Dear Esther Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 726 Ratings

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  • Summary: Dear Esther is a first-person ghost story. Rather than traditional game-play the focus here is on exploration, uncovering the mystery of a lonely island, of who you are and why you are here. Fragments of story are randomly uncovered when exploring the various locations of the island, makingDear Esther is a first-person ghost story. Rather than traditional game-play the focus here is on exploration, uncovering the mystery of a lonely island, of who you are and why you are here. Fragments of story are randomly uncovered when exploring the various locations of the island, making every each journey a unique experience. Expand

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Dear Esther - Official Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. Mar 9, 2012
    100
    Dear Esther is an auditory and visual experience that interweaves a consuming narrative and array of emotions. The game's actual value must not be solely based upon its gameplay length, but rather on the random elements and new secrets discovered through multiple playthroughs. Those that brave the journey into the narrative and world of Dear Esther will discover an experience that few games have been available to accomplish in years. Highly recommended.
  2. Feb 13, 2012
    90
    The beauty of Dear Esther is that it raises questions about content rather than mechanics.
  3. Feb 16, 2012
    90
    Dear Esther. I will take flight.
  4. Feb 13, 2012
    80
    The game is recommended for anyone who likes taking a close look at a piece of art that goes against the grain of the medium. You should consider checking out Dear Esther the same way you'd appraise a film. If you're interested in absorbing an intellectual story and gorgeous visuals without having to exert a drop of effort, take a chance on this curious experiment.
  5. Feb 20, 2012
    80
    If you're into the idea of experimental "games" pushing the boundaries of the medium, you might like Dear Esther, but if you're looking for a detailed story of Event A causing Event B which then naturally led to Event C, then this is not for you.
  6. Feb 29, 2012
    77
    Play this just for yourself and try to see where things might go from here. The possibilities are endless and almost completely unexplored.
  7. 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.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 81 out of 255
  1. Feb 14, 2012
    10
    To call this a game would be almost entirely inaccurate. This piece is better described as an interactive fiction narrative. The only gameTo call this a game would be almost entirely inaccurate. This piece is better described as an interactive fiction narrative. The only game play mechanic in this work is to guide your character through the story. However, what makes this piece of work interesting and outstanding is the atmosphere that is created through the narrator's speech, the beautiful graphics, perfect music score, and amazing ambient sound. This is an experience that no one should pass up, my first play-through took up a little over 2 hours of my time; for $10 this is a fantastic deal. Expand
  2. 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
    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.
    Expand
  3. Feb 14, 2012
    9
    Most beautiful game I have ever played. Not so much a game as an audio-visual experience with a poetic narrative and an emotional pay-off. IfMost beautiful game I have ever played. Not so much a game as an audio-visual experience with a poetic narrative and an emotional pay-off. If you are a skeptic as to whether or not games can be art, please buy Dear Esther... Expand
  4. 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 itIt 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. Expand
  5. 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 walkingDear 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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  6. 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 gameI 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
  7. Vag
    Dec 8, 2013
    0
    See the hidden meaning in a piece of or a black square sign unsound mind. This is philosophy-schizophrenic interactive story for those whoSee the hidden meaning in a piece of or a black square sign unsound mind. This is philosophy-schizophrenic interactive story for those who like a black square. Expand

See all 255 User Reviews

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