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Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 147 Ratings

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  • Summary: Proteus is a minimalist game of pure exploration and sublime discovery in a musical wilderness environment. There are no challenges and no goals other than those set by the player. A reactive audio mixing system allows the player to explore the environment as music.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Feb 4, 2013
    Proteus is beautiful, a beautiful thing. And it makes me happy – happy because it is so intrinsically interesting and emotional; happy because we live in an age in which things like this can be made and distributed to everyone with a computer.
  2. Feb 20, 2013
    If you look at Dear Esther as a dark audio book Proteus is like looking at an interactive painting. Taking in every detail in this 8-bit world you realize the emotional power with which visuals and audio can create a poetic artwork.
  3. Jan 30, 2013
    With a defined beginning, four distinct seasonal environments and an affecting, surprising conclusion, there's no question that Proteus is a game. But if there's one concern, it's whether this is an island that's worth revisiting once you've seen all it has to offer. In a way, its lack of progression – the absence of skill trees, difficulty levels and save points – works in its favour; you won't dive back in to mop up the last few achievements, or to climb leaderboards, but simply because you want to play Proteus.
  4. Feb 11, 2013
    Proteus is beautiful. It's a different sort of interactive experience that needs to be seen.
  5. 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.
  6. Feb 12, 2013
    While Proteus doesn't evoke a sense of lasting emotional impact, it provides a brief escape to zone out and let your senses soak in its world, whether you're following your nose in discovery or simply relaxing and watching the sunset.
  7. Feb 7, 2013
    Proteus is very much a niche title. Without any real objective or storytelling hook, the open-ended nature will no doubt bore some. That said, its attempts at emergent gameplay are commendable and worth experiencing if this type of game appeals to you.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 51
  2. Negative: 22 out of 51
  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. Apr 22, 2013
    This game is actually pretty intriguing. The goal is to immerse yourself really, put your feet up, relax take it in, and the world will introduce curious things to you that will suprise you. I haven't had the same experience twice, and when it comes to a long stessful day, this is the perfect way to unwind. I absolutely love this game, and its truly special and unique Expand
  3. 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
  4. May 29, 2013
    I wouldn't necessarily call Proteus a game, it's more of a song in a way. The music is relaxing and ambient, and you have a beautiful world to explore. However, the world is very limited, but that doesn't stop me replaying. The main problem i have is that I've played it for 2 hours and have already seen everything in the game. Expand
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.

See all 51 User Reviews