Dear Esther PC

User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 677 Ratings

User score distribution:

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Jan 6, 2017
    8
    Az első úgynevezett sétáló szimulátor, de akkoriban olyan különleges élményt nyújtott, hogy ezt neveztük a művészi játéknak. Egyáltalán nem kifogásoltam, hogy csak menni kellett, ugyanúgy minthogy az sem érdekel, hogy a Telltale játékoknál sem sok mindent lehet csinálni.
  2. Oct 2, 2016
    10
    Yes, in this game you will only have the controls of walking. However, it is much more about the experience. Controls should not dictate whether a game has an amazing story or not. Dear Esther's poetic story had me in tears by the end, because it gave me a better story than any other game has ever produced for me, ever. I played Everybody's Gone to The Rapture, Gone Home, and you can evenYes, in this game you will only have the controls of walking. However, it is much more about the experience. Controls should not dictate whether a game has an amazing story or not. Dear Esther's poetic story had me in tears by the end, because it gave me a better story than any other game has ever produced for me, ever. I played Everybody's Gone to The Rapture, Gone Home, and you can even include more popular AAA games like The Last of Us, the Half-Life series, whatever you want to name: no game has produced the emotions this game did. And it's not all very clear, a lot of that emotion isn't necessarily about the game, but it's also just thinking about your life, and the people around you.

    So yes, the input you have is where to walk. But the power you have is to look, see, hear, and experience what you do in this game. If you want something concise but powerful, only a few movies carry the emotional impact of Dear Esther.
    Expand
  3. Sep 20, 2016
    8
    Dear Esther
    A chilling Mystery
    Dear Esther is a walking simulator, or what I prefer to call a first person exploration game You play as. I’m not even sure... But its someone walking around a beautiful island that strangely feels so real… The sounds, the wind… The environment of Dear Esther is near perfect and so easily draws you in… As you explore the world you’ll Hear a narrator
    Dear Esther
    A chilling Mystery
    Dear Esther is a walking simulator, or what I prefer to call a first person exploration game
    You play as. I’m not even sure...
    But its someone walking around a beautiful island that strangely feels so real…
    The sounds, the wind…
    The environment of Dear Esther is near perfect and so easily draws you in…
    As you explore the world you’ll Hear a narrator talking To Esther…
    There’s speculation of who Esther is, who this Narrator is and all of this is up for you to decide.. To draw your own conclusions of…
    And to prevent spoilers I will leave my speculation out of this review, as speculation I believe is where the most enjoyment of this experience is at…
    There are no puzzles here, hardly any hazards other than drowning or falling…
    you’re simply placed into a world to explore and feel…
    My only complaint of this experience is that the environment is not fully interactive…
    You’ll hear footsteps on the ground as you walk, but when you walk in water its feels like you are floating on top of it.. there is no sound which is all too noticeable and broke the immersion for me multiple times…
    I’m not sure how this was overlooked… but it definitely hurts the overall experience…
    Dear Esther is an enjoyable 1 and a half hours, you can even replay with directors commentary or fresh to see if you’ve noticed any subtle changes, which I definitely did as the game was designed to be slightly different each time you play…
    Will Dear Esther blow you away with its story, design, and visuals?
    Probably not. But if you’re a fan of mystery, or just want a calming environment to visit you owe it to yourself to pick this one up…
    I give Dear Esther an
    8.0/10
    Expand
  4. Aug 6, 2016
    8
    It is not a game. It is the middle between a novel and a 3D tech demo. But it delivers a beautiful audio visual experience. It is thanks to the beautiful environment that it is worth it. If the enivonment wouldnt have been as stunning as here, a simple walk through a virtual world wouldnt be worth it. It succeeds because of one of the most beautiful virtual environments ever created .It is not a game. It is the middle between a novel and a 3D tech demo. But it delivers a beautiful audio visual experience. It is thanks to the beautiful environment that it is worth it. If the enivonment wouldnt have been as stunning as here, a simple walk through a virtual world wouldnt be worth it. It succeeds because of one of the most beautiful virtual environments ever created . Altough the story is somewhat short. I think it is just 90 minutes or so. But the price tag is also pretty low with 10 euros. Therefore I consider time and price still in balance. I reward it with a 7.5. Expand
  5. Mar 31, 2016
    6
    Мир, картинка, повествование - отлично.. Но Текст.. Это что-то.
    Незавершенные действия в прошлом (делал, думал), воображаемое будущее, аналогии (мир как яблоко) и аллегории для меня это просто вода, а не текст.
    Только одно запомнилось - сделал бумажные кораблики. И показывают эти кораблики. Тут и смыл и идея, и что-то реальное. Был хороший текст, отличная б история получилась бы, а так
    Мир, картинка, повествование - отлично.. Но Текст.. Это что-то.
    Незавершенные действия в прошлом (делал, думал), воображаемое будущее, аналогии (мир как яблоко) и аллегории для меня это просто вода, а не текст.
    Только одно запомнилось - сделал бумажные кораблики. И показывают эти кораблики. Тут и смыл и идея, и что-то реальное.
    Был хороший текст, отличная б история получилась бы, а так увы.
    Expand
  6. sft
    Mar 13, 2016
    7
    Windswept, wistful wanderings

    Enough has been said already in the debate as to whether or not DEAR ESTHER is a game, and for the sake of this review I shall refer to it simply as an experience. What it is, in effect, is a short story set against a 3D visual backdrop. And it is short – a play-through should last 60–90 minutes. (Whether it represents value for money or not will depend on
    Windswept, wistful wanderings

    Enough has been said already in the debate as to whether or not DEAR ESTHER is a game, and for the sake of this review I shall refer to it simply as an experience. What it is, in effect, is a short story set against a 3D visual backdrop. And it is short – a play-through should last 60–90 minutes. (Whether it represents value for money or not will depend on your response to the experience and whether or not you feel inclined to play it more than once.) So what’s good about it? Well, it’s a remarkable showcase for the humble Source Engine. The Chinese Room have squeezed Valve’s software hard to produce a starkly beautiful environment. The Hebridean island which serves as backdrop to the story is the strongest character in the experience, and it’s the haunting atmosphere created by this landscape that drives the emotional content of the experience. So what’s not so good about it? Well frankly the writing is poor. The monologue, although delivered with skill by the voice actor, is self-consciously florid. At times the prose is so excruciatingly purple as to lesson the emotional impact. In the hands of a more restrained writer Dear Esther could have been even more engaging. It’s still moving, and memorable, but this partial success is achieved almost entirely through the visual content. Despite this, however, I recommend Dear Esther, if only because it’s a fine example of how diverse the medium can be.
    Expand
  7. Feb 14, 2016
    7
    It certainly lives up to its reputation of being a walking simulator that is short but memorable. This game reminds me of those times when I just walked and kept on thinking about things and the could-have-beens in life. It's certainly not for everyone, especially if all you want is action, but for those who enjoy quiet time and plain enjoying the sights, you might find this one interesting.
  8. Dec 10, 2015
    5
    -snip-
    ...............................................................................................................................................
  9. Oct 27, 2015
    10
    Dear Esther is a living metaphor. A man lost within his own world, represented as an abandoned island. As he walks, he studies the traces of his own past, in search for hope. All you do in this game is walking and listening to the narrator. But if you let yourself be taken by the narrative, the experience can be amazing. This game is really special to me, because it helped me think aboutDear Esther is a living metaphor. A man lost within his own world, represented as an abandoned island. As he walks, he studies the traces of his own past, in search for hope. All you do in this game is walking and listening to the narrator. But if you let yourself be taken by the narrative, the experience can be amazing. This game is really special to me, because it helped me think about my own situation of loss and confusion. Thank you for this wonderful game. Expand
  10. Oct 27, 2015
    7
    Una novela y aventura gráfica, todo en uno. Yo lo tengo gracias a un sorteo, he de decir que el precio es excesivo para lo que es el juego, pero si lo puedes conseguir, es una aunténtica maravilla.
  11. Oct 9, 2015
    1
    It's not a game. If anything, it's just an interactive story, in which the story is boring and unintelligible for non native english speakers. I mean, if you want to narrate a story with such advanced english, why don't provide subtitles in various languages? Apparently, the developers thought that their country is the center of the world.

    The atmosphere of the game is cinematic and
    It's not a game. If anything, it's just an interactive story, in which the story is boring and unintelligible for non native english speakers. I mean, if you want to narrate a story with such advanced english, why don't provide subtitles in various languages? Apparently, the developers thought that their country is the center of the world.

    The atmosphere of the game is cinematic and unreal, with violins and piano providing a tedious, pompous soundtrack. Not much else to say since there's basically nothing else. You can't even jump or take the objects you find in your path.
    Expand
  12. Aug 13, 2015
    4
    This little minimalistic piece of art is good for what it is, but is WAY overrated. It's the equivalent (somewhat) of a blank painting being called art. It is too pretentious. I appreciated the details and the Lynch-esque "trying-to-figure-out-what-is-happenning", but the balance is not correct. Too little info. The very few places you will visit along with the shortage in... actualThis little minimalistic piece of art is good for what it is, but is WAY overrated. It's the equivalent (somewhat) of a blank painting being called art. It is too pretentious. I appreciated the details and the Lynch-esque "trying-to-figure-out-what-is-happenning", but the balance is not correct. Too little info. The very few places you will visit along with the shortage in... actual content does not let me appreciate this. Music is great as is the voice over from the narrator. This is not the same kind of simplicity as Journey and definitely does not have the same immersion level. The walking speed and non-interacting will definitely detract from the overall experience.

    I only played it so I can compare it to their latest game, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture.
    Expand
  13. May 7, 2015
    9
    This game gets a 9 for what it is, which is basically an atmospheric tour across an island trying to piece together a subtle and ambigious story.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this, and comes under the type of game that would leave you questioning what exactly happened throughout while you explore its absolutely beautiful landscape based on the Herbian Islands off Scotland, hence why it is
    This game gets a 9 for what it is, which is basically an atmospheric tour across an island trying to piece together a subtle and ambigious story.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this, and comes under the type of game that would leave you questioning what exactly happened throughout while you explore its absolutely beautiful landscape based on the Herbian Islands off Scotland, hence why it is ambigous, it is well worth a look at around £4/5 or $6/7 and will leave you wondering what really happened by the end.
    Expand
  14. Feb 1, 2015
    7
    Whether Dear Esther is a game or not is irrelevant, however the experience I derived from it is difficult to evaluate. I didn't regret the purchase, but I'm reluctant to call the 'game' enjoyable. If anything, it felt more like a spiritual journey in a sense; a journey that sometimes overextended itself in the more bland and empty sections of the game. This is primarily due to the lack ofWhether Dear Esther is a game or not is irrelevant, however the experience I derived from it is difficult to evaluate. I didn't regret the purchase, but I'm reluctant to call the 'game' enjoyable. If anything, it felt more like a spiritual journey in a sense; a journey that sometimes overextended itself in the more bland and empty sections of the game. This is primarily due to the lack of gameplay mechanics, so Dear Esther must rely heavily on the following three things - story, visuals and sound.

    Of those three, the visuals and sound are of great quality, imbuing a satisfying sense of tranquility, which sometimes shifted to a more haunting tone. The caves section in particular demonstrated excellent use of colour and was probably the only chapter in which I was fully engaged due to the constant change in the rock formations and scenery. Unfortunately, pretty rocks and water can only get you so far. It's ultimately up to the game's narrative that determines whether Dear Esther offers something more meaningful, and while it did, the delivery had more than a few flaws.

    Dear Esther's story relies heavily on the player's ability to interpret symbols and metaphors. It's like high school English class all over again, like analyzing a text but in digital form. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but the dialogue is in my opinion far too convoluted and too full of purple prose for this interpretation to be done in an accessible manner. The fact that dialogue is randomly generated in this game also means that the player's interpretation is incomplete, they're not getting the full picture regardless of whether they explore the map or not. I think it's also unrealistic for a player to fully analyze and understand a paragraph of text that is read out with no more than 20 seconds of screen time and then never to be seen or heard of again, especially with the kind of writing that's presented in this game.

    Most players will end up floundering in confusion, and I suspect that for most of those who've played Dear Esther, the main reason they understood the story is because they read a wikipedia entry on the plot after they finished the game. That's what I did too, and when I consulted other wikis and read other people's interpretations, it was only then that things started to really make sense. Upon playing the game again, it was only then that I understood the various obscure references that formed the story. There's power in simplicity, and I feel that the Chinese Room made their writing too complex for the sake of sounding poetic. In the end, it becomes something that detracts from a potentially unique and unforgettable experience.

    Overall rating: 6.9/10
    Expand
  15. Jan 27, 2015
    7
    To call Dear Esther a game is pretty misleading. There is essentially no gameplay- no puzzles, interaction, fighting, etc. All you do is walk. It is also over in about 2 hours if you look at everything. So it fails as a game. A better classification for this would simply be to call it an art piece. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous, and the music and sound effects compliment theTo call Dear Esther a game is pretty misleading. There is essentially no gameplay- no puzzles, interaction, fighting, etc. All you do is walk. It is also over in about 2 hours if you look at everything. So it fails as a game. A better classification for this would simply be to call it an art piece. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous, and the music and sound effects compliment the melancholy nature of the visuals. If viewed purely as an art piece, as I think it should, Dear Esther is totally worth it. But if you want game play, look elsewhere. Expand
  16. Jan 17, 2015
    6
    It's hard to judge this as a game, as technically it isn't. It is, as IGN puts it; "a piece of interactive visual storytelling". This is due to it's lack of goals, weapons, puzzles, or basically anything you would see in a traditional game.

    Expect a "game", and you'll come out confused. But let's judge it based on what it actually aims to do... This tells the story of a shipwrecked
    It's hard to judge this as a game, as technically it isn't. It is, as IGN puts it; "a piece of interactive visual storytelling". This is due to it's lack of goals, weapons, puzzles, or basically anything you would see in a traditional game.

    Expect a "game", and you'll come out confused. But let's judge it based on what it actually aims to do...

    This tells the story of a shipwrecked castaway on an island. As you walk around, from scenic view to scenic view, the protagonist will speak in delicate yet disjointed prose. What first starts out as analogies drawn from the current landscape you're in, he will slowly reveal who this Esther is, while becoming more and more passionate in his outbursts.

    You'll walk along beaches, through luminous underground caves, and along jutting cliffs, which are all beautiful. I had to stop several times, just to take screenshots. I was basically a tourist.

    Even though there is no interactivity, after completing the game in two hours, I was quite emotionally moved. Without giving away any spoilers, the revelations in the dialogue which lead upto the powerful conclusion left me contemplating it for many days after.

    As an experience: 8/10
    As a game: 4/10
    Expand
  17. Jan 14, 2015
    3
    The "game" is literally 30-40mins long, but because your character has a "forced slow walk" (no run, jump or crouch at all) it pads that out to 60-90mins. Short narration based games aren't bad in themselves, but REALLY SHORT sub-1 hour story-driven games are actually too short to build any sense of empathy or rapport with the main character you're supposed to be "playing". It's over soThe "game" is literally 30-40mins long, but because your character has a "forced slow walk" (no run, jump or crouch at all) it pads that out to 60-90mins. Short narration based games aren't bad in themselves, but REALLY SHORT sub-1 hour story-driven games are actually too short to build any sense of empathy or rapport with the main character you're supposed to be "playing". It's over so quickly any intended tragedy based emotional response is watered down into mildly-disinterest.

    It's also buggy. You get stuck behind 6 inch rocks, and you instantly drown if your head dips below the water in some points even for 0.5 seconds. I actually managed to accidentally break the game within the first 10 seconds by jumping down on the rocks to explore them with the not unreasonable expectation of a grown adult being able to climb back over a 12" rock, and ended up well and truly stuck there forcing a restart. The second time I drowned 10ft away from the shore...

    A quick glance at other reviewers with gushing 10/10 scores reveals half have given 10/10 to every game they've reviewed (which for many is only this one), whilst the other half seem to be the "pretentious snob" crowd that "nouveau art forms" seem to attract with comments like "Ignore the low ratings as they are not the intended audience. This is a work for adults." and "I guess this game is not for everyone, just the intelligent" (which certainly speaks volumes as to who they perceive the "intended audience" to be (ie, the "fake talent with people issues" crowd apparently)...

    Overall : 3 (+1 for effort and +1 each for GFX/sound but nothing else for having literally no game-play or game length). Given there's literally almost no interactivity, I get the feeling the writers simply chose the wrong format for the story and it would have been better off as a 2-3hr short novel / movie / non serialized TV drama rather than a 30-60min fake game.
    Expand
  18. Dec 25, 2014
    0
    This whole game could have been included in a larger trailer. It is no more than one long cut-scene, and the developers and players bluntly lie to you - it is NOT INTERACTIVE. It is NOT AN INDIE ADVENTURE GAME.

    It's an okayish mind-teaser, but it is even below low-quality visual novels and doesn't deserve being paid for. As a free mod or video, this would be nice.
  19. Dec 25, 2014
    0
    tl;dr: Interesting and provoking thoughts, but NOT a game, NOT worth money.

    Dear Esther is an artistic work, I cannot deny that, but the creator lost all right for respect and credit when putting this up for sale. There are many modders out there who contribute much greater, albeit different, efforts for free. Whether intentional or not, putting it up here on steam was awfully
    tl;dr: Interesting and provoking thoughts, but NOT a game, NOT worth money.

    Dear Esther is an artistic work, I cannot deny that, but the creator lost all right for respect and credit when putting this up for sale. There are many modders out there who contribute much greater, albeit different, efforts for free. Whether intentional or not, putting it up here on steam was awfully misleading and tricked many into buying it, believing it is an actual adventure game. At least everyone I know who bought the game, including myself, sprung that trap.

    It is an insult to all modders out there that this "game" is being sold. The developers of Dear Esther were thrown a lot of money that others deserve more.
    Expand
  20. Dec 10, 2014
    7
    Dear Esther is an interesting experience, although I'm hesitant to say it was good.The writing is obnoxious and sometimes cryptic, and it just comes off as pretentious. The story behind it is actually fairly good, however. The best part of this game for me was the gorgeous environments. The caves in particular were stunning. That being said, they basically have to be to balance out theDear Esther is an interesting experience, although I'm hesitant to say it was good.The writing is obnoxious and sometimes cryptic, and it just comes off as pretentious. The story behind it is actually fairly good, however. The best part of this game for me was the gorgeous environments. The caves in particular were stunning. That being said, they basically have to be to balance out the actual amount of time it takes to beat, which is about an hour. Overall this game was interesting, and it was worth the $2 I spent on it. $10 is just insane for this game. I would recommend this to anyone who likes art for its own sake, because that's really all I can consider this game to be. Just make sure you get it on sale. Expand
  21. Nov 13, 2014
    4
    The game wants you to explore but there isn't anything to explore. You walk to slow. The game looks boring and unimpressive, maybe aside from the caves.
    The narration is the mayor element of the game. How can the game function if the narration is obnoxious.
    Pretentious is also a fitting word. Even calling it a game is too much. Marketeers would call it an experience, but there is
    The game wants you to explore but there isn't anything to explore. You walk to slow. The game looks boring and unimpressive, maybe aside from the caves.
    The narration is the mayor element of the game. How can the game function if the narration is obnoxious.
    Pretentious is also a fitting word. Even calling it a game is too much.
    Marketeers would call it an experience, but there is nothing to experience.
    Expand
  22. Oct 24, 2014
    7
    Provided that you are willing to be flexible about the definition of a game, this is an experience which I recommend to anyone who enjoys anything thought provoking. There are certain aspects of the story which are clearly laid out, but the vast majority of the narrative can be vague, relying heavily on the interpretation of the individual. Initially I hadn't realised that the snippets ofProvided that you are willing to be flexible about the definition of a game, this is an experience which I recommend to anyone who enjoys anything thought provoking. There are certain aspects of the story which are clearly laid out, but the vast majority of the narrative can be vague, relying heavily on the interpretation of the individual. Initially I hadn't realised that the snippets of narrative are actually randomised, so the game can be played through multiple times with different results. If you have a lot of experience in role-playing games, you might be used to checking the corner of every room and going down every path - on the off-chance that there's something special there. I recommend that you don't do that in Dear Esther. I went down every little path, explored the corners of every room and I am none the wiser. Apart from a few scribbles on walls here and there, don't expect to find some Easter Egg or a special note. Expand
  23. Sep 30, 2014
    4
    Dear Esther is a beautiful game. Some points were so incredibly gorgeous - you have to see it for yourself to know what I mean.

    However, that is sadly the only thing this game has to offer. Dear Esther has somekind of story, but I find it almost impossible to focus on it as I am walking, and I am not going to stop every time the narrator says something. I've never been good with
    Dear Esther is a beautiful game. Some points were so incredibly gorgeous - you have to see it for yourself to know what I mean.

    However, that is sadly the only thing this game has to offer. Dear Esther has somekind of story, but I find it almost impossible to focus on it as I am walking, and I am not going to stop every time the narrator says something. I've never been good with audiobooks, though, so take this with a grain of salt.

    Dear Esther is boring. You are just slowly walking on the island, thinking "shall I approach that house over there and waste my time or shall I continue walking in that direction?" At one point I even got stuck and didn't know where to go. The ending - seeing as I didn't understand the story - was weird and vague. Beautiful, I guess, but that's only worth so much.

    The game has a few cool easter eggs, apparently. A lot of love went into it, so it's too bad it didn't have anything to offer. Once I finished it, I had no intention to ever get back to it. I was happy when it was over as well. I didn't regret playing it, though; it's an interesting experience regardless, but there are better ways to spend your time.
    Expand
  24. 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.
    Expand
  25. Aug 8, 2014
    8
    Dear Esther is the kind of video game which is cursed, doomed to be criticized. The reason is gameplay for you only do three things: walk, listen and watch. Formula like this can encourage a fair number of people to confer a title of Walking Simulator - 2012 on this new adventure game from the British developer The Chinese Room, who previously worked on the atmospheric Half-Life 2 modDear Esther is the kind of video game which is cursed, doomed to be criticized. The reason is gameplay for you only do three things: walk, listen and watch. Formula like this can encourage a fair number of people to confer a title of Walking Simulator - 2012 on this new adventure game from the British developer The Chinese Room, who previously worked on the atmospheric Half-Life 2 mod Korsakovia. But on this point gamers should ask themselves a question: do they need another FPS on the rather flooded modern VG-market or are they open for innovative ideas and blending of various kinds of art?
    WASD and a mouse are required to experience this title. Considering this fact, if Dear Esther was the first video game ever made by man, the industry would have been slightly different... However, alternate history theories aside, DE is to be considered as an unusual experiment, which strays from traditional principles of electronic entertainment. Gameplay is stripped of some widespread features: interactive objects, logs and puzzles. It takes away the fun in a traditional sense of the word. Though it may be all of this have been sacrificed for the sake of storytelling and getting more engaging and emotion-focused experience.
    Dear Esther looks and sounds gorgeous. It is not about photo-realistic visuals but about game of light and dark, colors and shapes. The island you explore is alive: grass sways, water flows, caves breathe and glimmer. The result: one of the most impressive landscapes in gaming. The Chinese Room's game is in one league with Dead Space and Skyrim in this category. Sound design is faithfully backing it all up. Here everything - from chilly wind to distant ship horns - sounds so naturally yet somehow not ordinary, unusual. Combined with serene, at times dreadful music it makes a huge impact, immersing one into the atmosphere.
    The storyline is another strong point of the game. Presented in a form of an audio messages, it tells about the man who lives (lived?) on the island as a hermit. He wrote a letter to Esther, supposedly his wife, and messages you hear exploring the island are clippings from this writing. They appear when you reach certain spots of the location. This feature adds some replay value as one can discover new pieces of the story should he visit places he missed in the next play-through. The narrator is brilliant and reminds of the great Richard Burton, who lent his voice for Jeff Wayne's 1978 epic rock opera War of the Worlds. The story raises some major existential questions, leaves room for interpretation, and overall feels like it has been inspired by H.P. Lovecraft works.
    Giving the game credit where credit's due, it is more than just a bold experiment. Dear Esther is an indie title which shows that gaming has grown up and is not just about mashing buttons and shooting galleries anymore. It offers no challenge but challenges your mind. It doesn't pull of any tricks but broadens the boundaries of PC gaming instead, thereby bringing rage upon itself. If your slogan is "No gameplay, no game", there is nothing for you here and there'll never be.
    Expand
  26. Jun 10, 2014
    7
    Otra historia interactiva que no es un videojuego, pero es una experiencia narrativa significativa e interesante. Si te interesa la narratología es una pieza necesaria, en caso contrario puede defraudarte.
  27. Jun 2, 2014
    7
    Dear Esther? it is an interesting one and very unique, however it's not a game, but, in all fairness, it's not supposed to be and this is surprisingly not a bad thing.

    - Intuitive interactive storytelling. This is the first storytelling attempt in gaming and it does this quite well using a large ad expansive map to explore that is loosely associated to the actual story which is
    Dear Esther? it is an interesting one and very unique, however it's not a game, but, in all fairness, it's not supposed to be and this is surprisingly not a bad thing.

    - Intuitive interactive storytelling.
    This is the first storytelling attempt in gaming and it does this quite well using a large ad expansive map to explore that is loosely associated to the actual story which is narrated as you discover new areas and progress through the dark and gloomy island. One thing I noticed with this 'game' was that you genuinely do feel alone and weirdly cold too thanks to the clever atmosphere. Despite this, I sometimes kept questioning what was actually going on as it never really uncovers who Esther is, even though she is the main character (sort of). Similarly, there is no clue to who you control throughout the game and it is never clear if it is supposed to be the narrator or simply just yourself and this makes it feel confusing.

    - Surprisingly impressive graphics (for an unproven development team)
    The grey, gloomy skies combined with the large sprawling meadows and sharp chalky cliffs make the game feel calm but slightly threatening which I think really suits the games story type.

    - Not much replayablity
    The fact that the story is dead and buried before a dramatic cut scene or shocking reveal kind of contradicts the point of a story and leaves the player/reader/listener to feel underwhelmed and slightly disappointed.

    Graphics: 7.5/10
    The graphics themselves are great but they don't really suit the story line and causes confusion.

    Creativity: 10/10
    A completely new outlook to interactive storytelling, it is the first of its kind and has secured a foothold for possible future games.

    New User Friendly: 10/10
    Very simple controls and very simple navigation. However this is being rather kind as this also one of the main reasons for the game being unremarkable.

    Replayability: 4/10
    Its like a book, you already know the storyline and plot ad you have to do some waiting before you can play it again in order to forget the story.

    Overall score: 7/10
    Expand
  28. Jun 1, 2014
    10
    Beautiful piece of work.
    Not a game, it's a interactive journey with a slight sad sad mood.
    If you love the sweet calling of nature, with it's beauty, this will please your heart.
    I'm looking forward to see more spiritual games, like this.
  29. May 28, 2014
    3
    irst things first - THIS IS NOT A VIDEO GAME.
    This is something you may call an "experience". If you you can call an 'experience' holding "W" for an hour and moving around your mouse a bit while listening to some incoherent pretentious semi-random narration.
    The critics were delighted - 'a game not bound by rules of genres' they said. 'Beautiful narration' they said. If I did not have
    irst things first - THIS IS NOT A VIDEO GAME.
    This is something you may call an "experience". If you you can call an 'experience' holding "W" for an hour and moving around your mouse a bit while listening to some incoherent pretentious semi-random narration.

    The critics were delighted - 'a game not bound by rules of genres' they said. 'Beautiful narration' they said. If I did not have to pay for it I would be delighted too, unfortunately none of the reviewers or the game website showed us truth about this product. The hour of holding "w" is not worth 7 euros I paid.

    There is no story in this experience- and the narration is not a true narration - it is a bunch of pretentious aphorisms.
    There is no interactivity in this experience - there is no true "exploration" - you do not explore the island, you go almost a straight path without any real clues.
    However, there are stunning visuals in this experience - to be able to get such beauty from the an old video-game engine is surprising. It is a shame that it was wasted on such pretentious piece of an experience.

    You may say that I am just not getting it - maybe you will be right. But fans of this experience called people not liking it too low-brow to get it. Perhaps

    I would love to really explore the island (Miasmata style, be able to interact with objects even if just to watch them more closely or just move them about. I would love more story than some random sentences recited in the background
    Expand
  30. May 21, 2014
    9
    Dear Esther is one of the most beautifully atmospheric experiences you may ever play. Due to its lack of game mechanics, you are free to walk through a desolated island, discovering an epistolary, non-linear story.

    Although it may sound absurd for a gamer, Dear Esther is not about objects to grab, paths to jump, characters to interact with or puzzles to explictly solve. From the
    Dear Esther is one of the most beautifully atmospheric experiences you may ever play. Due to its lack of game mechanics, you are free to walk through a desolated island, discovering an epistolary, non-linear story.

    Although it may sound absurd for a gamer, Dear Esther is not about objects to grab, paths to jump, characters to interact with or puzzles to explictly solve.

    From the small details that build the landscapes to the nostalgic soundtrack and impressive sounds ambience of solitude, I garantee you hours of tranquil and peaceful wandering.

    More than a game, it's some kind of an interactive cinematic and very personal experience to dive into.
    Expand
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. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Apr 25, 2012
    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. CD-Action
    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]