia, you will really like this game alot. You play FPS games with your eyes and your hands, you playWhat a beautiful game. If you found yourself in Half Life 2 and Left 4 Dead spending just as much time taking in the artwork, reading every little message the survivors left in the safe room, and hanging out in levels far longer than you needed to, you will love this game. If you liked Amnesia, you will really like this game alot. You play FPS games with your eyes and your hands, you play a game like this with your SOUL. So beautiful and I hope we see more in this genre for years to come. Great visuals, great soundtrack, and absolutely amazing atmosphere, I had goosebumps most of the game, the same way I was scared out of my mind while playing Amnesia. Expand
  38. Mar 8, 2012
    10
    I have just one word for you guys: The graphics for this game are awesome, sure you can't blow **** up. But hey, you scrubs can play CoD for that. Because of the awesome visuals, the source engine, and the ace narration, I award this game five out of five stars. Nice going!
  39. Feb 18, 2012
    9
    Having completed the mod version, I can say the game has been greatly improved. I don't want to spoil anything, but the source engine has never looked so haunting and beautiful. The narrative is superbly written, among the best in the industry. This is a narrative, not a game. A captivating narrative at that. The game is relatively short, even with multiple playthroughs. Give this a try ifHaving completed the mod version, I can say the game has been greatly improved. I don't want to spoil anything, but the source engine has never looked so haunting and beautiful. The narrative is superbly written, among the best in the industry. This is a narrative, not a game. A captivating narrative at that. The game is relatively short, even with multiple playthroughs. Give this a try if you are an open minded gamer looking for something different. Expand
  40. Sep 25, 2012
    9
    Dear Esther, released on the Steam Network, is a remake of a 2008 Half Life 2 mod. But to simply call it a remake does not do the game justice. It is a complete overhaul of the original, with a new score and a complete graphical make over.

    Having never touched the mod, this was a new experience for me. Loading the game, I immediately went to the options menu and checked my control
    Dear Esther, released on the Steam Network, is a remake of a 2008 Half Life 2 mod. But to simply call it a remake does not do the game justice. It is a complete overhaul of the original, with a new score and a complete graphical make over.

    Having never touched the mod, this was a new experience for me. Loading the game, I immediately went to the options menu and checked my control scheme. Odd, there is no action button. I can only walk and swim upwards. No "use", no "shoot".

    This sent alarm bells running through my head. Is this a $9.99 tech demo? Is this even a game?

    2 hours of playtime later, I would have my answers. No, this is not a glorified tech demo and not only is it a game, but it is one of the most fulfilling and rich game experiences I have had in a very long time.

    While I won't give away any of the details of the story, the premise is pretty simple. You are on a massive island that you will explore while triggering dialogue sequences that are in the form of a letter to a woman named Esther. As you travel, you will uncover more and more of the plot.

    Upon completion of the game, I felt as if I had been emotionally drained. Everything about the presentation was almost perfection. The score (composed by Jessica Curry) would swell at just the right times while never becoming overbearing and overly dramatic. The voice acting (Nigel Carrington) was equally well done, keeping with the tone of the story line. And then there were the graphics. I didn't realize that it was possible to pull this much stunning beauty out of the Source engine. The island itself is full of details, down to the trash on the beach and the markings on the walls. With all of that in mind, I still have a couple of very minor complaints. For one, the experience, while engaging and emotionally draining, still feels too short. I wanted more dialogue and more story. While I am sure there is more in a second play through, I still feel as if I should get more plot in my initial sitting.

    Another small thing is the lack of a "pick up" button. While it was appropriate to not have action oriented buttons, there were plenty of in game objects that were amazingly rendered and would have been even better if I were able to pick them up and examine them. While you could zoom in with the left mouse button, I wanted to get even closer to some objects.

    Those two issues are very inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. This game is high quality and well worth your time.
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  41. Oct 8, 2012
    8
    Most people wont be able to appreciate this game. Ignore the majority of bad reviews here because most of them are from people who did not understand this game. This is a beautiful game. The visuals are fantastic and the story is very interesting. More or less you make up the story yourself based on details in the game and the narration. This is not a game that has actual gameplay in it.Most people wont be able to appreciate this game. Ignore the majority of bad reviews here because most of them are from people who did not understand this game. This is a beautiful game. The visuals are fantastic and the story is very interesting. More or less you make up the story yourself based on details in the game and the narration. This is not a game that has actual gameplay in it. If you don't want a story based game where you basically go through a visual story, don't buy this game and definitely do not review it. The narration can be difficult to piece together and will require a few playthroughs to figure things out. This is a fantastic game and I would recommend it to anyone with the sophistication to appreciate it. It is not meant to be an action filled game, its meant to be a walk through kind of game and it does what it does very well. Expand
  42. Jan 14, 2013
    10
    People that say that the game sucks. Yes, it sucks as a game, but if you see like a story.
    I'm trying to say that the people that review this just care about the game play, the graphics and all that.
    And, you should revisit the game, because the story changes. I really liked it. And by reading the other reviews i see A LOT of people thinking that this game was going to be the next call
    People that say that the game sucks. Yes, it sucks as a game, but if you see like a story.
    I'm trying to say that the people that review this just care about the game play, the graphics and all that.
    And, you should revisit the game, because the story changes.
    I really liked it.
    And by reading the other reviews i see A LOT of people thinking that this game was going to be the next call of duty (I don't really like call of duty) or saints row.
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  43. Jul 21, 2013
    10
    This is not a game. It is a wonderfully sad and beautiful experience. It's worth every minute and penny
    The enviroment is amazing in every way and it's almost impossible not to be engulfed by the depressing and romantic narrative.
    If I could I would vote 15/10.
  44. Feb 17, 2012
    10
    Not a game, but beautiful. Graphics are way better than those of Valve itself. The original mod was of course nothing to brag of. I waited eagerly ever since the first screenies came out of this new one and was excited when it was finally released.

    Seems like a nice idea for a L4D2 campaign.
  45. Feb 17, 2012
    7
    An incredibly beautiful 'game'. The art style and aesthetics are, perhaps, the best that I've seen so far. Dear Esther really manage to capture the subtleties of nature in their graphical style. Are rare feet indeed.

    Combine that with a fantastic voice acting and music, and you've got a emotionally moving story, which brilliance is that it doesn't tell you much. That is the very genius of
    An incredibly beautiful 'game'. The art style and aesthetics are, perhaps, the best that I've seen so far. Dear Esther really manage to capture the subtleties of nature in their graphical style. Are rare feet indeed.

    Combine that with a fantastic voice acting and music, and you've got a emotionally moving story, which brilliance is that it doesn't tell you much. That is the very genius of this game.

    A word of warning though. This is not your ordinary game, there is no interaction other than controlling the camera and movement. There are no objectives and nothing of the sort. It's a story.
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  46. Feb 20, 2012
    10
    Ignore all the negative views, as they do not understand. This isn't meant to be something like Cod, Dragon Age, or anything like that. It's supposed to be a story told throughout the game. You're not meant to fight anything. I guess it could be similar to Penumbra, but without the fighting and scary elements. I found that this used to be a mod for Half Life 2. Since then it has becomeIgnore all the negative views, as they do not understand. This isn't meant to be something like Cod, Dragon Age, or anything like that. It's supposed to be a story told throughout the game. You're not meant to fight anything. I guess it could be similar to Penumbra, but without the fighting and scary elements. I found that this used to be a mod for Half Life 2. Since then it has become much better. It's a great game and is definitely worth the money. Expand
  47. Feb 24, 2012
    8
    I wouldn't call this a game per se though if I had to use a single word to describe it I would say that it is definitely 'captivating'. The only real flaw that I have with it is that it is too short, there are games that overstay their welcome and noticeably try to stretch out playtime. The flip-side is that it does not drag the slightest, but you can't help but wanting to know more. II wouldn't call this a game per se though if I had to use a single word to describe it I would say that it is definitely 'captivating'. The only real flaw that I have with it is that it is too short, there are games that overstay their welcome and noticeably try to stretch out playtime. The flip-side is that it does not drag the slightest, but you can't help but wanting to know more. I give the game an 8 because it is very good yet no higher due to its (short) length. Though if I were to take the price into consideration as well I would probably rate it a 6 or a 7: at eight euros it is a bit too expensive for the playtime (bit over an hour in my case), but if you see this on sale and you want to escape from the world dominated by Call of Duty, Battlefield and Counter-Strike, definitely pick it up! Expand
  48. Feb 26, 2012
    9
    Ask yourself these questions before deciding to pay 10 dollars for this game. What do you value more, gameplay or art? Raw fun or emotion? If you answered, gameplay and fun instantly. This game might not be for you. If you came somewhere in the middle, then this game will truly test which side you truly prefer. Like most of you, I am in the middle. I enjoy the gameplay like anyone else.Ask yourself these questions before deciding to pay 10 dollars for this game. What do you value more, gameplay or art? Raw fun or emotion? If you answered, gameplay and fun instantly. This game might not be for you. If you came somewhere in the middle, then this game will truly test which side you truly prefer. Like most of you, I am in the middle. I enjoy the gameplay like anyone else. However I also think games are - for the most part - emotionally and artistically stumped. Far more than music, traditional art, and film. This very short game is less stumped - the tradeoff is that there is no gameplay. Just your own interpretation based off obscure poetic narration and what are essentially cave paintings. One day a game could incorporate compelling gameplay AND this kind of emotional and artistic integrity. If you want that, and enjoy poetry, music, and mystery. Get this. If you don't want that. Don't get this. My score reflects the value i place on both the experience I was given, which was more emotional and personal than countless other games of a far longer length - and my support for this direction in gaming. 1 point was deducted due to it being a 75minute to 3 hour (depending on your curiosity) length. Expand
  49. Feb 16, 2012
    8
    Dear Esther's price is hard to justify when you consider that you can walk through the entire thing in under 45 minutes and there is absolutely no reason to come back once you're finished. That said, this experience is definitely worth your time and it will definitely launch another round of discussions on "what is a game?" I was really not expecting to enjoy this kind of "walk-through"Dear Esther's price is hard to justify when you consider that you can walk through the entire thing in under 45 minutes and there is absolutely no reason to come back once you're finished. That said, this experience is definitely worth your time and it will definitely launch another round of discussions on "what is a game?" I was really not expecting to enjoy this kind of "walk-through" experience, but after about five minutes I was enthralled and couldn't stop until I finished. The sights and sounds of this island are absolutely awe-inspiring, but because of the brevity and the fact that it's very easy to classify this as a non-game, I'd still recommend waiting for a sale if you're at all unsure if this will be something you can get into. Expand
  50. Feb 26, 2012
    10
    Flawless. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  51. Jul 28, 2012
    10
    This is THE first indie game I actually loved, in fact maybe the first game, in general, I have loved! Everything about this "game" is amazing. Except the fact it isn't really a game but more like a narrated movie or story in which you walk around an island. Although you cannot run and it may start off slow the story line of the "game" is so amazing that quite Frankly once I start I cannotThis is THE first indie game I actually loved, in fact maybe the first game, in general, I have loved! Everything about this "game" is amazing. Except the fact it isn't really a game but more like a narrated movie or story in which you walk around an island. Although you cannot run and it may start off slow the story line of the "game" is so amazing that quite Frankly once I start I cannot stop until I've finished it. Only two movies in the past ten years have made me cry "Marly and Me" and "Click" but by the end of this game I couldn't stop wasting tissues and wiping my eyes. Perhaps not even a book I've read in the past ten years has made me cry as much as this simple, fictional "game." Please don't take me for some literate smart 'A' who has no idea about games because on steam alone I have 67 games ranging from COD to Warhammer, Gary's mod to Skyrim, and even games like Amnesia and Penumbra. So if maybe you are looking for a more meaningful game as opposed to the nonsense of' first person shooters then this is exactly what you want. I have never played a game that's less than an hour long that has brought me that far into the story and I hope they make more games like this one. Although Dear Esther has a somewhat short play through (first time about an hour, second maybe 40 min) you can play it a thousand times and there will always be something new, it's details are so rich that there will always be something you have overlooked or walked passed that will link more of the intense story together. Don't listen to those who say "Don't bother, it's not even a game" because maybe not it's essentially a game I believe one day, soon hopefully, It will become an entirely new genre! I'm sure there are quite a few people who wouldn't like this game because it takes a more literate, developed mind to understand. Even if this game had no story line the graphics and stunning sound as well as the music are enough to make you love it. Every time I hear the song they play in the trailer, which is also played at the end of the "game," I cry now and, now I truly believe this game is a part of my heart. I'm sorry this 'review' is all over the place but I hope you will give Dear Esther a chance since it is the greatest "game" I have ever played and I hope you too will think so as well! Expand
  52. Sep 17, 2012
    10
    Wow! I finished this game 5 minutes ago and I'm totally delirious. This is real masterpiece. It is very strong point in the history of video games for me. Thank you!
  53. Jun 8, 2012
    10
    This game has integrity and dignity. It offers an unparalleled experience that implies that players have the capacity to slow down, take a deep breath, and be "in the moment". The incredible music, breathtaking atmosphere, and mysterious narrative will make you forget the absence of "game play". There's no interaction, just exploration. The creators of this game do not treat you like aThis game has integrity and dignity. It offers an unparalleled experience that implies that players have the capacity to slow down, take a deep breath, and be "in the moment". The incredible music, breathtaking atmosphere, and mysterious narrative will make you forget the absence of "game play". There's no interaction, just exploration. The creators of this game do not treat you like a stereotypical "gamer" who depends on gore and big guns to be satisfied. This is not a video game, it's a work of art. Expand
  54. Jul 14, 2012
    10
    What can I say that hasn't already been said? For about the cost of train fare across Los Angeles County you can experience a totally new gaming phenomenon. If you're living paycheck to paycheck, or allowance to allowance, you might want to focus on priorities. Otherwise this is a purchase the decision for which makes itself.
  55. Feb 20, 2012
    7
    It is very hard to review this. In reality. It is not a game but more like a short story told through a game engine. I dont regret buying it as it was an interest hour diversion.
  56. Feb 16, 2012
    10
    Dear Esther is an otherworldly experience, yet the uneasily becalming feeling of being-in-the-world, this sense of "coming back to oneself" is ineffable. The journey is mine as well as yours, it transcends the meaning of being-oneself. This experience is intangible, but real; mythical, but precise; familiar, but alien. Everything, from the atmosphere to the music, just everythingDear Esther is an otherworldly experience, yet the uneasily becalming feeling of being-in-the-world, this sense of "coming back to oneself" is ineffable. The journey is mine as well as yours, it transcends the meaning of being-oneself. This experience is intangible, but real; mythical, but precise; familiar, but alien. Everything, from the atmosphere to the music, just everything contributes to this experience. An experience which deserves better words - but there aren't any.
    It will make itself speechless in the end, leaving oneself to become speechless. Its story renders everything immutable.

    This, the experience, the feel, the sense, this is art in its purest form. This is a masterpiece.
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  57. Feb 21, 2012
    6
    Dear Esther marked the beginning of a new genre in games. Half - interactive trip with meditation elements. Example of how far can a fantasy authors who do not need to look at the gameplay. I think this is a qualitatively new stage in the establishment of games as art.
  58. Feb 23, 2012
    8
    The game is a really interesting idea. Sure it is a huge player that does not say when the first 5 minutes of the game, but this is not about. The game is simply a new type of game (for me this is no ordinary adventure) terribly turned on its story and views, and feelings that are at playing the game. This game can not be offended by this game you have no opinion. But the game has a reallyThe game is a really interesting idea. Sure it is a huge player that does not say when the first 5 minutes of the game, but this is not about. The game is simply a new type of game (for me this is no ordinary adventure) terribly turned on its story and views, and feelings that are at playing the game. This game can not be offended by this game you have no opinion. But the game has a really interesting atmosphere, but so far few people get to like it. My rating, do not know how to judge, so he just says that the game interesting Expand
  59. Jul 16, 2012
    10
    Best game i have played in a long time. Only Spec Ops:The Line beats it based on story. Great relaxing game that is hard to understand for younger children.
  60. Jul 16, 2012
    10
    First things first, you will only get about an hours game play out of this game and if you're looking for action then go elsewhere. Now that's out of the way I would definitely recommend this game, gripping, interesting, at times emotional, breathtaking and I have no regrets about paying the price I did for it. At first you may think £9.99 (RRP?) is a bit of a rip off for such aFirst things first, you will only get about an hours game play out of this game and if you're looking for action then go elsewhere. Now that's out of the way I would definitely recommend this game, gripping, interesting, at times emotional, breathtaking and I have no regrets about paying the price I did for it. At first you may think £9.99 (RRP?) is a bit of a rip off for such a short game, think again, this game gripped me from start to finish, it is a breath of fresh air, don't compare it to other games, think of it as a concept within itself, try putting yourself in the mindset that you are playing through a film or a story rather than a regular game. It will play tricks on you, you will be unsure if you just saw/heard something or if you just imagined it, the story drags you in, you feel attached to the character despite not seeing them, you understand their mindset, and the game sort of lets you make of it what you will, give it a chance, play through to the end, and you won't regret a second of it. Expand
  61. Jul 17, 2012
    10
    Dear Esther is, simply put, a work of art. From the very first moment, when the screen fades into view and you take your first steps out into the world, it is like opening up your favorite short story and soaking in every word for all it's worth. The stunning visuals, the beautiful soundtrack, and the increasingly eerie narrative all serve to pull you into this world as if it was yourDear Esther is, simply put, a work of art. From the very first moment, when the screen fades into view and you take your first steps out into the world, it is like opening up your favorite short story and soaking in every word for all it's worth. The stunning visuals, the beautiful soundtrack, and the increasingly eerie narrative all serve to pull you into this world as if it was your own. The worst thing you could do with a game like this is to rush through it to the end, because every moment is precious. Stop and stare off into the sunset from the cliffside, go explore that abandoned house on the hill, or dive into that pool of water. Let the game guide you on your journey, and I can promise you won't be disappointed by what you find. Expand
  62. Jul 18, 2012
    10
    This game is beautiful. I have never written a review before and created a metacritic account specifically to say how wonderful this game is. It made me smile at how stunning and ethereal some of it is, it made me sad, it made me a little scared in places, it even made me shiver while sitting in a warm room because the mist blowing off the sea is so effective. I played through this in oneThis game is beautiful. I have never written a review before and created a metacritic account specifically to say how wonderful this game is. It made me smile at how stunning and ethereal some of it is, it made me sad, it made me a little scared in places, it even made me shiver while sitting in a warm room because the mist blowing off the sea is so effective. I played through this in one sitting and I am glad for the experience. It's important not to go into the game expecting the usual fare, it's a very passive experience. Having said that the game does reward players partaking in the small amount of exploration available. As a gamer I think we need more of this. A game made out of love, with attention to detail and not to a financial bottom line. Game designers have a duty to make good games, true, but game players also have a duty: to support pieces like this when they come along and reward them like they deserve. If your looking for a unique experience that is a far cry from the usual FPS on rails shooter then I cannot recommend this game highly enough. Incredible Expand
  63. Nov 22, 2012
    8
    This is a game that solely concentrates on storytelling and beautiful graphics. At first I felt like playing a tech-demo but the story is a puzzle in itself and unfolds as slowly as the pacing of the game is. It is a melancholic and isolated world and the player has to unravel its mystery. Although the publishers state that there is not one story here as the triggered story pieces areThis is a game that solely concentrates on storytelling and beautiful graphics. At first I felt like playing a tech-demo but the story is a puzzle in itself and unfolds as slowly as the pacing of the game is. It is a melancholic and isolated world and the player has to unravel its mystery. Although the publishers state that there is not one story here as the triggered story pieces are randomised, I have figured out a back-story that fits all pieces generated in the game. Still, the narration is not exactly reliable and the confusing bits you learn by and by will keep you thinking, long after your first play-through and the ones that will (probably) follow. I really enjoyed the ambiance of the island and the story becomes quite dramatic towards the end. For me, the experience is definitely worth the price and you should take a look at a trailer or the beginning of a let's play and see if it might be interesting to you. If you like good story-telling, you will not regret buying Dear Esther. Expand
  64. Dec 4, 2012
    7
    This is worth playing/experiencing. When I first heard of the game I was interested, but I had heard mixed reviews so I waited for a Steam sale but am very glad I bought it and played through. Even after playing I kept thinking about the game and piecing together what it all meant. (I've heard the story pieces you see change with different playings - so I'll do it again after a while).This is worth playing/experiencing. When I first heard of the game I was interested, but I had heard mixed reviews so I waited for a Steam sale but am very glad I bought it and played through. Even after playing I kept thinking about the game and piecing together what it all meant. (I've heard the story pieces you see change with different playings - so I'll do it again after a while). It's short - I didn't keep time but probably 3 hours or so max(?) - and I took my time looking around, trying to get into places I couldn't get to, etc. Some of the visuals - especially in the cave were - were very memorable. It's a game that has a melancholy mood - but for some reason it didn't get me down. For me, even though it's short, the length of the game was about right. As you're playing through pay attention to the little details - they really do help you piece together what's going on if you pay attention.

    Bottom line on this one: Good game. Glad I played it.
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  65. Apr 2, 2013
    8
    Nope. It's not a game. Perhaps it should be listed under movies?

    And yet.... haunting. Strangely disturbing. The music and the ambience create an atmosphere that will immerse your psy and make you wonder. Some of the places you "find" are stunning and at least one scene became my desktop for months. The soundtrack sits as a folder on my desktop and occasionally I play it and relive the
    Nope. It's not a game. Perhaps it should be listed under movies?

    And yet.... haunting. Strangely disturbing. The music and the ambience create an atmosphere that will immerse your psy and make you wonder. Some of the places you "find" are stunning and at least one scene became my desktop for months. The soundtrack sits as a folder on my desktop and occasionally I play it and relive the tale.

    It was cheap. I finished it and I bothered to write this review.

    Must have meant something. Not sure what though...... Still.
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  66. Aug 31, 2013
    9
    Beautiful, poetic, fresh, refreshing, short (but then I suppose it had to be short, hopefully in the future more such stuff will follow as the format lends itself well to experiential extension). Overall, awesome experience, a definitively innovative approach to the use of virtual environments.
  67. Sep 11, 2013
    6
    First of all, Dear Esther is not a game. It is a narrated story developed through the Source Engine. There is nothing to do apart from walking till the last map, and listening to the words of the narrator.

    There is not any kind of interaction with the game world. The world is a beautiful painting that you can watch but not touch. The story is slow and quite boring, and want to be too
    First of all, Dear Esther is not a game. It is a narrated story developed through the Source Engine. There is nothing to do apart from walking till the last map, and listening to the words of the narrator.

    There is not any kind of interaction with the game world. The world is a beautiful painting that you can watch but not touch. The story is slow and quite boring, and want to be too pretentious.

    Dear Esther has nothing to offer apart from a great artistic and graphic style. It's all about level design, nothing more.
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  68. Sep 26, 2013
    10
    A glorious piece of art telling a story through a progressive narrative. Dear Ether is an extremely moving journey of self discovery and acceptance, a truly moving narrative of a mans journey to seek peace. A game that I personally found to tug at the deeper-most emotions I never thought I had. I cant really say any more without compromising the story the game unfolds before you but I canA glorious piece of art telling a story through a progressive narrative. Dear Ether is an extremely moving journey of self discovery and acceptance, a truly moving narrative of a mans journey to seek peace. A game that I personally found to tug at the deeper-most emotions I never thought I had. I cant really say any more without compromising the story the game unfolds before you but I can at least say the Dear Ether is in the top tier of essential games to play in anyones life. I admit the story starts off confusing and quite slowly but as the story is further expanded connections are built and understanding follows with the progress you make. Expand
  69. Oct 30, 2013
    10
    Couldn't help myself and rated the game 10/10.

    With Dear Esther, The Chinese Room shared their vision of video games, according to which games are not just market products but also evocative of strong, pure feelings. The graphics are amazingly beautiful, the soundtrack is one of the best I've heard, the writing is wonderful... All these things serving this unique gameplay, this unique
    Couldn't help myself and rated the game 10/10.

    With Dear Esther, The Chinese Room shared their vision of video games, according to which games are not just market products but also evocative of strong, pure feelings.
    The graphics are amazingly beautiful, the soundtrack is one of the best I've heard, the writing is wonderful... All these things serving this unique gameplay, this unique story, this unique experience.

    A lot of people, not very art sensitive, will hate it, won't call it a game and won't be able to get over the slowness of the character or the game's price but a few others will absolutely love this game, for what it is and what it has to offer a brief, but intense, deep, beautiful and inspiring journey.
    A piece of art.
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  70. Nov 13, 2013
    3
    Dear Esther is more of a visual showcase or tech demo than a game. That being said, I cannot recommend this title to a fellow gamer. The story is forgettable and all you do is walk down a very linear path for 2-3 hours. A great example of how a game being different does not necessarily mean it will be good.
  71. Nov 14, 2013
    4
    Dear Esther is not a game. A game has rewards, mechanics, puzzles, ect. Dear Esther is an audio book designed for a game engine. It has you walk in a designated path to learn a story. Your first walk through you will not get the whole story. You need to walk around another time. The path that you can take is severely limited. There is no real exploring. If you see something intriguing inDear Esther is not a game. A game has rewards, mechanics, puzzles, ect. Dear Esther is an audio book designed for a game engine. It has you walk in a designated path to learn a story. Your first walk through you will not get the whole story. You need to walk around another time. The path that you can take is severely limited. There is no real exploring. If you see something intriguing in the distance then that's it. You've just seen something intriguing in the distance.

    Dear Esther reminds me of shopping for groceries to cook dinner only to remember you need one more ingredient to start and must go shopping again. Then halfway through cooking you run out of something else and have to make a 3rd trip to the store to complete dinner. Dinner wasn't about the multiple journeys you had to take. It wasn't about how long it took to cook. It's just about sitting down and eating a delicious dinner. If, before you began cook, you knew getting dinner ready would take 3 trips to the store you'd probably just quit and order take out.
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  72. Dec 5, 2013
    9
    BE WARNED: This is not a game! It is a 3D simulation story.

    The story is great, and uses excellent English vocabulary. The graphics are easing and romantic, especially the caves. Do indubitably buy and play this game if you feel like relaxing and walking in a 3D world as you listen to the narrator talk and tell the story.
  73. Aug 31, 2014
    5
    This may or may not even be a video game. If The Stanley Parable had a retarded brother, this would be his incestuous and disfigured offspring. SCORE: 5/10

    You walk around in a mostly linear path while a story is narrated to you. The story itself is rather disjointed and incomplete, just like the game. The visuals are great, kind of like a tech demo. The story is weak. The gameplay is
    This may or may not even be a video game. If The Stanley Parable had a retarded brother, this would be his incestuous and disfigured offspring. SCORE: 5/10

    You walk around in a mostly linear path while a story is narrated to you. The story itself is rather disjointed and incomplete, just like the game. The visuals are great, kind of like a tech demo. The story is weak. The gameplay is nonexistent.

    It is worth about one dollar. Anything more than that is a complete waste.
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  74. Mar 3, 2015
    5
    Bad game. Not because it doesn't have guns or monsters, in fact I thought it would be GOOD for those reasons. I stand corrected. I didn't pay for a two hour game that is just a guy talking in riddles. I payed for a great story that I could really get into, because that's what it was meant to be. Instead it's just a dumb, stupid attempt at being "2deep4u." The story isn't very great at all.Bad game. Not because it doesn't have guns or monsters, in fact I thought it would be GOOD for those reasons. I stand corrected. I didn't pay for a two hour game that is just a guy talking in riddles. I payed for a great story that I could really get into, because that's what it was meant to be. Instead it's just a dumb, stupid attempt at being "2deep4u." The story isn't very great at all. I mean, the story is good. But not good enough to have an entire game revolve around it and only it.
    There are only two hours of gameplay. And even if it was longer, it wouldn't be any better because there isn't any gameplay to speak of!
    If there is one good thing I can say about this game, its that the overall atmosphere is superb. The scenery looks beautiful, it really does. This is easily one of the best looking Source games I've played. The soundtrack is also wonderful.
    I guess the best way to sum this game up is; its very pretentious. Everything about it is pretentious. This is the most pretentious game I've ever played.
    Not my cup of tea. If you're into visual novels, I'd highly recommend this to you. If not, only buy while its on sale, if you buy it at all.
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  75. Mar 11, 2013
    7
    As a 1 hour long "game", it's hard to recommend it at any price, even at a steam sale. You might aswell just watch a playthrough on youtube and you'll get a identical experience (since the only thing you can do is walk... slowly). That being said, i kind of enjoyed it, music and graphics were on a really high level (except 2d sprites of foliage). It's definitely unusual, but as i said,As a 1 hour long "game", it's hard to recommend it at any price, even at a steam sale. You might aswell just watch a playthrough on youtube and you'll get a identical experience (since the only thing you can do is walk... slowly). That being said, i kind of enjoyed it, music and graphics were on a really high level (except 2d sprites of foliage). It's definitely unusual, but as i said, it's hard to recommend. Expand
  76. Apr 6, 2013
    8
    Anyone who goes into this game expecting it to be like any other game is going to be surely disappointed, but I knew what sort of game Dear Esther was and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The pacing is a bit slow, but the overall story is thought provoking and open to interpretation. The landscapes you'll come across are absolutely gorgeous, with the caves section probably being one the mostAnyone who goes into this game expecting it to be like any other game is going to be surely disappointed, but I knew what sort of game Dear Esther was and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The pacing is a bit slow, but the overall story is thought provoking and open to interpretation. The landscapes you'll come across are absolutely gorgeous, with the caves section probably being one the most awesome places to play through in any game I've played from a graphical standpoint. Sound design is top quality as well. My recommendation is to research the game first and know whether it suits you or not. If you decide to play through it, wear headphones for a truly immersive experience. Expand
  77. Apr 13, 2013
    5
    Not a game, but I would call it art. It kind of has a museum element going. You can look at all the pretty pictures and areas, listen to some "tour guide" talk but don't touch anything or you might break it.
    I frequently ask this question of the people who have "played" it. If you watched a playthrough video, what would be different? You might walk to some area in a different order...but
    Not a game, but I would call it art. It kind of has a museum element going. You can look at all the pretty pictures and areas, listen to some "tour guide" talk but don't touch anything or you might break it.
    I frequently ask this question of the people who have "played" it. If you watched a playthrough video, what would be different? You might walk to some area in a different order...but ultimately, it really is more like a video "museum" and less of a video game.
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  78. Apr 25, 2013
    8
    A beautiful environment and poetic story, making for an amazing experience. You can't play it just once. It only seems lacking in that you only get to see the one path.
  79. Apr 26, 2013
    1
    This dosen't even deserve to be called a game. It's an hour or so long "game" where all you do is walk on some island and listen to narrator telling an very uninteresting story. If there is one thing i can say good about this game is that it had very nice graphics. But graphics don't make game good. This is something that i assume The Chinese Room didn't understand, and that is why we haveThis dosen't even deserve to be called a game. It's an hour or so long "game" where all you do is walk on some island and listen to narrator telling an very uninteresting story. If there is one thing i can say good about this game is that it had very nice graphics. But graphics don't make game good. This is something that i assume The Chinese Room didn't understand, and that is why we have this utterly boring game. I am giving it a low score because this is a game i am reviewing, but if this was made for artisic attempt, it would have better score. I am guessing that's why there are so many positive score for this game, because all this people looked at it as an art but not as a game. But i will not go there as developers are saying that this is a game, so i am giving it a low score. Expand
  80. May 14, 2013
    8
    There's not a huge amount to Dear Esther but what there is genuinely touching and positively intriguing. It tells a slow and confusing story and I enjoye trying to piece together the elements as I made my ascent to an equally obscure climax. It's not going to be something for everyone as it lacks what most would consider gameplay elements but it was a game that I enjoyed my time with andThere's not a huge amount to Dear Esther but what there is genuinely touching and positively intriguing. It tells a slow and confusing story and I enjoye trying to piece together the elements as I made my ascent to an equally obscure climax. It's not going to be something for everyone as it lacks what most would consider gameplay elements but it was a game that I enjoyed my time with and that's all I was looking for. Expand
  81. May 29, 2013
    4
    I played Dear Esther and Proteus back to back, and it is clear to me that this is the superior "art adventure" game. I went in to this game knowing what it was and I have to say i was somewhat pleasantly surprised. The environment you are in is actually interesting and the narration that plays throughout your experience adds to that. But, I must say, I tried so hard to make sense of theI played Dear Esther and Proteus back to back, and it is clear to me that this is the superior "art adventure" game. I went in to this game knowing what it was and I have to say i was somewhat pleasantly surprised. The environment you are in is actually interesting and the narration that plays throughout your experience adds to that. But, I must say, I tried so hard to make sense of the story but I just couldn't do that. If your game is all about enjoying the story, yet the gamer is having a hard time trying to understand it, then you've messed up. The graphics and sounds are decently done, I can't really complain about them. The game length, however, is very, very short. I completed it in less than 1 hour and really have no desire to return to it. With such a short length, and a price tag of $10, it's very difficult to recommend this. There is no interaction with the environment whatsoever and that is something I feel was a mistake. This game could have really benefited from being able to find hidden notes or other items relating to the story throughout the environment. This would have encouraged me to explore my environment more so than I did. This was a promising game that ultimately fell very short of expectations. Hopefully this developer tries making a true interactive experience in the future. Expand
  82. May 30, 2013
    5
    This is visually very beautiful no doubt, but it is not a game and should not be advertised as such. This title was clearly made by artists and they did a very good job, the environment is stunning but it feels like a tease since you cannot interact with anything. If at least they would have integrated some puzzle elements to make it more interesting. The only thing the player can do isThis is visually very beautiful no doubt, but it is not a game and should not be advertised as such. This title was clearly made by artists and they did a very good job, the environment is stunning but it feels like a tease since you cannot interact with anything. If at least they would have integrated some puzzle elements to make it more interesting. The only thing the player can do is look around and walk, even running is not possible which can be quite frustrating when you reach a dead-end and have to go back a long way. The emphasis is solely on the visuals and even then I caught a few textures that did not look good from close up. If your going to make a title that showcases graphics, you cannot allow blurry textures to make it in your final product. The purpose of the narrator is clearly to break the monotony but the story he tells did not even intrigue me the least. Again, this is visually very nice and immersing but it cannot be called a game. There should be a specific genre category for "games" like this, putting it the "adventure" genre on Steam is misleading. This is an experience that a lot people can enjoy but I would advise to wait for a special on Steam before buying, 10$ is too expensive. Expand
  83. Jun 2, 2013
    6
    Dear Esther is an interactive adventure that stands on the edge of what can be considered a "game". The entire experience consists of walking around an island, exploring it, and hearing pieces of a story from the narrator.

    This is absolutely a game for explorers. Much of the appeal of this game is simply taking in the beautiful landscapes and letting your curiosity. This game is
    Dear Esther is an interactive adventure that stands on the edge of what can be considered a "game". The entire experience consists of walking around an island, exploring it, and hearing pieces of a story from the narrator.

    This is absolutely a game for explorers. Much of the appeal of this game is simply taking in the beautiful landscapes and letting your curiosity. This game is incredibly, ridiculously slow. You can only move at a slow walking pace, and for me, the amount of time it took me to get anywhere ended up discouraging me from trying to do much more exploration than what was needed. The music is nice, and it's appropriate for a lonely island.

    There's a lot to discover with the story, and Dear Esther intentionally leaves many questions unanswered. Personally, I found the story to be too boring to care about, so I had little interest in teasing out the game's many mysteries.

    This game is absolutely not for everyone. It's an interesting think to think about and discuss, but there's little fun to be had with the game itself. The people who enjoy this game will love it passionately, though. If you would enjoy a super-slow, thoughtful experience, then maybe you'll like this. Then again, I normally do, and I feel ambivalent about this game. Don't buy Dear Esther unless it's cheap.
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  84. Jun 6, 2013
    9
    It's a great experience, yes, an experience more then a video game. It has one of the best soundtracks and sceneries in any computer generated "things". A bit short but replayable. Definitely a must buy with a sale or in a bundle. 9/10
  85. Jun 6, 2013
    9
    Oh wow. Dear Esther was really a delicious treat for anybody who likes philosophical games and the likes. The game features many many clues and possibilities, you, as the player, must construct your own version of what happened. I must admit I was going to give this game a 7, but, it just stuck with me, I couldn't stop thinking about it for about thirty minutes.
    I checked other people's
    Oh wow. Dear Esther was really a delicious treat for anybody who likes philosophical games and the likes. The game features many many clues and possibilities, you, as the player, must construct your own version of what happened. I must admit I was going to give this game a 7, but, it just stuck with me, I couldn't stop thinking about it for about thirty minutes.
    I checked other people's thoughts and possible endings and my own version was suddenly there, it made the game SO much better and profound. I got this game along with a bunch of other indie games for a dollar on "Humble-bundle" and man, it was so worth it. This game is seriously superb, you might not catch it at first though, let it sink in, it's worth the wait.

    Warning: This game appeals to a very specific audience of people who appreciate games that are as artfully and skillfully crafted as this one, if you're the casual "Hack & Slash" PC gamer (nothing wrong there, I enjoy those too occasionally), don't play this game as you might be disapointed.
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  86. AWG
    Jun 17, 2013
    4
    Boring. I really wanted to understand what was behind Dear Esther but I couldn't do that over the amount of boredom this "game" inoculated in me: you can do nothing, you can interact with nothing, you never have to take a decision, a choice. You keep walking and listening, walking and listening. walking a listening.
    It's not a game, it's an audio-book.
  87. Jun 19, 2013
    7
    Dear Esther is an amazing video/game which has to be explored and understood in order to like it.
    It features a pure realistic and fantastic world with unbelievable graphics and performances, all combined with a great plot. It is a very short game, but really exciting, which can give you a lot of feelings.
    -Technique- Dear Esther featuers the best graphics that have ever been in
    Dear Esther is an amazing video/game which has to be explored and understood in order to like it.
    It features a pure realistic and fantastic world with unbelievable graphics and performances, all combined with a great plot. It is a very short game, but really exciting, which can give you a lot of feelings.

    -Technique-

    Dear Esther featuers the best graphics that have ever been in videogames of these last years; they're very clear and very advanced, as well as very clever (there are some "sprites" that are even featured in old games like the first Tomb Raider, but they're put so well in the environment that they look like 3D objects which even make animations when you walk near them, but actually are always in the same position, they just "turn" in your looking direction, which makes great graphics and very high framerate savings). All this must be mixed with, thanks to Source Engine and some great tweaks, a very good/excellent performance, which is really amazing. Light effects and textures are really impressive in this game.

    -Plot and sounds-

    What makes Dear Esther so great is also the plot, which is really intriguing and deep. It seems to contain a lot of metaphors, and what actually happens is relative to player's interpretation. Now, combine all this with some great soundtracks and really creepy sounds, which will make of Dear Esther an excellent video adventure, which will bring you into its finest, melancholic and deepest experience.

    -Longevity and gameplay-

    Unfortunately, the game lasts for a very short time, because you can complete it in no more than two hours (even exaggerating; actually, you can complete it in a hour). Basically, all you do is explore an island and follow some monologues.

    Technique: 8- [7.75]:
    ▪Graphics: 8;
    ▪Performance: 7½ [7.5];
    Gameplay: 7½;
    Plot: 7½;
    Longevity: 3;
    Sound: 8;

    Videogame avg. scores: 7- [6.75];
    OVERALL VIDEOGAME SCORE: 7.
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  88. Jun 25, 2013
    2
    The walking is jittery, the graphics are pretty bulky and unimpressive, and the story just isn't good. The sound effects don't even work well. Its like someone took everything good that Proteus had and forgot to put it in this game.
  89. Jul 15, 2013
    8
    Dear Esther certainly has a different way of telling story in a video game, which is probably the cause of the many mixed reviews, but for someone who is ready to experience something different and truly immersive, it's an indie game that is well worth the money. The main draw to the game is the beautifully crafted levels and mountain vistas that were all somehow achieved in Source; a gameDear Esther certainly has a different way of telling story in a video game, which is probably the cause of the many mixed reviews, but for someone who is ready to experience something different and truly immersive, it's an indie game that is well worth the money. The main draw to the game is the beautifully crafted levels and mountain vistas that were all somehow achieved in Source; a game engine that is quickly becoming dated and doesn't handle open environments very well. Despite the technical limitations, the art assets are nothing less than spectacular at a great performance rate and compliment the many mysteries and often eerie situations that the narrative invokes. Many times I found myself stopping to admire the environments and many details that make up the whole game experience. It would also be a shame not to commend the game for its soundtrack, as it has a very mesmerizing quality to it and adds to the overall atmosphere of the game beautifully. Expand
  90. Jul 20, 2013
    7
    This is an experience, not a game. There is no interaction, no clicking, no shooting, no anything. This doesn't make Dear Esther bad, it's just important to know beforehand that all you're required to do is walk around, enjoy the beautiful graphics music, listen to the narrator, and try to sort out what's going on. Anyone who enjoys thinking for themselves and having to draw their ownThis is an experience, not a game. There is no interaction, no clicking, no shooting, no anything. This doesn't make Dear Esther bad, it's just important to know beforehand that all you're required to do is walk around, enjoy the beautiful graphics music, listen to the narrator, and try to sort out what's going on. Anyone who enjoys thinking for themselves and having to draw their own conclusions will really enjoy this. Expand
  91. Aug 10, 2013
    8
    I have to agree that this is not a game, and I was frustrated at first because I was expecting something more along the lines of a horror adventure game. When I started playing I was waiting for something to happen, but nothing ever did, the main character kept telling the story, it was until halfway through the second chapter that I realized that I was not playing a game. I wasI have to agree that this is not a game, and I was frustrated at first because I was expecting something more along the lines of a horror adventure game. When I started playing I was waiting for something to happen, but nothing ever did, the main character kept telling the story, it was until halfway through the second chapter that I realized that I was not playing a game. I was experiencing a retold tale, everything was symbolic in some way to the story your character was telling. At first I was gonna quit, but the graphics, were stunningly beautiful and the story was intriguing. I kept traveling through, taking plenty of screen shots, it was pretty incredible. Unfortunately there is not much replay value in this game, I was not surprised though on most of the reviews found here, I can see where people would be frustrated, as I was discovering I paid for something that should free or next to free. Expand
  92. Aug 21, 2013
    9
    While Dear Esther may not be a game in the traditional sense, It sure is an amazing interactive experience. A well-told story, slowly expanding within you while you wander through the absolutely gorgeous landscape. I always enjoyed the atmosphere in video games, and I'm one of those gamers that get silly just watching the sun, or a river if they're nicely designed, even during the break ofWhile Dear Esther may not be a game in the traditional sense, It sure is an amazing interactive experience. A well-told story, slowly expanding within you while you wander through the absolutely gorgeous landscape. I always enjoyed the atmosphere in video games, and I'm one of those gamers that get silly just watching the sun, or a river if they're nicely designed, even during the break of a frantic shoot-out in a good looking FPS. It just takes me there for a while, i get my "fix" of virtual reality, even if that's not that close to it anyway.

    Dear Esther took me there, it gave me my "fix" of virtual wandering about, it gave me the sun and sea gazing, it made me walk slowly but carefully, and almost smell the grass, or the still water inside the caves. It didn't last long enough though, that's my only negative remark about it I'd certainly buy and relive and extended version, or even more, a new production based on this formula anytime. Surely, it's not what you call a game, but it's entertaining, atmospheric and has an artistic value that can -and should- be appreciated
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  93. Aug 23, 2013
    7
    I am writing this review right after finishing Gone Home (once) and Dear Esther (three times) in a row.

    Where Gone Home is a grounded, no-possible-personal-interpretation story (check my review if you're interested), Dear Esther is the total opposite. Dear Esther is beautiful, eerie, haunting and thought provoking. It takes a more "Lynch-ian" approach of the interactive story genre.
    I am writing this review right after finishing Gone Home (once) and Dear Esther (three times) in a row.

    Where Gone Home is a grounded, no-possible-personal-interpretation story (check my review if you're interested), Dear Esther is the total opposite.

    Dear Esther is beautiful, eerie, haunting and thought provoking. It takes a more "Lynch-ian" approach of the interactive story genre. It stuns you with it's visuals, and bashes your skull with a hammer when you reach the end and start to put the puzzle pieces together.

    However... This is clearly not a game for everyone. Dear Esther is the kind of experience that an average gamer would enjoy only when in the right mood.

    It is extremely hard to give a score to a "game" like that. I gave it a 7/10... I think it's pretty generous, and at the same time, I really want to give it a 10/10, because everything in this game is mesmerizing and the island itself will make you feel like you are truly witnessing something special and magical.

    If you are looking for something different, slower paced, open to interpretation, fresh, and far from the AAA crowd, this is definitely a game for you.

    As for me, I know that Dear Esther's unique story and visuals will stay engraved in my memory for a long time.
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  94. Sep 2, 2013
    3
    Dear Esther,

    Your game sucks. You basically just walk through an (admittedly mostly beautiful) environment with no interactivity while you listen to little bits of a mediocre story. You'd expect the island to hold clues, but really just has some nonsense. I sort of knew the premise and was still very disappointed. $10 for this game/experience is very frustrating for a consumer. It
    Dear Esther,

    Your game sucks.

    You basically just walk through an (admittedly mostly beautiful) environment with no interactivity while you listen to little bits of a mediocre story. You'd expect the island to hold clues, but really just has some nonsense. I sort of knew the premise and was still very disappointed. $10 for this game/experience is very frustrating for a consumer. It would also be different if there were multiple pathways or something, but it is completely linear destroying all possibilities of any replay value. I would advise to stay away unless it becomes on sale for only a few bucks.
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  95. Sep 12, 2013
    4
    It's difficult to review a game like this because I don't know what it's trying to accomplish. If it wanted to tell a story, it should have been a small book if it wanted to have beautiful graphics, it should have had beautiful graphics if it wanted to be a game, it would have had mechanics other than walking. The combination of the 3 doesn't seem to help, and yet I still have absolutelyIt's difficult to review a game like this because I don't know what it's trying to accomplish. If it wanted to tell a story, it should have been a small book if it wanted to have beautiful graphics, it should have had beautiful graphics if it wanted to be a game, it would have had mechanics other than walking. The combination of the 3 doesn't seem to help, and yet I still have absolutely no idea what to think of this. The idea of an interactive story is flawed an here's why. You can't 'read back' like you can in a traditional book, and even movies provide the option to rewind; here, if you lose your focus, you lose a chunk of the narrative and have no way of getting it back without replaying the level. This is a sort of thing that should allow you to walk back in time in case you missed something. Second, it relies on the player to progress the narrative. Instead of having gameplay to soothe a regular game's gap between story elements, this game has nothing but walking; there is nothing there to pass the time from A to B.

    I get that it's not supposed to be a 'game' in the traditional sense, but it leaves itself open to criticism when it does the ONE thing it's supposed to do in a sub-par manner. At the end of the day, I'm left with the sour taste in my mouth of an uninteresting story with a guy who's trying too hard to be British narrating it (I don't care if he's actually British or not). With nothing to pass the time from A to B but poor geometry and low-res textures, the game ceases to be interesting in the slightest. People are acclaiming it like it's the holy-grail of new ideas when it isn't, and I just don't see the point in Dear Esther, I'm sorry.
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  96. Sep 19, 2013
    1
    This so called game has absolutely no game play elements in it whatsoever. No interaction with the enthronement, not even a run key. The environmental eye candy is nice to look at but you're forced to trudge along at a snails pace while random clips of audio that may or may not have anything to do with what you're looking at play. If you want to recreate the experience for free go for aThis so called game has absolutely no game play elements in it whatsoever. No interaction with the enthronement, not even a run key. The environmental eye candy is nice to look at but you're forced to trudge along at a snails pace while random clips of audio that may or may not have anything to do with what you're looking at play. If you want to recreate the experience for free go for a walk in the woods and talk to yourself. Expand
  97. Sep 23, 2013
    2
    No plot, it was a sort of explore, but to me graphics are only good if it feels like I caused them. This is like looking at a high quality art piece. It might speak to you, but for the vast majority of the time, you are just wondering, "what is my role in this".
  98. Oct 17, 2013
    1
    Most boring game i ever played. I never did anything in game just hold W there was nothing to do in there nothing interactive i liked Heavy rain and Beyond two souls, but i hated this game because its nothing, but environments and holding W button that's really sad
  99. Oct 17, 2013
    6
    All I can say is this is a very interesting game. It requires a lot of existential thought. Though I can hardly call it a game. It is simply an interactive story. There is really no challenges in the game. Simply walk and look.
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. 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.
  2. 50
    To call this piece "a game" and rate it as an ordinary game is not fair. You can find many flaws in the game's mechanics but if you just follow the story your experience will be unforgettable. [Apr 2012]
  3. Mar 13, 2012
    55
    Thechineseroom studio managed to create something surprising and original, but Dear Esther is something you experience rather than play. [April 2012, p.79]