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 (2,129 reviews) - 73% of the 2,129 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 30, 2013

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“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

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB HD space
    • Processor: 2.2GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB HD space
    • OS: 10.6
    • Processor: 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB HD space
    • Processor: 2.2 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB HD space
    • 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
    • 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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Mostly Positive (2,129 reviews)
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1,728 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
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.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
This is worth $0.99
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
141 of 160 people (88%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
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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244 of 325 people (75%) 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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121 of 154 people (79%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
12.8 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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240 of 333 people (72%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2013
"Simulation" should not be a four-letter word. Just because Proteus happens to communicate the joys of exploration and nature through a digital medium doesn't mean that it has any less merit than taking a walk in the real outdoors. Still, it is impossible to deny that it is a separate experience and akin to a poem in its presentation and tone.

The game sets you down just offshore of a relatively small and uninhabited island with a variety of flora and fauna. You can walk around and observe your surroundings. There is no obvious objective or even an air of secrecy about the whole thing – it is purely a game that exists to let you wander. Eventually, you'll find out how to change the seasons and find certain landmarks that trigger heightened moments of reality. You can choose to investigate any of these moments for as long as you choose to let them linger, or let them fade away by wandering over to another point of interest.

It is in these specific visuals of nature afforded you that set Proteus apart from a walk you might experience in real life; Proteus is an artist's rendition of a walk. In the end, my experience playing this game does boil down to that possibly vague distinction, but if you're someone who likes stumbling across that one huge tree, or seeing clouds drift overhead, or eavesdropping on the smallest sounds of nature, I'd highly recommend looking at Proteus. It is a refreshing change of pace to take a walk in someone else's walk.
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737 of 1,089 people (68%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
Proteus is a brilliant idea that only excels in its visual execution. It perfectly captures the kind of world once portrayed using just a few, two-toned pixels displayed from an Atari 800. A world that you, the viewer were forced to imagine rather than witness in high definition glory. The problem is; there is literally nothing to do within that world expect to wander its hills and valleys scaring off groups of animals while listening to the whimsical but unimpressive, procedurally-generated music. It is best described as a tech demo and it would make a fantastic screen saver akin to the classic Windows 3D maze. The one thing it is not however, is a game.
24 hours inside of Proteus would offer no more enjoyment or depth than simply watching its 2 minute long trailer video. And that is possibly the saddest thing I've ever written in review.
While most indie games leave you wanting more for their own good reasons, Proteus leaves you to starve on an empty island for want of anything at all.
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86 of 107 people (80%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2015
Proteus is pleasant and engaging, but just too light on content for the price.

Consider this review positive if you see the game on sale. It has a clear vision: A pleasant atmosphere with just enough mystery to keep you playing until the end. However, I was left really wanting more opportunities to interact with my wonderful surroundings more than I actually could. And so, the world was never as immersive as you'd hope.

I'd be interested in a sequel that takes this idea farther. There is definitely something to it.
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116 of 159 people (73%) found this review helpful
203 people found this review funny
214.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 5, 2015
I played this 4 days straight help me
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94 of 129 people (73%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 14, 2014
Proteus made me smile, intrigued me and even managed to lift my spirits.

Usually I go into details about the mechanics of the game and what I liked and didn't like...for Proteus, I really don't want to do that. It's a little like recieving a poem and a bunch of flowers and letting you wander through the words and colours, it's really rather lovely.

Thank you Ed Key and David Kanaga.
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Recently Posted
48.8 hrs
Posted: October 14
Perfect game if you want something to enjoy while your mind is not quite normal. 10/10 magical experience
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.4 hrs
Posted: October 11
Interesting for max 10mins. You can have 70% of the game experience by watching the video on the store page... Not worth buying. Except you are a huge teletuby fan or you have a toddler you want to spoil with videogames, then buy it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.4 hrs
Posted: October 5
I play this game whenever I want to relax and waste some time. Proteus is a very simple game where you walk around and explore. There are different scenes to the game. At the start of the game, you awaken in the sea with an island ahead of you.
It is spring time. There are new born animals jumping about and exploring the land similar to what you are doing, for the first time. As the sun drops and the moon rises the stars appear and you can see an unusual cluster of stars dropping and flowing towards this one point in the game. As you follow you are engulfed by the stars and time speeds up. When you are released the scenery has changed.
It is summer time. Here there are more animals and bugs. The music is upbeat and happy. You explore more of the land and follow some creatures around. Once night falls again, you are swallowed by the stars again.
It is autumn. Here the trees leaves start to fall off and turn brown. There are less animals and the music is starting to slow down and become sadder. You explore more. The stars once again fall down around you.
It is winter. The trees are dead. No animals are in sight. The music is merely just a humming. You explore more. Everything seems dull and depressing now. The stars don't come and get you. You wait through the night.
You feel tired, depressed and cold. You raise into the sky. You close your eyes. This is the end.

I feel that Proteus is a game about life. You rise in the spring and fall in the winter. The atmosphere in this game is very strong and it makes you really want to keep exploring and you wonder what has changed for each season.
Great game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.0 hrs
Posted: October 4
looking into the stars at nigh makes you totally bonkers.

420 out of 7
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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
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
Famix the Zetan
1.2 hrs
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"
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.3 hrs
Posted: September 9
This game makes me happy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny