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 (1,835 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 30, 2013

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy Proteus

 

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

Steam Big Picture Mode

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
156 of 200 people (78%) found this review helpful
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, others might get bored after 5 minutes.

---- 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 and white. The leafless trees looked like giant thorn bushes. There were no animals. Nothing but me. I scoured the island, but found nothing but white snow 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!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
75 of 95 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
38 of 44 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
26.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 12, 2014
Kid loves the game. Why? because it's so meta.

An adult only sees a simple explorer game with some funny colors and animals and sounds. The 'game' will be 'meh' in just 15 minutes.

A 5-year old on the other hand sees a huge world to explore and discover wonderfull things. And they will make up a stories for the things they find there as they play.

It does help though that there is a way to progress to 'next season' and finally end the game. It is so easy a 5yo can find the ending and complete the 'game'
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
29 of 39 people (74%) found this review helpful
16.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
23 of 32 people (72%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
proteus is a beautiful dream and upon waking you are back in your awful existence
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2014
Proteus is a first-person exploration simulator. In it, you play as an individual who comes across an island, free of any other people but with plenty of wildlife. You explore it through both day and night of each of the seasons, enjoying the ambient music, changing weather, and various randomly generated locations on the island. As you explore, some of the wildlife will react to you, and the music/surroundings will change depending on the season, weather, time of day, and what's near.

This is a recommendation only based on whether or not that sounds interesting to the player. It's well done, and entertaining for what it is. It is, however, a style of game which likely has limited appeal.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
*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".
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
29 of 45 people (64%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2014
Proteus isn't a game for everyone- or most people honestly. It's one of those things you'll either love or hate, perhaps similar to how people view Animal Crossing. Simply put, you walk around, see the sights and witness how things change through the seasons on a randomly generated island. Really it's about how you see it. There's no "plot" or objectives except what you make of it, there are little events and landmarks that you can find however. I'd recommend this game to people who just want to relax or do something calming. Honestly, whenever I play it invokes this sense of wanderlust and strange homesickness I'm not sure how to describe, but I personally keep coming back to now and again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 22 people (59%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2014
A combustible mix of abstract pixelated landscapes and chillwavy chip-tune synthetic/ambient music. Proteus is the 3D version of ‘mountain’. Play this when you are high. You can hear bit of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ by the Beatles near an artificial tower not far from the start of the game.

“The wonderful gateway in your pocket to a world that is yours for the creating, whether it be talking frogs, stary faces on apple trees that just wont blink and you're sure that they know your name or maybe just the good old headmash that convinces you that you ARE, in fact, a carrot.”
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 29, 2014
My two little kids love it and I can use it to tell them some stories. They are learning to use the xbox controller with this game too. They have 3½ and 2½ years old yet and are always very excited to play it.

I like the sounds of it, they're sometimes very relaxing...

There are too many stuff happening, some rare and very beautiful!

9/10 for the unique experience

7/10 for the lack of interactivity
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
Maybe one of the gratest game I played.
Remind me how much the life is beautiful xD
92/10
-IGN
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2014
This game is so beautiful! I am amazed by the sounds, the colors and the peace. Reminds me of beautiful dreams I have.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 30, 2014
(7/10) Interesting little interactive design. Its not exactly a game on its own but it is an interesting place to explore for a while and expirament with. Not particularly deep or long but it doesn't really need to be to share its mood and tone with you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2014
Proteus is a one of a kind experience. It can be summed up as a game that I love to play when I want to relax and not worry about beating a game, and for the price it is worth every penny.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
In this game, all you have to do is walk.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny