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:
Mixed (24 reviews) - 62% of the 24 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (2,200 reviews) - 73% of the 2,200 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 30, 2013

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Proteus

SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 4

-66%
$9.99
$3.39
 

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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (24 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (2,200 reviews)
Recently Posted
Odin Greyhorn
( 1.4 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.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Supa-Troopa
( 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)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Moe AKA The-Moland
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
this really pushes the term "game" you can walk around and look at stuff.... thats it.... thats all there is, and then some sounds... yey... i have bought some bad games on steam before, and i've always accepted that that is what happens from time to time. but this is the only "game" i regret buying... if you like artsy fartsy BS then by all means go buy it. but if you want to actually play a game then this is not for you...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Might as well
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
Wasnt high enough.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Suzuki Basket
( 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
Helpful? Yes No Funny
penguinotic
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
I use this game as a way to bore my friends out of my house after a game night.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
M3rmaid
( 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.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Durosuka™
( 1.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
If you don't like artsy fartsy stuff, don't play this.
If this game was in VR, I'd never leave the house again.

I use the term play loosly because there isn't much playing, although I did manage to find some puzzel involving a cluster of sparkles on the ground. All in all I enjoyed it. It is more for the experiance than anything else. A trip you will.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
selina
( 5.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
it says this is a walking simulator and exploration game, so i dont know why people have downloaded it and then complained because there was nothing else to do then explore and walk. this isnt really a game, but rather an interactive artwork; probably not worth those 10$, so make sure to grab it on sale. for those who are wondering what there is to do in order to "complete" the game, you simply have to wait for night, spot the circle of rocks and lights, go into it and it will change seasons. repeat this every night until winter, and youll die :-)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bodomi
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Visually the game is cool and nice to look at but it doesn't help with the experience due to bad controls and annoying music.

People claim this game is nice to get you relaxed, something to play after a bad day etc... but no. This game doesn't relax you unless you turn off the sounds, which is like 90% of what this game is, the badly made 'music'. And the controls are horrible, the game is more likely to make you angry at the bad controls and constantly waiting for something to actually happen.

A game like Dear Esther and the countless other exploration games and similar games are a lot better at relaxing you, and they are actually immersive. You can actually live into the worlds in those games, you can't in this one.

There's not much to say as this game contains no actual content, it's a cool pixel graphics world with not-so-great 'music' that badly generates as you walk past triggers.

And let me just slip this in, the options menu isn't horrible but extremely weird, it feels like they made it weird and kind of bad on purpose to differ themselves from the good options menu's most other games have.


The world is nice to look at if you enjoy pixel graphics, that's the only compliment I can pull out of me. It's a nice world.

This game is certainly experimental indeed and I hope the developers(and other aspiring developers) can learn what to not due via this game.


I cannot recommend this game at any price, not even free.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
18 of 26 people (69%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 17
-Bought Proteus for my mate
-Skyped him
-Both of us smoked a tonne of really good weed
-Both load up proteus
-Believe we've entered a new reality and no longer exist as humans
-Spent over an hour following a bouncing rabbit thing across the island
-Walk into golden orbs and get teleported to a new world
-Decide I just want to stay in the game for the rest of my life

420/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
I... I really don't know what to say...

This game is my happy place. there's litterally nothing bad about this game in my opinion if you use it Like I do, play it before sleep or after a bad day. Just enjy it. don't even expect a real game out of this. Just take it for what it is.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
This game deserves more credit, it really pushes the boundary of art in a game. But if you are someone who doesn't like patient/relaxing/perceptive games then you should probably just skip this one.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
this really pushes the term "game" you can walk around and look at stuff.... thats it.... thats all there is, and then some sounds... yey... i have bought some bad games on steam before, and i've always accepted that that is what happens from time to time. but this is the only "game" i regret buying... if you like artsy fartsy BS then by all means go buy it. but if you want to actually play a game then this is not for you...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.4 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
120 of 137 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
176 of 221 people (80%) found this review helpful
177 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
239 of 314 people (76%) found this review helpful
16 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!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny