User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 141 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 141
  2. Negative: 48 out of 141

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  1. Feb 4, 2013
    It looks like the people posting the terrible reviews didn't manage to figure out how to progress in the game. That is not the game's fault, but the user's fault, and in my eyes is the equivalent of someone calling a book terrible, because they can't figure out how to open the cover and get to the pages.

    If you require your hand constantly held through your games, and big flashing
    arrows pointing which way to go and what to do next, this game isn't for you. If you like an atmospheric, charming, exploration game that will provide you with an amazing experience, give it a try! I found it a very satisfying and relaxing experience, and on my second play through noticed things I hadn't previously, and was greeted with a new landscape to explore.

    I highly recommend this "relax-em up" (not sure what else to call it!) to anyone who wants a new experience and wants to get lost in an interesting world.
  2. Jan 30, 2013
    First off; Proteus is a fine game. It has no enemies, no save points, no skills, no weapons, no levels, and no way to die. What it DOES have is a fantastic environment that, even though pixelated, is quite beautiful, A dynamic soundtrack which changes depending on what you are interacting with at the time, and a sense of wonderment, mystery, and exploration. If you are looking for a violent shoot 'em up or a viscous hack n' slash, this game is not for you. If you are looking for a dynamic, ever-changing environment where you can go to explore, chase frogs, and relax, this is a must have. To me Proteus isn't so much a game as it is my happy place. Expand
  3. Feb 4, 2013
    I've got to go low on this one. This is not a game. This is an interactive screensaver. Let me repeat: This is not a game. Worst $10 spent. I'd rather get mugged. At least then it's an actual experience.
  4. Feb 3, 2013
    Hmm. I dont know if I did not understand this game. Or if it is just not my style. But I consider it waste of my time. After one hour inside I did not find single way how to interact with the world (I dont count chasing the "frogs"). THe graphics has nice style, but there is a little variety to enjoy it for more than few minutes. And music well it somehow reacts to the enviromnent. But not much. It is just an ambient noise. Not some interesting piece. So all put together, it was not worth the money or the time it took to realise I was ripped off by simple tech demo. Expand
  5. Feb 7, 2013
    Proteus isn't actually a video game, it isn't even an interactive movie. I'd hardly even call it an "experience" let alone the digital Nirvana people claim it is. Proteus takes the "player" to an island which is supposedly randomly generated and it features a lot of pixelated objects passing for natural objects and animals. The player walks around using the WASD keys (W, mostly) and looks around with the mouse the music changes according to where you are walking and what you are looking at. Although the music will speak to New-Age electronic fans the game play won't. Neither will the graphics. Animals scurrying away and solid objects blocking your path is about the extent of your interaction with the world. There is supposedly an end to the game and I believe that "progress" is made by chasing certain objects in the world. This game is simply put an over-priced art-house project that one would expect to find on as a sort of attachment to a game developer's résumé. The odd thing is the high praise the game receives. What is so beautiful and entralling about this imperfect game that can not be found in the real world? Is it a desire to be connected to a less stressful and more beautiful world than the one the player lives in? Makes you think. "One gives to one's art what one has not been capable of giving to one's own existence Expand
  6. May 22, 2013
    There is not much you can do in the game besides walking around. You need to follow some visual clues to advance. However after just one hour I had played it through and to be honest I do not really feel the urge to do so again. This game has therefore just not enough content to rectify even the low price of 5$. To be honest I even feel ripped off by that low price because it is not low enough for what you get. 1$ may would have been fine. Expand
  7. Feb 11, 2013
    I have nothing against art games, I've loved art games before. Proteus is like taking one pretty picture and looking at it from different angles for about two hours. Then the game stops. If it were 1$ it would be appropriately priced.
  8. Mar 6, 2013
    It's inaccurate to call Proteus a game it isn't. It's an interactive experience with no goals or objectives and that's fine it's simply about exploring it's beautifully realised retro world set to its soothing musical score. And for what it does, it does well. It's just that it doesn't do a hell of a lot. Had the developers included the ability to interact with the world beyond it's simple movement mechanics, I can't help but think it'd be a more delicious, meaty package. How about adding the ability to build and destroy the world ala Minecraft? Or what about sprinkling in a few secrets to reveal more about this pretty world? Or how about just letting me commit massive-horrible-frogicide on those irritating little things?

    I feel uncomfortable giving Proteus any kind of numerical score because for what it is, it's good, but it's a niche product that won't appeal to most, especially those looking for a “game.” So ignore the number the developers have done well realising what they have. I just think that with a few more mechanics and things to do it'd be a more interesting, meaty package.
  9. Mar 10, 2013
    Proteus is a really nice relaxing interactive-art-game-experience-thing. The warm, shifting colors fit perfectly to the soothing music, which alters depending on which element you pass. The sun rises, the sun sets, seasons go by until a year has passed. And you wander around, unwinding and enjoying the scenery and finding little eastereggs everywhere. Day and night have their own secrets, as do the seasons. Still the game does seem to be a bit short lived. The island is just not that big and after a couple of playthroughs (which mostly take around 40 minutes or so, depending on how long you choose to linger) you've seen all there is to see in this world. It would be wonderful to see this changed in either an update or a sequel. Bigger islands, more elements. That's basically it as far as I'm concerned. In the end I enjoyed Proteus, although maybe not for its full €10,- price. It left me with a taste for more; I might even acquire Journey, or replay PS3's Flower just because of this. Expand
  10. May 14, 2013
    First off let me say that my low score has nothing to do with the game not having any objectives. I knew what I was getting into when I bought it, and I was not looking for a "game". What the game does, it does well, but my gripe comes from the lack of options and the lack of content.

    The Good:
    This game has a pleasing art style, although at times it begs for a little more depth in the
    details. Still, it doesn't come off as ugly by any means. The sounds is great too and it is fun to chase around certain objects to see how they will react with the sounds they make. Everything has it's own melody, and some objects actually interact with the player although these seem to be limited.

    The Bad:
    This would be an amazing title to play when you just want to relax and listen to some ambient style music to get your sense of wonder going. The problem for me is that it is way too limited. Every time I start a new game I get a randomly generated island to explore, but the islands are relatively small and it's always the same stuff just in different locations. Within 10 minutes, I realized that I have pretty much seen everything there is to see in the game so the only reason to keep playing is for the sound and visual.

    How it could be improved:
    It is hard to complain too much about games that run ten dollars or cheaper, but even at the light price tag this one just leaves much to be desired. As I stated above, you can literally see everything this game has to offer within a matter of minutes. With a game that has no goals and no penalties, it should really have beefed up the exploration a bit more. The island should be a lot larger and take at least a half hour to go from one side of the shore to the other. Also it could really benefit from having some caves or underwater areas.

    Another problem is the game moves at a snail's pace. This is fine for the most part since you'll want to move slow and take in the scenery, but it would have been nice to have some sort of flight option available so you could get some different viewing angles.

    The game itself doesn't need change so much as it just needs more substance to give a reason to keep coming back. If you like ambient music and you enjoy exploration this title may be worth looking into, but I can't recommend paying full price for it. Anything over five dollars is just asking too much for the very small amount of content you get.
  11. Apr 26, 2013
    I'm giving it a 1-star review because Proteus is not a game. It's a somewhat interactive piece of art, yes, but it's not a game and no gamer should ever buy it. This piece of software could be displayed somewhere at an exhibition of modern art, but putting it up for sale, and to gamers, is nonsense. Maybe the devs should have tried selling it to some museum or TV channel to display it as a movie or whatever?
    Music is great btw, and the visuals are well, acceptable, i mean the colors are fine but e.g. the Sun is too crude and all this super-pixelation doesn't look nice or even cool. Yes, I got a short-lasted joy when running after a few critters and enjoyed the music, but as a gamer I don't see any entertainment here. For $10 one can get a used Diablo 1 CD and play for days and days.
  12. Feb 8, 2013
    Proteus is a game which invokes emotion, and creativity within us. You may be content with listening to the music at the start screen, or exploring an island of your own, which contains forest, snow-capped mountains, and beauty in every corner. As you explore, you might come upon some playful animals to chase through the woods, or a path leading to something new and amazing. The music of the game alters and changes as you go through different places, and as several events occur. If your eyes are feeling heavy, take a brief rest, and find yourself on an entirely different, enchanted isle. Proteus truly is an amazing thing. Expand
  13. Apr 26, 2013
    I was meaning to do a more pithy review, but lost my edge when I saw someone else already called Proteus an "interactive screensaver." I agree, and I do like a lot of "art games." Proteus, though, is extraordinarily slow-paced. It generally left me confused, which would be fine if it were going somewhere, but there didn't appear to be any ultimate "point" or there was, but well beyond the very short 20m I gave it. For example, a ring of fireflies formed at one point and made a large pillar appear, which must have released some type of invisible sleeping gas. It was probably the coolest moment of my experience, leaving me thinking "Mm. Okay."

    I did try to like the game, but I guess I'm not nearly patient enough, nor interested in a game which doesn't adequately present itself as more than a distraction. Ultimately, I found myself wishing there was no interactivity at all, and that the character would progress by himself while I ate a bowl of ramen noodles. And then I wondered why I don't just eat outside before realizing I had frustration to unload here (and it's 2am!).

    It did have soothing graphics (I think "beautiful" is an exaggeration it took me a while to figure out when I arrived at the side of a graveyard [and now I'm doubting my perception], partially because some of the tombstones were swaying). The music was soothing, too kind of reminded me of some of the early music in Rotohex. Proteus is very different, and bold in that originality, but I can't say it was refreshing. (But it is definitely thought-provoking reviews here are particularly polarized)
  14. Feb 25, 2013
    Proteus is very beautiful, and very original. That being said, I don't recommend spending money on it. I found that it had no replay value. The first time you play, it's quite magical, and relaxing, and I can understand the appeal, and I can see why this game has received good reviews. But the second play through was so much like the first, that I lost interest rather quickly. Yes, you get a different island to explore each time you start, but each island has the same things on it, just laid out differently. There are some cool things that happen, but it's the same cool things every time. If you're really keen to check it out, play your friend's copy. I can't recommend spending even the low price of 10 dollars on a game that only offers an hour or two of original gameplay. The "Interactive sound track" doesn't resemble music. It's more like noise, albeit noise that you have some control over. I could see Proteus being really enthralling for someone on psychedelics, but if that's not your cup of tea, you probably won't play it more than twice. Expand
  15. Apr 1, 2013
    There are those fancy "art" games, like Journey, or Knytt Stories. Then there are games that pretend to be "art," like The Path, or Proteus. These two games are somewhat similar in concept but no matter how much I despise The Path for pretending to be fancy art with deep meaning, it is still ways better than Proteus. At first sight Proteus seems to sport a nice retro pixelized look, but that is soon disrupted by all the low-polygonal stuff that just does not work with all the big pixelized sprites, most notably the terrain itself. Then there are the points of interest on the island only thing one can do is to check them out. There aren't many of those and (unlike those in The Path) none are really interesting in the first place. So you check the places out, then the night comes, circle of light appears, game shifts into next season. Things change color, and that's about it. You can go check out the places again, but there is no point really. Then again you won't have anything better to do in this "game" so you might as well do so. Then the night comes, next season, and yeah, why even bother. Go get some food from the fridge, take a piss, while games shifts to the next season again. Proteus is ugly, not interesting at all. At a few rare occasions the music is kinda nice, but most of the time its headache-inducing cacophony of bleeps. Mostly it does not feel like a game at all, even next to Dear Esther it does not feel like a game. Damn there is a game called 4 minutes and 33 seconds of Uniqueness (made by the Crayon Physics guy I think) and all you have to do there is to run the game for said time as the only person on Earth and it still felt more like a game than this one does. Expand
  16. May 29, 2013
    If you're thinking about buying this at full retail, I really wouldn't. I knew it would be an open ended title where you would just wonder around the place, but it became really boring really quickly because there was nothing to interact with, even something small would have been nice.
    Saying that, the music was soothing, and the landscapes were nice to look at.
    I certainly wouldn't have
    paid full price for this, and I'm glad I got it in the humble bundle, to me, it's just another pretentious indie art game, or maybe I'm just missing something. Expand
  17. Jan 31, 2013
    This is a really original exploration game. Just wander around and look at the (oddly beautiful) pixelated sights and listen to the absolutely fantastic music...the music is the main component of the game as everything you look at it and "interact" with will change the score and add sounds dynamically. It's very peaceful and really satisfying. Just when you think "ok I've had enough" and are about to quit, you see something that keeps you in for a while longer. Anyone who is into ambient music NEEDS to give Proteus a proper go. Expand
  18. Feb 10, 2013
    This game is tripe.
    The music is garbage.
    The colour palette is tripe.
    There is zero engagement.
    Shaq Fu was better.

    This 'program' is merely a cash grab. It worked. You have my money, but you have a sorely angered gamer as well.
  19. Feb 21, 2013
    Its a walk game, you do nothing... you CANT do notthing only push WASD, if the game were free it will be "ok" but also 7€? are you crazy saying that this game is 80 metascore?
  20. May 30, 2013
    Well I was prepared about what I was going to see in Proteus, though I didn't expect that. This game has no purpose, you only wander in the woods and you can't really interact with the environment. If that was a pre-release or Alpha that would be acceptable.

    The graphic were nice though, old school but not messy. They were well made and that is the only thing I liked. Music wasn't that
    interesting and at some point it was boring. I only liked music during night. Expand
  21. May 28, 2013
    This is not even a game, it is not even anything, unless you are mentally challenged you will not find anything entertaining here. Getting pretty tired of buying humble bundles to just receive somebody's school project.
  22. May 29, 2013
    Not a game. Proteus is simply a world in which you walk around in, and it does a bad job at that. 30 seconds after starting the game my eyes began hurting due to the horrid graphics and colors attributed to them. The controls are slow and cumbersome, and the sounds (music) is simply the repetition of random chimes over and over again. Unless you like the idea of walking around in a "world" that makes no sense and hear random beeps every other second, you'd best forget you ever heard about this disaster. Expand
  23. Sep 14, 2013
    I love casual, immersive games, and I love minimal design. The game looks great and is a joy to interact with... for about 30 minutes.

    I spent about 2 hours playing this because I had read there was "more than meets the eye," and there certainly is. There are interesting elements that are not immediately obvious. But even then, there is VERY little content and almost no replayability. I
    don't mind that there is no real objective or conflict, but the overall experience was underwhelming.

    I would maybe have given this a higher score if it went for $5, but even at that price I couldn't recommend it. I'd love to see what the developers do next, but in my mind this is no more than a tech demo.
  24. Jun 8, 2013
    Proteus is a pretentious attempt to be an "art" game. It tries and label itself as an soothing exploration game, but fails in almost every regard. The exploration itself is fairly dull and pointless since there are so few actual sprites. Within about 5 minutes, you've seen just about everything there is to be seen. The "music" is extremely lackluster and it feels as though almost no time was spent on working on the sounds to create something that would actually sound good when strung together.

    And while it has the barest pretenses of a goal and a plot, there really isn't much desire to continue on, because, as said above, the music generation is awful and the things to see aren't really worth seeing. It was potentially a very, very interesting concept, but it falls completely flat due to a complete lack of effort by its designer. I can appreciate wanting a minimalist style game, or having a game that's different from the standard fare, but this entire game was so poorly executed that its cringe worthy. Don't waste your money, time, or computer resources on this.

    If you're looking for a decent take on an artsy game, go with the much, much better Dear Esther.
  25. Aug 18, 2013
    Another ridiculous and utterly unwarranted game critic love affair! Avoid this hype-bomb at all costs. Speaking of costs, I wouldn't even play this for free. I was excited about this "game" based on critic reviews, and jumped at the humble bundle chance to grab it. What a miserable disappointment. You will be absolutely done and bored mindless within 30 minutes flat, and all I could think of is "but why? this had such a cool concept." And that ladies and gents is exactly what this's basically a proof of concept, or rough sketch of what this title should have been. So I assumed I was overly harsh, despite having a leveled expectation of what i was to experience, and turned my 7 yr old girl onto it, thinking that her patience and creative mind would find redeeming value in it. Nope! About 20 min into it and I got a "daddy, this is really boring." Yes....yes it is.
    What a waste. If games like this are making money then I think i'll fire up visual studio and slam my ass cheeks into the keyboard a couple hundred times, compile it, and then release it to the public. With the money I earn I'll use that to buy an expensive apology for wasting my daughter's life for 30 minutes.
    So in review.....this is not a's is not an "experience" and it's not even visual narcolepsy to knock you out late at night (I tried that too, seriously!)'s a joke and we're the punchline. You've been warned.
  26. Aug 18, 2013
    Pretentious hipster trash, whoever thought that this game was beautiful has never seen the raw beauty of nature, it has no story-line, no conflict, and was an utter waste of money.
  27. May 17, 2013
    The biggest issue when rating Proteus is the idea that it truly does push the idea of what a game can be. Sure, there are no achievements or levels to gain, but what the game does have is a world that changes with you and a soundtrack that changes with the game. Many of the lower reviews seem to argue that it's not really a game, more just interactive art. And I argue that they are both one in the same, Proteus just exploits this to a different end.

    If you're a fan of exploration, and are also ok with a game that has very little as far as challenge goes, then i would recommend Proteus heartily. If you need a game to be a little bit more fast paced, then there are plenty more to appeal to your liking.
  28. Sep 12, 2013
    I'll grant that the game works, but it doesn't do at all what a game is supposed to do. The only feeling that was invoked from playing this was boredom. It's got the same problem as Dear Esther, where your only mechanic is to watch stuff and hope for the best. Proteus on the other hand is pixelated in that "I'm trying too hard to be retro" way. The game is about watching nature, but absolutely nothing interesting happens when you're plopped into the world. It's not scripted, and some would praise that, but the way I see it is that there is *nothing* for me to see unless I get lucky. I am not going to waste my time waiting to see the *true* side of proteus when I could be working for real money. I play games mostly to invoke happiness, and this didn't, sorry. Expand
  29. Mar 22, 2013
    Well, the idea's nice. Having seen the Yogscast do a little preview of it I thought it looked interesting, so I went and bought it on Steam. Unfortunately, the novelty of the game wears off very quickly, which justifies its low price I guess. Overall, a relaxing experience but nothing to write home about.
  30. Sep 27, 2013
    Firstly, it must be said that Proteus is perhaps best thought of as an introspective experience, or even a work of art, rather than game. Anyone who is searching for a game in the traditional sense should probably stop reading my review and continue your search elsewhere. You have been warned.

    With that out of the way, I will summarise by saying I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend the
    experience that is Proteus. If you're still reading this, then you will probably enjoy Proteus as well. I would advise you start only if you are in the right mood. Keep yourself open to emotional response; treat the experience as a work of art and find out what it means to you. Be aware that the Proteus will require you to explore on your own impetus, providing little direction. Avoid searching for play throughs on YouTube. To do that would completely defeat the purpose of the exercise.

    I decided that the best time for me to play Proteus was at night, with the lights off, in a quiet, relaxed and focused environment free of interruptions. Turn up the sound. Play the whole thing from start to finish and give yourself about an hour, because that's approximately how long a play through will take. if you open yourself up to the experience you will most likely be rewarded as I was.
  31. Jun 8, 2013
    Proteus is a pretentious attempt to be an "art" game. It tries and label itself as an soothing exploration game, but fails in almost every regard. The exploration itself is fairly dull and pointless since there are so few actual sprites. Within about 5 minutes, you've seen just about everything there is to be seen. The "music" is extremely lackluster and it feels as though almost no time was spent on working on the sounds to create something that would actually sound good when strung together.

    And while it has the barest pretenses of a goal and a plot, there really isn't much desire to continue on, because, as said above, the music generation is awful and the things to see aren't really worth seeing. It was potentially a very, very interesting concept, but it falls completely flat due to a complete lack of effort by its designer. I can appreciate wanting a minimalist style game, or having a game that's different from the standard fare, but this entire game was so poorly executed that its cringe worthy. Don't waste your money, time, or computer resources on this.

    If you're looking for a decent take on an artsy game, go with the much, much better Dear Esther.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Nov 22, 2013
    Proteus is without a doubt not for everyone, because playing in the traditional sense of the word doesn't really happen. It does, however, deliver an enchanting experience through the harmony of images and sounds, which leaves enough room for your own imagination.
  2. Apr 13, 2013
    Proteus's ever-changing island is a joy to walk through, listen to and explore. [May 2013, p.84]
  3. Apr 9, 2013
    An independent experiment that has managed to free from the established genres, and out of its graphical and sound simplicity it has formed the experiences you cannot escape from.