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 (1,914 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
116 of 141 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person 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.
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46 of 62 people (74%) found this review helpful
17.2 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.
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39 of 52 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person 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
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23 of 28 people (82%) 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".
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.8 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.
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39 of 65 people (60%) 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.
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21 of 32 people (66%) 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.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
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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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
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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14 of 24 people (58%) 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.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 22
Amazing!
This game has an atmosphere like no other. It is very surreal. The music playing all the way through, constantly changing is excellent and and can be influenced by things in the world like the little creatures, or the owl. The game gets to its best during winter, the music is beautiful but sad during this part of the game, echoing what I can only presume is, well I can't tell you! You need to experience this. During the end of winter, I got goose bumps, but I will not spoil it. One of the most beautiful peices of art I have ever experienced. If you do drugs this may be an opportune use for them, it will get even more surreal.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
Like Skyrim with musical bunnies.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
In this game, all you have to do is walk.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 17
This was not a game, it was a life that I lived for 30 minutes in my virtual T.V screen. Words can not describe the feelings I felt as I walked in the "game". I use the work game like that because this is actually an experience that will move you to do great things, I mean just look at me I killed myself after playing this game cause it was so emotional.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
best wandering simulator 2k15









also i can sit
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
Below you'l find a video and written impression on the game
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO8NPW8fjvU

Proteus is about pretty colors, pretty sounds, and walking. A lot of walking. There's really not a whole lot of mechanics to speak out side of exploring a randomly generated world. As you explore, you can bump into random events and objects that through your "interactions" the music and sounds will change in response. The mechanic of the game is simply walking and exploring.

I think it would be pretty fair to say it's not a game for every one. For those who's used to mi-maxing, meta-gaming, or twitching through their games, you probably won't find Proteus all that appealing. But for those who like their games a little bit more light hearted, simpler, and rather relax when they game, Proteus might be an interesting choice.

The randomly generated worlds are quite pleasing on the eye with a fantastic art design behind it. It does 2.5D graphics expertly. The color pallet is very relaxing and appealing, and it even has dynamic weather effects. The sound and music are also equally praise worthy.

For those who don't mind minimal mechanics but really enjoy the exploration aspect of gaming, then I am please to let you know, Proteus does a great job and mixing the world up with each play through, almost always showing some new random thingy or McBobber to find in the world, and for the explorers out there, that might be enough to satisfy your gaming needs.

Overall Proteus shows an interesting concept and pushes the idea of "Non-game" games. It won't be for every one, but for those who might be interested in these sorts of games, Proteus is one of the best out there.

Pros:
- Gorgeous randomly generated worlds
- Great art style
- Great audio
- Very relaxing

Cons:
- Minimal mechanics
- Not for every one
- Can not save current world you're exploring (new world every time you play)
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
Needs more posibilitys to walk.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2014
Video games teach us to follow linear pathways to achieve a clear objective and reach a single, desirable end, a clear "game over" where we know we've succeeded or failed. Proteus could not deviate from that system farther. The first time I opened the game (which was just now), I found myself tearing up over... well, it's beauty, it's adventure, it's hard to describe. It's Proteus. (now admittedly I'm a huge wimp, but the experience was really emotionally moving, and not at all something I expected from a video game :P) It felt like five minutes of gametime; my Steam says I've logged five times that much. If any game is truly magical, it's Proteus.

Most games are easily beatable with a lot of grinding and the help of a google search, a wiki, or a friend, but the thing about Proteus is you don't "beat" it. You just play it. That's somewhat of a radical thing in video games, I think, and it makes playing Proteus a real stress-relieving experience. There's nothing to tell you what's going to happen, or even how you go about making it happen - that's what playing the game is for! You explore, you learn, you discover. It's a game that doesn't bend itself to the will of a dedicated, competitive player, it's a game that takes you along for an adventure. The music has the quality of pre-composed pieces but is formed naturally as you explore the environment, which changes with what seems to be a mind of its own. Swim to that island. Bump into that rock. Follow that blue hopping thing. Who knows where you'll end up? I don't. My mom don't. The wiki don't. At least I sure hope it don't... This game is whatever you want it to be, so I encourage any players not to start with asking what they can find or how to find it, but just to hop into the game and enter their own little dreamscape where anything and everything can happen. :3

On the practical side the game is very friendly with the options. You can play it fullscreen or in a window and you can adjust your field-of-view and mouse sensitivity very easily and even do it ingame if you please. The creators have pulled out all the stops to make sure this game is a convenient and comfortable experience as well as a beautiful one. I reckon I'd pay the full ten bucks for it, but if you can, get it on sale; whenever you can get your hands on it, Proteus will be waiting for you. :P

The game's not for everyone, but if you enjoy video games as an art form, if you're looking for a truly unique adventure that's both dynamic and peaceful at the same time, and heck, if you just flippin want to, give Proteus a try. This is a world I wouldn't mind going to when I die.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
The first thing I will tell you, there's a man... in a smiling bag. Second thing is, the owls are not what they seem. Third thing is, without chemicals, he points.
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