Begin a journey through one of the most original first-person games of recent years.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (54 reviews) - 75% of the 54 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (5,478 reviews) - 75% of the 5,478 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012

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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.

Soundtrack

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

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Mostly Positive (54 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (5,478 reviews)
Recently Posted
Baronboom
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 28
I will use one word to describe this game.

Pretentious.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mesonw
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
That was unexpected. I don't know why, but I've left it long enough since release that I'd forgotten all the comments I'd read, or reviews I'd scanned. I mean, I knew it was a "walking simulator", but I was surprised by how little interaction you have with your surroundings... none in fact. Well, short of walking around it and peering forwards slightly. You can swim, but it's inadvisable most of the time, and doesn't really get you anywhere you can't walk to.
I'm sure I missed some paths and therefore some lines of the narrative, but I covered most of it I think and despite reaching a moment early on where I nearly put it down (saved by reaching the next area which kind of inspired me again), was fairly well entranced in the tale, of learning about the narrator's (your) events prior to now.

It's a brave game to merely offer a place to explore, and until you settle into its rhythm and pacing, it does seem a trifle tedious faiirly quickly. But stick with it, as 90mins is not a lot to ask of anyone into games, and I definitely think it is worth experiencing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hacha Dorada
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
Not the based narrative-driven "game" (there's little to no interaction), but certainly interesting and enjoyable. Also it is wonderfully made and the story development is quite breathtaking.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
LanceViper
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
A very beautiful game, but a very boring one in my opinion. I kind of knew what I was getting myself into from what I've heard about the game. I was hoping to be surprised, but alas, I was not.

The game is narrative heavy and is very vague and cryptic. This does make you want to hear and play more in the hopes that the game will soon clarify the wordy narrative. Unfortunately, if you're anything like me, you'll be asking yourself, "What just happened?" by the time the screen goes black.

You may have noticed that I gave this game a thumbs up. Even though I did not enjoy the game, I still really appreciated the hard work that most likely went into making this game look as beautiful as it does. The cavern segments in particular were very pleasant to play through. And even though I didn't enjoy it, doesn't mean that somebody else won't. The short length, in my opinion, justifies at least one play through even if this isn't your cup of tea.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rushlite
( 2.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
Truly a remarkable experience.

As revolutionary as Pokemone GO, this game turns the industry on it's head with its amazing level design and its stunning soundtrack that leaves the player awestruck in their seat.

It isn't so much a "game" as it is an "experience."

Dear Esther doesn't have any combat or even other entities (well not quite,) but what it lacks in gameplay, it more than makes up for in sheer atmosphere.

This is a game that you should play with the lights off, headphones on, and spend the next hour or so being completely immersed within this beautiful piece of artwork.

2/10 "game"
11/10 experience
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5finger
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
Pros: Beautiful world and it's short.

Cons: Everything else.

This is the sort of game people mean when they derisively use the term 'walking simulator'. You walk around several (admittedly beautiful) locations, do absolutely nothing, and occasionally a bit of dialogue plays at random intervals. You can decide to go off on some of the side paths, but they lead nowhere. Or there's a fork where one way is a slightly lower path, and one way is a slightly higher path. But they're like 6 feet away from each other and eventually they converge.

As for the plot, I see some of the speculation on what the scraps of dialogue (and the evironment) really mean, and hearing people's interpretation can be interesting. But I feel like this is sleight of hand that makes you feel like you're getting depth. Like the series Lost - it raised a lot of questions, and there was a lot of speculation/interpretation by fans. But while Lost tried unsucessfully to tie things together in a satisfying way, this just cuts off.

Ending spoiler/rant: What the f**k? WHAT THE F**K!? You spend 1.5 hours walking around slowly, and the majority of the ending is going back through an area YOU JUST WENT THROUGH at a slightly faster pace? All the mindless walking around is one of the worst parts of the 'experience', and the ending is just largely a more repetitive version of that? I understand they had a few more things to put out there plot wise, but that was so cheap. The game is only 1.5 hours, and the ending was the equivalent of a TV clip show episode?

To make a much older analogy, take Planet of the Apes. The original had a great ending for many reasons. And the Tim Burton version also tried to have a suprise ending, but it didn't make any sense. And it turns out it wasn't supposed to - they wanted to make people think/talk about it, but unlike Rod Sterlings script, there was no meat on those bones. I'm not saying this 'experience' is that bad, but you get the idea.

Anyway, if its really got you excited, please just watch a short YouTube video and enjoy some of the speculation, but please save your $10 (or $5).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kurai
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
I still have nightmares about this game.
No, not from the "story" or anything... just from the fact that I even finished it.
Not worth the price--not even worth the 1.5 hours it takes to complete it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Marcus54
( 4.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Masterpiece ! Period !
Helpful? Yes No Funny
philipp_chris
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
The graphics !!! Oh boy I'm speechless.
It's a pity that it didn't have a story (to gather some clues on the way or something) .
Put a story in and it will sell beautifully.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sc00tal00
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 22
this isnt a game you need to play. this is a game you can watch. if you find a no commentary playthrough on youtube that is likely just as good for a first playthrough. subsequent playthroughs you may want to do on your own to find all the little details you missed. and to find the way things change. but seriously its just walking and enjoying the view and the narration. granted it gets pretty damn good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
Very beautiful walking simulator. The story takes place on an island. Sadly it is very straight forward, no much room for exploration. There are a couple of houses and caves that are optional to explore.
The game is devided into 4 chapters, each will take about 10-20 minutes (depending on how much you explore the surrounding and take screenshots).
Make sure to play this in one session, because when you exit the game, you have to start from chapter 1 again. Once you completed the game you can replay every chapter from the main menu.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
I still have nightmares about this game.
No, not from the "story" or anything... just from the fact that I even finished it.
Not worth the price--not even worth the 1.5 hours it takes to complete it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Pros: Beautiful world and it's short.

Cons: Everything else.

This is the sort of game people mean when they derisively use the term 'walking simulator'. You walk around several (admittedly beautiful) locations, do absolutely nothing, and occasionally a bit of dialogue plays at random intervals. You can decide to go off on some of the side paths, but they lead nowhere. Or there's a fork where one way is a slightly lower path, and one way is a slightly higher path. But they're like 6 feet away from each other and eventually they converge.

As for the plot, I see some of the speculation on what the scraps of dialogue (and the evironment) really mean, and hearing people's interpretation can be interesting. But I feel like this is sleight of hand that makes you feel like you're getting depth. Like the series Lost - it raised a lot of questions, and there was a lot of speculation/interpretation by fans. But while Lost tried unsucessfully to tie things together in a satisfying way, this just cuts off.

Ending spoiler/rant: What the f**k? WHAT THE F**K!? You spend 1.5 hours walking around slowly, and the majority of the ending is going back through an area YOU JUST WENT THROUGH at a slightly faster pace? All the mindless walking around is one of the worst parts of the 'experience', and the ending is just largely a more repetitive version of that? I understand they had a few more things to put out there plot wise, but that was so cheap. The game is only 1.5 hours, and the ending was the equivalent of a TV clip show episode?

To make a much older analogy, take Planet of the Apes. The original had a great ending for many reasons. And the Tim Burton version also tried to have a suprise ending, but it didn't make any sense. And it turns out it wasn't supposed to - they wanted to make people think/talk about it, but unlike Rod Sterlings script, there was no meat on those bones. I'm not saying this 'experience' is that bad, but you get the idea.

Anyway, if its really got you excited, please just watch a short YouTube video and enjoy some of the speculation, but please save your $10 (or $5).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
The graphics !!! Oh boy I'm speechless.
It's a pity that it didn't have a story (to gather some clues on the way or something) .
Put a story in and it will sell beautifully.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Not a game for those who really detest 'walking simulators' but otherwise I would highly recommend.

Its hard to explain without spoilers, but it makes great use of the source engines graphical capabilites, has fantastic writing and narration and...the story made me cry :'( Too much feels for one game, I do not have enough internets to handle it.

Its short but...er, not sweet. Just really good. I guess it kind of is sweet, but yeah. Spoiler :P
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
218 of 257 people (85%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
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.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=553155472

Dear Esther is visually astounding. Journey deep into the island's caves and you will be utterly in awe of the beauty therein.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=498467039

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.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=532172608

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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
325 of 406 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
Well there's something you don't see everyday - Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters

THE GOOD
Dear Esther is not your ordinary game. In some respects, it is not a game at all. Focusing on environments and atmosphere rather than gameplay and action is a nice way to change the pace, but it will definitely put some people off. If you're a person who prefers Serious Sam and Doom over Amnesia and Proteus, I do not think this game is for you. The sound in the game is, well, not very exciting overall. The intro plops you into the island with explanation of why you are there, if you pay attention. The story is told by a nameless narrator, who talks about the island, his hobbies, and the mysterious Esther. Digging deeper into the story explains more about the characters and the settings, but only if you are willing to look.

THE GREAT
The game can be frightening and intense if you let it. Beautiful environments are accompanied by the haunting yet calming voice of the narrator, who tells his life to you. While not the best decision for gameplay, Dear Esther provides with an amazing narrative and an atmosphere that is so thick you could wrap yourself up in it. The first chapter is the make or break point in this game.While not looking very stunning, the first part does do its job to set up the second half of the game. Not giving away too much, but not boring you to the point of no return. The end of the second chapter is where it is its best. The aesthetic changes completely, music greets you immediately, and the haunting feeling kicks in. The third chapter is my personal favourite, with the climax of the game leaving you able to interpret it however you please.

THE UGLY
There is no gameplay whatsoever. If the developers wanted gameplay, they could've at least given you the choice to turn off and on your flashlight, or maybe do some simple puzzle. Face the facts: You walk extremely slow. Perhaps for pacing, but it can be frustrating whil you spend the whole damn game going 10mph (That's metres, not miles). Also, for a game about discovery, there is very little to discover, not that you'd feel inclined to due the the speed of your walking. It can be quite boring if you're playing it after watching a walkthrough of it on Youtube, TwitchTV, or whatever place you use to watch gameplay videos, so I'd recommend not watching gameplay of Dear Esther before playing it. Also the visuals of Dear Esther deteriorates when it is put into videos, no matter how you set the graphical quality (1080p does NOT do this game justice via video).

THE VERDICT
There are two types of people in the world. Type one is the type who prefer Proteus over Dear Esther, and the other type of people prefer Dear Esther over Proteus. I fall into the latter category, for many reasons. If in doubt, get it on a sale. If you like it, great news! If you don't, you spent $5 and 1.4GB 'playing' a game that you didn't like. Personally, I think that the third chapter is the best chapter in this game. For the first two chapters, you explore the island, and at the end of the second chapter, a forced plot point happens which sends you to the most beautiful part of this game. The final chapter wraps it up nicely, and some people will like the final chapter more, so suffice to say the second half f the game is generally liked more. Also, this is NOT a game for children. It can be difficult to understand and there are so many plot elements that are metaphors or relatively unusual.

SIMILAR GAMES
-Proteus, in many ways, but also differs greatly
-Amnesia: The Dark Descent, although without being as scary

For more reviews check out http://steamcommunity.com/groups/truereview
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
224 of 284 people (79%) found this review helpful
14 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2015
Dear Esther is beautifully designed, hauntingly atmospheric and splendidly narrated. It also has a couple of very big problems...

<Contains minor spoilers>

The Old Argument

...but funnily enough, the question of whether or not Dear Esther is a game isn't one that bothers me. Gaming is still a relatively young medium, and writing off a game just because it doesn't meet the traditional definition can only stifle innovation and discourage others from experimenting. Ultimately, I'm more interested in the question: did Dear Esther succeed in what it set out to do? Well, allow me to elaborate on what I think.

Hebrides

Dear Esther is a so-called "walking simulator" (i.e. has very little gameplay besides walking and looking) set on a bleak Hebridian island. This island is perhaps the most compelling character in the entire story: it is nothing short of breathtaking. I regularly visit these islands in real life, and Dear Esther succeeds magnificently in capturing their bleak magnificence. Coastal winds whistle through rusted chain-link fences, smoky clouds hug towering cliffs, bothies speckle the terrain and rocky bays with rotten wooden structures dominate the landscape. Both the visual (spinning 2D plants aside) and the sound design are spot-on in establishing the atmosphere, which in turn is helped by the superb soundtrack. There were some moments that left me literally stunned at what I was witnessing on my screen, that's a rare achievement for any video game.

Anywho, you play as a nameless, voiceless, faceless protagonist shipwrecked on a harsh Scottish island, who must make their way towards the radio tower on the horizon. It's not really clear what you intend to do once you get there, but never mind. Interaction is limited to walking around the island and sometimes poking your head into forlorn buildings, only to find them empty and long-abandoned. The lion's share of the game is spent listening to a well-spoken narrator reading a series of letters written to the eponymous Esther. The narrator himself is another highlight of the game; speaking in a deliberately monotone voice to start with, but rising to passionate speeches as you approach the game's climax.

So I like everything so far, and I don't mind the bare-bones gameplay, so why a No?

Crux

Because of the limited interactivity, the narration pretty much forms the crux of the entire experience. Sadly, I found the quality of the writing in Dear Esther to be wanting.

If ever there was a walking definition of purple prose, this would be it. Although it contains a handful of reasonably well-written lines, the core parts of the narrative are so cluttered with flowery dialogue that it repeatedly draws attention to itself with how ridiculous it sounds. I admit to not being the smartest when it comes to analyzing good writing, but I can usually get invested in a well-told story even if I don't fully understand everything behind it. But Dear Esther is so full of itself and so utterly pretentious that I found myself getting frustrated rather than intrigued by the story. Here are a couple excerpts from the game:

"An imagined answerphone message. The tires are flat, the wheel spins loosely, and the brake fluid has run like ink over this map, staining the landmarks and rendering the coastline mute, compromised. Where you saw galaxies, I only saw bruises, cut into the cliff by my lack of sobriety."

"I had kidney stones, and you visited me in the hospital. After the operation, when I was still half submerged in anesthetic, your outline and your speech both blurred. Now my stones have grown into an island and made their escape and you have been rendered opaque by the car of a drunk."

Perhaps my experience with human beings is limited, but this sounds like it was written by a teenager in English class trying to sound far cleverer than he actually is (this I can speak from experience though, because it sounds like one of my old essays). This is the only story I've experienced that somehow manages to be both frustratingly vague and tiresomely heavy-handed at the same time. Not sure how they did that, but that's the thought that kept crossing my mind as I listened to it.

Amputation

Then we come to the second problem: the player. The fact that Dear Esther may not be a 'real' game isn't what bothers me. What does bother me is that the player is completely amputated from the story being told. We're not here to partake in a moving tale of human loss, instead we're merely treated as a vehicle for the narrator to force flowery nonsense down our throats without getting to experience or even influence any of it. In fact, we're almost a hindrance to the game for our mere presence. This makes me wonder why Dear Esther is even a game in the first place, especially since it wrestles control from you during the ending (the only time something of note actually happens). The only benefit from it being a game is that I get to hold down W for 90 minutes, so it's essentially like watching a film on a DVD player with a broken pause button. On top of that, the walking speed is painfully slow:

"People need to be more patient and take their time with soaking in the atmosphere"

This is what admirers of the game often tell me when I bring this up. Fair enough, I like immersing myself in a slow-burner, if anything I prefer a slower-paced story. But more often than not you'll wander down rather lengthy corridors, find nothing of interest, not even a bit of narration, and then have to slowly plod all the way back again. At this point, all the carefully planned pacing in the game comes to a crashing halt. Then there are other times when you have to traverse fairly featureless expanses all the while sliding along at the speed of a Peugeot driver on the Edinburgh bypass. This is not good pacing, this is just time wasting.

Final...

Some might say that I've simply missed the point of the game, and that I'm too thick or impatient to fully appreciate Dear Esther's strengths. In all honestly, there's a good chance that you're correct in saying that. However, this game did not engage me on any level. I never felt invested in any of the character shells we're given a vague description of, and its eagerness to be intellectual and thought-provoking just came across as pretentious and condescending. I can give it credit for trying, but not for failing in its primary purpose. For that reason, I cannot recommend Dear Esther as a video game.

(But I do recommend buying the soundtrack. Seriously, go get it, it really is that good)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
211 of 267 people (79%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
This is a work of art.

There is little story, and even less gameplay. You're mostly railroaded along a path, where you will hear and see things. The world is visually appealing, and the voice work is wonderful, but the overall mood may or may not appeal to you.

Like any purely artistic work, it either speaks to you or it falls flat. Personally, it's not my cup of tea, but it might be yours.
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179 of 230 people (78%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 26, 2014
As always, TL;DR at the bottom. This game deserves more though.

In recent years it has become more common to hear gamers, and even some non-gamers giving credit to games as pieces of art. Truly all games are art in some form as they provide a visual and narrative experience no matter what type of game they are. Some games are simply greater classified as art than others, but even inside of that it seems something such as 'Dear Esther' should be given credit on the art scale much higher than any old "video games are art" scale.

'Dear Esther' is claimed by many as "not a game". This is a debate I am no longer interested in, as I simply don't take a hard stance on what a game is anymore now that I have played so many adventure games, and what are more aptly described as "walking simulators". If you want to call it art instead, which it is, I can accept that, but debating on what a game is has become something I do not find interesting anymore. It's a game to me and great art at the same time.

Now that I have grown up a little and become able to appreciate games as great pieces of art, I look for games with beauty in narrative, visuals, music, and even atmosphere much more often than I once did. Giving games described as "walking simulators" a much greater chance than I once would have as a younger gamer. 'Dear Esther' is a game I never would have played maybe as recent as a year ago. I would ignore games such as this and mockingly call them "walking simulators", or games with a lot of FMVs like MGS4, "movies". It's actually quite embarrassing thinking about discussions I've had in the past about such games. >_>

I'm glad I came to my senses because games like this not only give you a sense of extreme beauty, but challenge you to think about things in abstract and interesting ways. Digging into you deeper than a more traditional game focused solely on the gameplay, which I considered the ONLY thing that mattered for the longest time. Games with these weird worlds, stories, and characters just stick with you longer and allow for us to spend more time with them after finishing by discussing them with other gamers. Isn't that something we all enjoy as a major part of gaming? Discussing games and trying to understand them when they give us something to talk about? (feel free to discuss in the comments of this review! Please be mindful of spoilers, however.) It definitely does for me, and 'Dear Esther' made me think, wonder, and read more about it the second I was done playing.

'Dear Esther' on a technical side is a magnificently wonderful game. While you can see in the store screenshots that the game has haunting and lovely visuals, you can't really know how wonderful the atmosphere is without playing it. The music in this game is so well done (I highly recommend buying this soundtrack and I rarely do that) that I found myself saving when I heard a piece start so that I could reload and listen to it again before moving on. The music is atmospheric, haunting, beautiful, and I can't think of a game where I was so enthralled by the music before.

With the musical score lending to the feel of the game, the island you find yourself on gives a tremendous feeling of isolation, dread, insanity, and fear. You will go into "every nook and cranny, John" to see the strange items and locations from all angles before moving down the correct path to move the narration along. Taking these extra paths may lead you to seeing extra narration, or even ghosts out of the corner of your eye. Making you feel like you might not be alone, and then dissipating into mist to leave you wondering if you had just seen something moving, or it was just your imagination.

The narration voice-over is spectacular. A voice that helps the atmosphere as much as anything else, but what is said is just as unnerving in many instances. Narration comes at you as you walk around and move through the island on your ascent up to the top. It will be strange and probably not make a ton of sense every time you hear it. You will feel the mind of the narrator, which is you, seem to disjoint, and speak about things that don't seem relevant at times, but interesting none the less. Strangely, although I have played through the first couple chapters more than once, the narration seems to change in different playthroughs, making it almost impossible to know what exact pieces you will hear in a certain area. The theme and dialog seems to be standard enough through the entire game that the story you hear is about the same as it would be any other time, but it is quite interesting to hear other blurbs as you reach a section from game to game. I have no idea how many of these different blurbs you can encounter, but I am planning to play through the game again, maybe several times not just because I love the feel and isolation I feel while playing the game, but to tread deeper into the depths of the story and hear various new commentaries.

If you read this far, this game is for you. If you are willing to take this much time to read a review, I think you can appreciate this wonderful game as the artistic piece of work that it deserves. I highly recommend this game to anyone that has accepted games as more than just gameplay, but as a form of true beauty, a place to lose yourself in a world without having to shoot at things and jump around, and challenge yourself to see what the creator is trying to say by making it less than easy for you to interpret their strange thoughts to us gamers.

A like-minded gaming friend gifted me this game, and I am truly grateful that someone cared enough to share this experience with me. It was a wonderful journey. Thank you. :)

TL;DR Glorious mix of graphics, music, narration, and atmosphere. Walking simulator that is a true masterwork of art in the gaming universe. Even if you don't respect games such as this, give it a try (Not sure there has been a game in more bundles than this one so there is no way you can't get this for cheap at some point. The forum has 75% off coupons being given away constantly right now as well so there is that too). and see if you can appreciate it for what it is rather than just disregarding this genre entirely without actually making an effort to understand why people DO like them. A challenging, insightful, chilling, isolationist walk through a place that could make you think, feel terror, and maybe, just maybe turn you into a fan of more than just games focused entirely on gameplay.
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