Begin a journey through one of the most original first-person games of recent years.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (5,349 reviews) - 76% of the 5,349 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012

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Buy Dear Esther

Buy Dear Esther + Soundtrack


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
215 of 252 people (85%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2015
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, if you have any interest in narrative driven adventure games, you’re sure to find a new favorite here and it is without a doubt an experience you will not regret.

Verdict: 8/10
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44 of 54 people (81%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 19
"...but your fascination with the empty, and its cure, remained."

I've been getting endless recommendations about this game for a year now, from people who know me and my taste in games. Dear Esther was originally a free-to-play modification for the Source engine, developed and released in 2008 by The Chinese Room. The game is later redeveloped for commercial purposes in 2012, including the Steam version we have here.

Our unknown and unreliable narrator opens his eyes on one shoreline of Hebridean Islands, and starts to walk. For the remainder of our experience, we will walk upon the surface of this forlorn island to discover its many wonders, abandoned mysteries and eerie beauties enhanced with a fantastic ambient music. We walk and bear witness to fragments of a tale concerning a loss, a death, a shepherd, a boat without a bottom, a love story and endless aphorisms of a broken mind, tested through a journey to embrace a final conclusion. We are there to complete an unfinished tale, accompanied only by eerie shadows of past tales that we feel and sometimes see with the corner of our eyes. "Dear Esther" says the narrator in one of his letters; "I sometimes feel as if I’ve given birth to this island."

In its totality, many would categorize Dear Esther as a story exploration or walking simulation game. Yes, it is a walking simulation that will present you the most beautiful of environment designs harbored with genuine melancholy. But in my opinion Dear Esther is neither only a walking simulation, nor a consistent story revelation. It is, with all its grandeur and beauty in display, interactive literature. The script of the game arranged through aphorisms of the narrator is weaved out of allegories, metaphors, fleeting yet crushing narrative descriptions to accomplish a literary experience no lesser than James Joyce in feat. It may possibly take a literary career to completely appreciate the full context of this narrative beauty with tremendous subtext and symbolism.

A full playthrough consists of 4 distinct chapters - monumental areas of the protagonist's journey. One singular chapter takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, depending on your tendency to explore. It takes 3-4 playthroughs to reveal the whole script, which will accordingly reveal a new part in this symbolic feast every time. There is nothing to do in the traditional sense: only an experience to behold.

If you are one to appreciate symbolic narrative and have an hour or two to spare, this is a short journey you shouldn't miss. Wear your headphones, kick back and start your exploration. Esther, The Hermit, Donnelly, Paul and Jacobson... they all wait for you in this island, forgotten in Hebrides.

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
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50 of 69 people (72%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2015
NOTE - This game has been provided to me for free for review purposes.
Dear Esther is not a game, it is a walking simulator, and it is an experience. You walk on a deserted island, while your mind narrates some letters you wrote to Esther (hence the name). It focuses on the environment, the music, and the very detailed world to amaze and relax you.

The Pros:
  • Beautiful - The game is beautiful. The world is very detailed, put together with much care and thought. Every scenery is breath-taking. Lots of dense foliage, rocky cliffs, and watery caves. Wonderful lightning as well! This is a walking simulator, of course. It is meant for you to behold, to explore, to enjoy.

  • Great Narrative - The narration is very well performed, and the contents are nice as well. Pay close attention and you will get a grasp of what happened in the past. I won't give details about them here. Experience them yourselves.

  • Relaxing - Besides buying a game, you also get free relax pills. This is excellent for when you are stressed out. Just enter the game, pick a chapter, and slowly walk, breathe in deeply, enjoy the beauty. Works like a charm!
  • Linear - The game doesn't allow you to stray too far off your obviously paved paths. There are some occasions where you will encounter dead ends, but fear not. Just turn around, look for 5 seconds and the true path will surely be revealed to you.

  • One Hour - That is the approximate time you will spend walking around. This is the standard length of this type of games, and I am not disappointed with it's length. But the world is so well made, I just want to see more of it!

For a 2012 game, this was a fresh breath of air. Good looking, interesting, and highly relaxing. If you like this type of games, get it, you won't regret it.

If you liked this review or want to see more of my recommended games, you can view my reviews here, and be sure to follow our curator group: Follow Original Curator Group
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36 of 52 people (69%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2015
More of an experience than anything, Dear Esther delivers the stunning and riviting tale of a man who reflects his memories of his past wife who fatally died in a car crash. Exploring the area allows you to further understand the story, with a well laid out path for you to follow. The tale also inspires extremely beautiful visuals for just being a Source game, known for their fast pased gaming titles previously released. At a slow and easy pase, there's absolutely no distractions from a unrelaxing experience, rather you'll actually get some sort of sadness out of it.

My experience playing it was great. I understood everything from the story, and was instantly hooked by the second of four chapters. The visuals were added bonuses. I loved every minute of it, up to the very end of the tale, with the game ending in the most scenic way possible, and provided a lovely score to it as well.

I encourage you to give this game a try, no matter the price, because at the price I got it ($2 USD) I feel I should have payed more for such a beautiful and relaxing tale.
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17 of 26 people (65%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Creepy walking simulator made in Source Engine
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