Begin a journey through one of the most original first-person games of recent years.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (4,954 reviews) - 76% of the 4,954 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012

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Buy Dear Esther + Soundtrack


Recommended By Curators

"Is this even a game? I dont think so.... Its a very atmospheric experience though."

About This Game

“A deserted island…a lost man…memories of a fatal crash…a book written by a dying explorer.”

Two years in the making, the highly anticipated Indie remake of the cult mod Dear Esther arrives on PC. Dear Esther immerses you in a stunningly realised world, a remote and desolate island somewhere in the outer Hebrides. As you step forwards, a voice begins to read fragments of a letter: "Dear Esther..." - and so begins a journey through one of the most original first-person games of recent years. Abandoning traditional gameplay for a pure story-driven experience, Dear Esther fuses its beautiful environments with a breathtaking soundtrack to tell a powerful story of love, loss, guilt and redemption.

Forget the normal rules of play; if nothing seems real here, it’s because it may just be all a delusion. What is the significance of the aerial -- What happened on the motorway -- is the island real or imagined -- who is Esther and why has she chosen to summon you here? The answers are out there, on the lost beach, the windswept cliffs and buried in the darkness of the tunnels beneath the island… Or then again, they may just not be, after all…

Dear Esther is supported by Indie Fund.

Key features:

  • Every play-through a unique experience, with randomly generated audio, visuals and events.
  • Explore Incredible environments that push the Source engine to new levels of beauty.
  • A poetic, semi-randomised story like you've never experienced in a game before.
  • Stunning soundtrack featuring world-class musicians.
  • An uncompromisingly inventive game delivered to the highest AAA standards.


Jessica Curry's haunting and beautiful soundtrack to Dear Esther, now available on Steam, has been a hit with gamers and critics alike. Reviewers have said ""Curry's score reflects the player's feelings without oppressively instructing them. Exquisitely constructed, both sonically and visually" (Eurogamer), "as beautiful as the game is, it’d be remiss not to mention Curry’s atmospheric soundtrack...impossible to ignore." (Edge), "spellbinding, fascinating aural landscape: a resounding success" (Square Enix), "Curry's delicate & understated musical score achieves a level of excellence. It's the ultimate achievement of composition." (Bitgamer). The soundtrack was shortlisted for the Excellence in Audio award at the Independent Games Festival 2012

System Requirements

Mac OS X


    • OS:Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Vista64
    • Processor:Intel core 2 duo 2.4GHz or higher
    • Memory:1GB XP / 2GB Vista
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compliant video card with Shader model 3.0 support. NVidia 7600, ATI X1600 or better (Pre-Sandybridge Intel graphics chipsets not yet supported)
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card


    • OS:Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Vista64
    • Processor: Quad core 2.4GHz or higher
    • Memory:1GB XP / 2GB Vista
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compliant video card with Shader model 3.0 support. NVidia 8800, ATI Radeon 2900 pro or better (Pre-Sandybridge Intel graphic chipsets not supported)
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
    • OS: MAC OS X 10.6.7 or higher
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
    • Memory: 2GB
    • Hard Disk Space: At least 2 GB of Space
    • Video Card: ATI Radeon 2400 or higher / NVIDIA 8600M or higher / Intel HD Graphics 3000
Helpful customer reviews
76 of 78 people (97%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
It isn’t a game, it’s an experience.

A lot of the criticism and confusion of Dear Esther is brought about because it is not exactly 'a game'. There are no enemies, no objectives, no inventory, nothing we've come to expect in video games. It is where art, storytelling and games intersect, to create a masterpiece.

Dear Esther is visually astounding. Journey deep into the island's caves and you will be utterly in awe of the beauty therein.

The music is beautifully haunting, always appropriate in intensity for the situation, and never overwhelming it.
The narration contributes significantly to the player's emotional state while traversing the island. His rantings and musings, his rage and his despair, all help lend color to the landscape, and keep the player firmly rooted in the world before them.

Whether you would define Dear Esther as a game or not, it is without a doubt an experience you will not regret.

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52 of 69 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
Published by: Thechineseroom
Developed by: Thechineseroom & Robert Briscoe
Genre: Adventure/Walking Simulator
Release Date: February 14, 2012

This 'game' truly is an artistic masterpiece. Being a walking simulator, the aim is simple; you walk around an island, taking in it's beautiful surroundings. The protagonist of this 'game' is a man set on a journey across a seemingly abandoned island. As you walk, fragments of a letter sound, and you're left with questions, allowing your imagination to run rampant. Who is Esther, and why does this quiet island resonate such familiarity with our protagonist? Are the surroundings real, or imagined? Abandoned buildings, caves and shipwrecks, this island brings forth an eerie yet calming atmosphere, and the raw emotion is exemplified with the stunning atmospheric soundtrack.

The graphics are absolutely beautiful, and there is no lack of stunning landscape and imagery throughout the hour and a half (give or take) of game play. However, to call it a game would be entirely misleading; Dear Esther is more of a immersive movie, taking you on a beautifully narrated story around a mysterious island.

As the graphics are generally a main focus in a walking simulator (being that there's no real 'game play'), it's super important that they get this right- which they did, perfectly. The only negative thing I could say on the visuals of this artistic masterpiece, is that it ended too soon.
Score: 8/10

The beautiful instrumental soundtrack, composed by the talented Jessica Curry specifically for this game, has a tranquil, soothing vibe that really adds to the feel of the story. Add to that the calming narration by Nigel Carrington, and you're set to go on a relaxing and encapsulating first person experience.

The beautifully orchestrated soundtrack perfectly fits the mysterious and engrossing story line, filling the story with a soothing atmosphere.
Score: 9/10

Overall Verdict
This visually appealing game is definitely worth experiencing if you like peaceful games with a rich storyline.

Overall Score: 8/10
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
"The journey is the reward."

Dear Esther (DE) is a first person experience by the company The Chinese Room with emphasis on exploration.

Atmosphere & Details:

+ A gloomy, atmospheric ambience with amazing visual effects.
+ Melodramatic background music enriches the atmosphere.

o The main objective is the exploration of the island.
o Limited interaction with objects.

- Very short game that can be finished in less than one hour.

Characters & Story:

+ End sequence gives the game a philosophical meaning.

o Next to the protagonist there are no other characters to interact with.
o Replayability is dependent on the players perspective of the game.

- Limited identification of the player with the protagonist.
- Almost total lack of story telling activates, only a few letters tell the player about the circumstances.


The Chinese Room has created with DE an interesting game, that has become the subject of controversial debates. To some players it represents a peaceful and tranquil experience, to others it is dull and pointless.

This game has no Steam achievements.

Dear Esther (PC) – First-person experience
(Experimental) – 2012
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
I don't normally do reviews because I'm too lazy and stuff, but this is such a good game that I have to write a positive review just in case I can persuade someone to buy this game and try it for themselves.

Arguments about whether it's really a game or not don't matter, the point is that it's a deep, thought-provoking experience that I enjoy each time I play through it. It's all about story, and this game tells its story in such a way that you kind of have to interpret it for yourself.

No NPC's giving you exposition, no fetch quests, no half-naked elf women; Just a tragic, romantic, and deep story told amongst the beautiful scenery of an uninhabited Hebridean island.

I definitely recommend giving this one a try. Also the soundtrack is awesome.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 29
If you want some peace & quiet then i would recommend this game for you. It's simply perfect and tranquil. It's such an amazing game that really gives you a huge impact at the end.
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