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 (1,977 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
86 of 95 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 6
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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23 of 25 people (92%) found this review helpful
148.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 5
I played this 4 days straight help me
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
25 of 33 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 3
Very little content for the price. I usually enjoy atmospheric exploration games, but you are done with this in half an hour. Look at playtimes in reviews. Would not recommend.
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26 of 39 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
Is it "unique" and pretty? yes. Did it provide me any entertainment? No.

Could I say I enjoyed the visuals and sound? Kind of, but they failed to draw me in. Everything to see is seen within the first of four seasons. Then you just circle around through three more waiting for Winter and the end. I didn't feel anything, experience anything, enjoy anything, or anything anything. There's no implied meaning. It feels more like a tech demo than whatever 'art' is to me. I'm guilty of owning too many Humble Bundles (if 'too many' is actually a 'thing'!) and thankfully this was amongst one of them because the asking price of $9.99USD is, to put it mildly, outrageous.

One reviewer did mention their small child enjoying the game and making up stories for it and I can definitely say that it would be a very simple interface for a small child (WASD + purposely input lagged mouse). And I believe the visuals and mood of the game would lend itself well to an imaginative small child. But no matter what my heart tells me, I'm 30, and don't possess that imagination any longer. I was dulled beyond belief after the first five minutes.

Avoid.
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20 of 30 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 9
I awoke in gentle waters. In the distance, trees of all the colors of Easter dotted the coast. As I made for shore, I began to hear the song of spring, the humming of trees, the zimming of grass, the zooming of the falling petals and leaves. A playful pair of blue bunnies hopped away, their footsteps taking to ground like my fingers would the keys of a piano. White birds dashed from tree to to tree, with the faintest zips almost synthetic. Through a clearing, a council of feeding chickens scurrying off, my presence disturbing their time of fellowship. My feet found a dirt path, a path home perhaps, or to an adventure I had not yet known. A breeze of familiarity rose up as I neared the summit of green foothills. And there, surrounded by dozens of Sakura trees, a small cabin, the only evidence of human hands among the islands. I made it to the clearing, turned, and watched as hundreds of cherry blossoms fell to its rest, like a rain of pink champaign. In the twilight, I witnessed a blue moon rise, breaching the horizon over the vast, immeasurable sea. The day's song began to fade, to melt into the soft grip of that is night, to change keys and moods within mere moments. I laid under the Sakura trees, and watched the moon reach its dominion, shining with the whole of the galaxy behind it, cheering their young sister on. In the quiet music of the night, as the world completed its change to hues of white, blue, and black, and the horns and percussion that had ruled the day were hushed by the chords and strings of the evening, I closed my eyes; unware that when I woke I would bare witness to entirely different journey of melodies.
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