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: Mostly Positive (1,704 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 30, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"A audiovisual soundscape that is a joy to explore."

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
Helpful customer reviews
17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
I came back home after a break up and, when faced with what to do next, decided that getting lost in this pixel wonderland was exactly what I needed.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
Amazing game.

Many seem to object to calling Proteus a "game", but they're wrong.
Proteus captures many of the finest points of existence.
I conveys exploration, discovery, inevitability of death, an awe of nature, nostalgia, and more.

I may not be a "gamer" but I love hiking and looking at the stars. I can tell the creators of Proteus do, too.

Give yourself 1.5 hours (won't take longer than that) and PLAY THIS THROUGH!! It is superb.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
proteus is a beautiful dream and upon waking you are back in your awful existence
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Got it in a humble bundle.

I wouldn't call it a game. But more of a 'proof of concept' tech demo of a sorts. Nothing to it, really. For what it is, I'd recommend it. But if you're looking for something to play, you're probably better off going elsewhere.
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12 of 19 people (63%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
I almost feel bad for marking this review as negative, because the game's art style is well done and nice to look at. However, if you're like me, you'll get bored of this game in about 10 minutes. Do not purchase this game unless you got it in a bundle. If you already have it in your library, you should try it and see if it helps you zone out for a bit.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Needs more posibilitys to walk.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Very short "game," but definitely worth a playthrough. Beautiful, peaceful, meditative, surprising, lovely.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
*seriously looking at keyboard* Well, there're actually 2 things you will need to enjoy Proteus:

First, a great sense of imagination.
Like in the Atari 8-bit era where everything is better defined by your mind, not the graphics. Where some jumping pixels beside you is actually a wild animal that just passed by. Where you're offered a gorgeous view in front of your eyes, but need a open mind to really SEE the view, and not the pixels representing it.
In Skyrim, if you can feel the wind while looking at the horizon on top of a mountain, you may know what I mean.

(But if you're not able to understand any of this, "f@#% off back to Gears of War!")

Second, headphones. Without headphones the immersion is really compromised.

And that's it! Get yourself in a comfortable chair, a beverage/drink beside you, and take trip to Proteus. It probably won't last too long, but you'll be back if you've done things right.
THE END



FORMAL review: Proteus is a first-person exploration game/experience. Take a look at settings, tweak the mouse sensitivity to your preferences and remember that "space" makes you sit and "F9" saves the island as a "postcard".
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
This game is a little hard to explain. "Your daily random magical island in a box" is about as close I can get to it in a phrase.
I find this game really... relaxing, honestly. I would definitely recommend it to nature lovers, and to people who need a way to just calm down and let their stress fall away. It has no plot, and is very peaceful. It randomly generates an island for you to explore each time you play. This island has a day and night cycle, weather, and seasons that you can change more or less at will -- but I won't spoil how yet. I really reccomend figuring out for yourself. whether you're looking for a beautiful game, a calming game, or a daily random magical island in a box, I wholeheartedly reccommend this game. I've been smiling and thinking about it the whole time I've been writing this.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Proteus is one of these games which look pretty but doesn't have any goal, some people might refer to it as an 'Art game'. The only thing you can do is explore the island, check out the beautiful surroundings and listen to some nice sounds.

So yes the game does look quite nice but that's about it. It doesn't mean I dont get 'art', I just think there should be more to it.

At the moment Proteus is 10 euro, which is expensive for a game you probably will only spend 15 minutes in.
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8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
For the first few minutes I was kind of impressed. The island was bigger than I had imagined based on my initial sighting. I started to look around and some things in the distance caught my eye. I found a cabin I couldn't enter. Some animals that I could sort of chase. And a weird circle of statues on a mountain that made the stars pulse like the universe was having a seizure. And then I thought, "Ok, so I've been here 5-10 minutes... I've seen most of what I can pick out as interesting features... is this it?" I walked around a bit more thinking, "What do I do now? Are there any goals or things to look for if only I had some hints?'" This is when I decided there was nothing more to do and quit the game.

And then I remembered the game was put out on PS3/Vita where it was required to have trophies. And as I looked at the Proteus trophy list (here: http://www.playstationtrophies.org/game/proteus/trophies/ ), I once again felt like I got the short end of the stick by supporting this developer on PC before they ported their game to consoles and left us forgotten (much like those jerks at KLEI). Looking through the trophy guide there, at quick glance, it seems like the developer actually put some thought and effort into the trophy list, so I searched through the community forums here on Steam to see if anything was mentioned as far as developer commentary on the possibility of an achievement patch or why there will be none. Even KLEI, for all their hypocritical behaviour, at least tried to come up with a reason for not porting the trophies for Don't Starve into Steam achievements... but there was nothing. Even google didn't turn up much. Perusing the article on the game over at wikipedia, I found that the dev said that the features added to the PS versions "could come to PC in the future". This was over a year ago and nothing has been seen regarding it since then... and it's an absolute shame. Looking at the guides in the community section, it seems there's an actual goal and some other neat aspects of the game that casual gamers and players not using guides will miss out on. Achievements would be a way to help clue people in on theses aspects and encourage them with hints on ways to find them... but Steam users are left wanting and envious of the console ports.

I wish more developers would support their PC games and update them with the added content seen when the games are ported to consoles, much like The Astronauts have just done with The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (and the achievements added will probably match the PS4 trophy list, if I had to guess).

Don't buy this game, put your money toward something like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter instead.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
It's a walk through an art piece. It's a game in which you explore and interact with the world. What I didn't like about it was the fact that the only way to *interact* with the world was to *look* at it and *be* in it. I wish the game would provide some way to establish goals or at least give the "player" a little bit more to intrigue them. It doesn't ever tell you why you appeared suddenly in the ocean near an island and must now wander aimlessly. You don't need to eat, or sleep, apparently.

Overall it's quite zen, though. Walking around and hearing the music reflect your environment is actually a very strong aspect of the game. And even though I felt a burning desire to figure out what the game had to offer, eventually it sort of washed itself away and I felt content with being in the world.

As far as a recommendation, it's quite a good experience, but it's one of those games that questions what a game is. Being so abstract and artistic, I don't think it'll be accessible to most audiences.

To summarize my recommendation: I like it, but a lot of people won't. I recommend you play it. But don't expect to *do* much in the game.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
In this game, all you have to do is walk.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 15
I was very excited, when I got Proteus with one of the recent Humble Bundles.
I usually love this kind of games, but I didn't like Proteus.

I recommend, you save the money on Proteus and play the free little game "The Plan" instead.


http://store.steampowered.com/app/250600/
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1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Too boring.
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
Not recommended. Not condemning it either. It's a pretty cool experience, actually. If you get it for free or for very cheap as part of a bundle or sale or something, you should definitely play through it once or twice. It's short, so it's worth your time, but maybe not worth your money, is what I'm saying.

The game consists of wandering around a brightly colored, pulsating, low-fi landscape which transforms as you explore it. There are animals and plants, weather effects, and a day/night/seasonal cycle, all of which sync with a hypnotic, throbbing, synthy electronic soundtrack. It's trippy and pleasant and if you plug in some headphones and stare hard at the screen, can be pretty compelling and immersive.
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0 of 4 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
This isn't really a game. There's no point scoring, no goals, no interaction.
It's just you and this beautiful pixelated world which has a mind of its own. A one-of-a-kind experience, i would say, an experience perfect for a short relaxing session after school/work.

Colourful world ✓
Cute deers/birds ✓
Relaxing soundtrack ✓
BUT
Limited exploration, only one island per session
Pretty much the same island every time, there's nothing new in each island

I would recommend this experience, but if you're looking for a GAME, i won't be recommending this GAME, especially not at a not-so-cheap price tag of 10 bucks.
After all, this experience can be replicated on Youtube.

Personally got it in a bundle, so this title was a pleasant surprise.
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1.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
The PERFECT stress relief. For a bad day.
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0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Got this from Humble Bundle. The game itself is a great and relaxing experience. At first it may seem boring because you can't do much more than walk and look around but the world seems "alive" which makes this an interesting game. However, I don't think it's worth the full price so if you want this, I reccomend getting it on a sale or something.
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1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Ah, I hate to put a "no" review for Proteus. It's a quirky little game that has some heart to it.

Proteus is one of those 'experience' games a-la Journey where the enjoyment is in experiencing what is around you. For what it's worth, Proteus does offer a lot of charm; the background melodies combine with the various sounds of your island to create a hypnotic symphony. The wide open environment reminds a lot of Minecraft, only in a beautiful cell-shaded manner.

But unlike Minecraft or Journey, Proteus lacks any form of gameplay. It consists of wandering around until you find something that piques your curiosity, investigating it, and then leaving. And there are a couple non-standard things to find in Proteus; if a player feels like they're being led somewhere, there's probably something to find. Alas, there could stand to be way more of these curiosities, as they are too few. Exploration is all that Proteus has, yet Minecraft does it with wider worlds, more mysteries, more gameplay, and the ability to express one's own artsy fartsy tendencies rather than just experiencing those of another.

If you got the game as part of a bundle, it may be worth it to play; the experience is very serene, and the way the music synergizes with the environment is wonderful. However, even though the game may be "art," it is missing an actual game, and I would not recommend its actual purchase.

Final verdict:

Exploration games are an excellent concept, but it needed way more to be as memorable as something like Journey.

On a scale out of 10 where 4.7 is considered "average," this game would rank at a 3.5 - has potential, but doesn't necessarily meet it.
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