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:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (2,127 reviews) - 73% of the 2,127 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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Overall:
Mostly Positive (2,127 reviews)
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1,726 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 2
This isn't a "videogame", but we need more video games like this. One of the only games to make me emotional from the sheer beauty of the world it creates.

If you didn't like this, I feel bad for your soul.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
Product received for free
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools, singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.


-Sara Teasdale

This was a very good experience. I rushed through it, though. You play as someone who stumbles upon an island, and as you progress through the year, you get a lot of different emotions. I don't want to spoil it, but it had some moments that felt tense, mostly due to the calming nature of the rest of the game. I chose the poem because the game reminded me of a movie adaptation of it, and I seriously felt like the last man (or woman) on earth, up until the end. I recommend this if you have a "musical personality"
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
A very calming game, got it in the humble bundle, good vibes all around with this game. There is no objective but to walk around, calming music and atmosphere, very minecraft esque in the sense of the graphics being blocky and 8-bit like, but that doesn't stop the game from being beautiful. Very friendly game. If you've had a rough day play this for a while. Worth the buy.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 9
This game makes me happy.
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2 of 6 people (33%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
No point to this game AT ALL. Even becomes hard to look at after a while.
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1 of 7 people (14%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
What is this? Realy ? Wow!

This is some old school demo or something, mostly walking simulator, horrible graphics, this is the worst indie 'game' i have ever played, why it's not free i don't know, because it's not worth money.

1/10

I get that someone put work into it, but man get your standards higher.
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1 of 8 people (13%) found this review helpful
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
140 of 159 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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195 of 242 people (81%) found this review helpful
198 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
255 of 337 people (76%) found this review helpful
19 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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Recently Posted
Rem the Wise Rem
3.1 hrs
Posted: September 28
I'll be perfectly honest, when I first played this game I was at a point in my life when I was constantly feeling like ♥♥♥♥, soon enough later I was on anti-depressants, and now and then I get bad, but that's not the point.

I turned off my lights, put on my headphones and I was absorbed into an experience, calming vibrations, pleasant visuals, a walking simulator, yes. Proteus calmed me, it allowed me to colapse into a false world where I wandered and watch the seasons change, the wildlife pass and my essence rise above this small wonderful world below.

During some of the dark in my life, I occasionally find lights that help me move on and give me small comfort.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rilley Grate
1.2 hrs
Posted: September 24
Probably the most chill game I've ever played. Highly recommended for anyone going through a stressful time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EAT GOOD, SHIT GOOD
1.5 hrs
Posted: September 18
This game is only recommended for those that don't mind just wandering around a game landscape without any direction. Even then, for the asking price, $10 is steep. The pixel landscape is unique for this kind of thing, which adds some appeal to it, and there is something to do in the world at least, which is just pass by all the seasons. Main issue with the style is that things tend to blend together a lot with samey blobs of pixels. Even though it will randomly generate you a world each time, it will feel essentially identical to any other world with only a few lucky exceptions. $10 is also a rather steep price for something several benchmarking programs offer for free. Get it on a steep sale if you are into this sort of thing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
watchingcbeams
0.4 hrs
Posted: September 8
A purely pastoral and pixelated piece of poetry.
Helpful? Yes No Funny