Proteus is a game about exploration and immersion in a dream-like island world where the soundtrack to your play is created by your surroundings. Played in first-person, the primary means of interaction is simply your presence in the world and how you observe it.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (31 reviews) - 83% of the 31 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (2,214 reviews) - 73% of the 2,214 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 30, 2013

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Reviews

“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. Because you want to open your eyes and be up to your waist in seawater, to walk to shore and wander through fields that sing. And that’s an itch only Proteus can scratch.”
8/10 – Edge

“I come away from it feeling elated. And that makes Proteus feel very special to me. It’s such a pleasure knowing it will be the same for so many others.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Its randomness and secrets make it worth playing through a few times, and beyond that, it's easy to imagine wanting to return to it just for respite from a stressful day or a noisy city.”
8/10 – The Guardian

“Proteus is beautiful, a beautiful thing. […]If it must be catgorised, Proteus perhaps is best filed alongside last year's similarly oblique but fascinating experimental games – Dear Esther and Journey.”
5/5 – Eurogamer

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About This Game

Proteus is a game about exploration and immersion in a dream-like island world where the soundtrack to your play is created by your surroundings. Played in first-person, the primary means of interaction is simply your presence in the world and how you observe it. The procedurally generated islands are home to creatures natural and imagined, tranquil valleys and ruins with magical properties.

Key Features:

  • Meditative play: the responsive world and lack of any text or hints distils an essence of curious, investigative play, and rewards patience and immersion.
  • Dynamic soundtrack composed by award-winning musician David Kanaga follows the mood of the world and will appeal to fans of Boards of Canada, Brian Eno.
  • A distinctive 2D-but-3D graphical style with wild shifting palettes that sits somewhere between 8-bit videogames and early 20th century modernist painting.
  • Islands are uniquely generated every time, and although it's theoretically possible to see everything in one playthrough, no-one ever does.
  • Built-in "postcard" function encodes world data into each screenshot, allowing islands and discoveries to be saved and shared.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 2.2GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.6
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 2.2 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Mint 13 LTS, Fedora 16, fully updated
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Mint 13 LTS, Fedora 16, fully updated
    • Processor: 2.2 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB HD space
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (31 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (2,214 reviews)
Recently Posted
Ocelot
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
As I stood among the totems of the dead gods on the mount, the world went silent save the blowing of the wind. Further up I walked and came across a lone tuning stone, an instrument for a ritual of the dead civilization. I sat there next to it and watched the sun set and the moon rise.

--------------------------

I walked among the trees of the summer, following the lines of the land. Bees appeared around me and gave me great swiftness to my destination. It brought me to the graveyard. Among the gravestones stood one that was blessed. Red flowers grew there, the last true grave of the people. The grave of my wife. None live that will bury me in the earth, my body shall rest upon the mount.

---------------------------

I recommend this piece of art strongly.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ff
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
This isn't a game so much as a work of art. Its low resolution "8 bit" graphics but nonetheless there is a beauty to it - not only visually, as the music changes as the environment changes.

I tried this "game" a year or two ago, played it for about 10 minutes, didn't really get what I was supposed to do, and gave up. I came back to it today wandered around for a bit and then after a while I started to understand what it was about.

When I came back to it this time, I didn't try and do anything, I just wandered around, and then I understood what I was supposed to do - which was just to wander around!

This isn't a game about competition, its not a game with much of a story, its not a game about self-improvement, but it is Art.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Yggdrasiln
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 21
Incredibly relaxing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nick Yonge
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 17
The best way I can describe it is playing a painting. It's delightful :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
a shovel
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 16
Really not worth the money. It's a neat experience, but ten dollars for less than an hour is what I call "a bit steep." Just watch a youtube video of it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kai
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 14
Proteus is a game where you wander around a randomly generated, low-res island.
The island changes as you play, and the soundtrack adapts to everything that happens on screen.
Proteus is not achievement-driven, so there aren’t any errands you have to do.
The only goal is to look and listen, which is great because the world in Proteus is so pleasant.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jimmyff
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: July 14
Chilled out. I discovered some cool things. Really pretty.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
๖CHESHIRES͡H̶R̴̷O̶OM
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 11
Not so much a game... but a chill virtual pixel island to call your own. Relax on the beach, or chase bunnies, or just watch the pink trees
Also recommended by Psychonautic Gaming Collective
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kaeve
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 11
This is a very relaxing experience. I think it is unfair to call it a game because that might disappoint some people going in to it. But if you know what you're getting into, this is really worth your time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SMK
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 11
It's 5:39 am and I haven't slept yet and I need to do (more) productive stuff around 8 am (excuse my spelling). Proteus was a game I was excited by when I learned about it which was a long while ago. It's been at least a year or two since I heard about it and I got it on the summersausagesales. I liked it. It was rather immersive and the sfx was fantastic with the stuff you could interact with. I think I do wish there was more you could interact with and that my first playthrough would be longer and more eventful (but it was still mindblowing) I did very much enjoy this game. It affected my dreams when I went to bed the day of playing the game. Maybe I'll write more about this game soon but this is my basic review of Proteus. I don't recommend getting it for full price since I found the game to be short though.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Very calm, happy game. If you don't like "walking simulators" this game isn't for you. There aren't any tasks to complete other than changing the seasons, it's purely exploration. It isn't a game you can play for hours at a time, but it's nice if you need something to relax.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Get some quality mind-benders*. Combine with this chillaxer. Relax, and enjoy your trip.

Music is awesome. One of the best out there. Don't expect a game, expect a journey. Wait for a discount if in doubt.

(* — still enjoyable without them, tho)
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
--- PROTEUS ---- This is less of a game and more of an experience. Possible Spoilers

PROS
- There are no objectives.
- You wander aimlessly though a forever generating world
- There's a nice feature in which you can save memories and transport yourself back to a certain location
- Enough mystery and intrigue within the design of the world was enough for me to just walk around for about 35ish minutes, the game generates its own landmarks which helps with this
- It looks great, its very clourful without being disorientating and the semi-pixelised art style is a nice touch
- Like the world, the games soundtrack builds up as you walk around, It provides a nice ambient feel and compliments the sense of mindlessly walking around discovering different landmarks and locales

CONS
- For the experience the price tag is hefty, if you can buy it for $5 or less than i'd say its worth an interesting
30min - 1 hour
- Since its a procedurally generated world and ,atleast in my experience, can potentually be rather buggy. In other words you can be walking around walking on the ocean for a while before you see anything
- Once you've visited a few different worlds the game feels empty afterwards as there is nothing really to do, it'd be interesting if there was some form of journal that you could keep, this could help in providing your own stories for the different places within the world

OVERALL = 7/10
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 16
Really not worth the money. It's a neat experience, but ten dollars for less than an hour is what I call "a bit steep." Just watch a youtube video of it.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
LSD TRIP SIMULATOR
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
As I stood among the totems of the dead gods on the mount, the world went silent save the blowing of the wind. Further up I walked and came across a lone tuning stone, an instrument for a ritual of the dead civilization. I sat there next to it and watched the sun set and the moon rise.

--------------------------

I walked among the trees of the summer, following the lines of the land. Bees appeared around me and gave me great swiftness to my destination. It brought me to the graveyard. Among the gravestones stood one that was blessed. Red flowers grew there, the last true grave of the people. The grave of my wife. None live that will bury me in the earth, my body shall rest upon the mount.

---------------------------

I recommend this piece of art strongly.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
How can this game have any poor reviews. That would be like picking on an infant. This game is not about being a game. Its about being a zen. This is brain candy which touches senses and feelings I forgot I had. Its like the earliest dream you had which you can't ever quite remember. The longer you stay the sadder and happier you get. The artisans of Proteus somehow captured a place that I have longed for, combining color palettes rarely seen, which stir such emotion. What a masterful creation. The genius in this artistic simplicity will be missed on many. But for those whose minds can grasp the deeper significance and beauty, this game will excite you. Thank you developers for putting so much love into this title.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
126 of 143 people (88%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 6, 2015
I lost someone recently. In those first days full of grief and exhaustion from taking care of family matters, before I slept, I'd sit and try to play something to clear my mind. I didn't feel like playing my usual games. Not shooters, not puzzles, something where I could simply be transported somewhere nice.

First I thought of Bernband and Euro Truck Sim 2, but I didn't have them installed. I played Secret Habitat, I played Minecraft, and I played this game, Proteus (and a bit of its mod Purgateus).

It provides the simple pleasure of walking around in a cheerful, surprisingly interactive, rather mysterious place, rendered in fidelity low enough to let your imagination amplify it.

I've heard about and seen screenshots of many mechanics to discover, and even an end game of sorts. I haven't experienced most of them, though many patterns are now clear and I even found how to control the time of day. This is to say that there is just enough substance here to keep you interested, if you ever get bored of simply walking around.

It's a place to unwind, basically. I love walking around woods, but I don't have easy access to them.

Also, my two young nieces love watching me play it, and chasing frogs or owls or pointing at far away landmarks and getting there, talking about the cycle of night and day, about seasons, forests and animals and wandering.
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184 of 229 people (80%) found this review helpful
184 people found this review funny
Recommended
214.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 5, 2015
I played this 4 days straight help me
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
245 of 322 people (76%) found this review helpful
18 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2014
To some, Proteus is a very tranquil and peaceful first person experience, to others it might be dull and pointless. There is nothing really here other than exploring randomly generated islands all in a lo-fi pixelated setting. The game seems to have a base soundtrack of lo-fi synth beats that gets added to based on what you're currently looking at. Trees, bushes, insects, animals and tombstones will all form a melody as you walk by them.

There is no death in Proteus, just walking around. The islands seem small enough to be fully explored. If there are any caves, or underground areas, I haven't found them. Since this is an exploration game, there is only walking. There is a sit button, but there is no running, no jumping, and no zoom. No crafting, building or creativity, just walking.

You'll see day turn to night, the sun will set, and the moon will rise over the ocean. Summer will turn to fall, fall into winter. You can stand on mountains above rain clouds, or go down to be in the rain. You can see the stars begin to trip out and pulsate. Comets will fall from the sky and other seemingly random things. Plus portals that will suck energy orbs into them and warp you away to the next season.

While you won't die, there is an end to each game. Winter will lead to the end, a closing, a goodbye, but again there is always a new island to explore. Since the game generates different islands each time you play, one island can have an uncreepy graveyard, a circle of statues, a cabin, a bay full of crabs, a flock of chickens and another island can be seemingly barren. It is always a new trip to a different island.

When you evaluate whether or not to play Proteus, you need to evaluate what you're looking for. Are you looking for something to relax and zone out? Are you looking for a clear cut objective? No matter how hard you explore in Proteus, you won't find any objectives other than ones you set for yourself. Do I go over that mountain or do I follow that snow owl in the trees? The choice is yours. While someone might be able to get hours of exploring Proteus through dozens of different play throughs, but others might get bored after 5 minutes. You can complete the game in an hour, with fifteen minutes in each of the four seasons.

---- someone wanted me to return to Proteus again ----

This island isn't some haven or vacation. It is a gaming prison. No doors, no keys, no jumping, no running and no way off the island. Forced to spend a year in solitary confinement. Alone on an island, but yet not alone. There is the wildlife. Crabs on the ground, bees chasing me through the forest, a flock of chickens and an ominous snow owl that watches me from afar. These are my roommates. My only playthings on a bright and vibrant island.

This time on the island, I managed to find the circle of totems pretty quickly. Then I found a cabin on a peninsula. After that, I discovered the fat world tree and the squirrels that frolicked beside it. Its a beautiful place to be alone. In a way there were still others here, because tombstones littered the ground. Everything makes a sound. My walk, the crinkle of pixelated leaves, toads hopping away and even the stars themselves made a harmony.

Spring turned to summer. The bees were swarmed around various trees. Some may say that bees belong to the spring to pollinate flowers, but for anyone that's ever been to a theme park or opened a can of soda, they know that bees love the summer. I had completely explored the island thoroughly. At some point I just wandered along the sandy beach outline of the safe haven from hardcore games.

Fall rose before I knew it. Everything was orange and flaming red. The wildlife was on its back. This land was slowly dying and so was everything on it. There was a glimpse of what was to come. I saw trees with no leaves, brief glimpses of a red sky with swirling stars as if Armageddon was there. It was only a daydream it would seem. Everything returned back to normal with leaves on the trees and the clouds coming closer to the ground.

Winter came one night. The island was bleak and everything was dead with white snow. The leafless trees looked like giant thorn bushes. There were no animals. Nothing but me. I scoured the island, but found nothing but frost that covered the ground. An overcast sky shadowed the trees with a purple hue.

Then as I went to the cabin on the beach, I began to slowly drift away. No not into the water, but the sky. I was being pulled off the ground like I had the year prior in Proteus. Soon I was at the clouds themselves when I had just had my feet in the snow. Through the clouds I went, higher and higher, realizing that I had succumb to everyone's fate on Proteus. Up I went, looking at the stars ahead of me. Their light guiding me off the island. I was free again. My sentence was over. I had left Proteus behind. The time spent on Proteus had made me a calmer and better person. Goodbye my prison. I will never forget you!
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