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:
Mostly Positive (24 reviews) - 75% of the 24 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (2,178 reviews) - 73% of the 2,178 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

 

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:
Mostly Positive (24 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (2,178 reviews)
Recently Posted
howlx
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
As much as I found Dear Esther a bit lackluster compared to the praise it received, at least it was pretty and had calming sound. Proteus is full of bright colors and odd topography that somehow doesn't affect your movement. I don't understand how people found it relaxing. Maybe I'll do multiple playthroughs (if you can even call it playing) on various drugs. Better on acid? Worse on shrooms? Best on krokodile?? I'm going to do it - FOR SCIENCE.

*ahem* The only "pro" - I thought the various animals were cute, until I realized all of them only run away from you and that's it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CharlieB
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
Another reviewer said that you can see all there is to see in this game in only ten minutes. Friend, you could not have been more wrong. My mind boggles to think how much work must have gone into this game, to make the experience so subtle that it takes some time to even realise that you are playing a game. But trust me: you are. The more you explore the Proteus world the more you realise that there's more to this world than pretty graphics and nice music.

The world responds to you. Not just to your simple actions, but to the emotions you're feeling in a particular part of the world because of what's going on, what's already happened and even what you already know. It's amazing that no matter what path I choose, the game always has something for me; a new experience that surprises me, even when I think I know what's coming.

If you don't like games without tick-box goals then maybe this one isn't for you. But if you're willing to put aside your search for objectives for a few minutes and just explore instead, you may find that you come across them anyway.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
m.pa11
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 19
This is a lovely 8-bit dream world.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jestrick
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 17
This is basically an interactive screen saver and walking simulation. Buyer beware.

THAT said however, and someone who has just gotten into meditation and relaxfulness, I really love this "game".

Random but familar island each time, just walk around and relax. Observe what you're seeing and enjoy the relaxing music. That's all there is to it, and even if that is all, it gets a thumbs up from me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AlexWrench
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 16
Proteus is basically an island you can generate with your computer. There's a full range of plants and animals, a handful of landmarks, and a couple of secrets and surprises. Although there isn't much to do in Proteus, the procedurally generated landscape, fudgy graphics, and kaleidoscopic sound occasionally come together into something worth bearing witness to. If nothing else, Proteus can be enjoyed passively and functions well as a palette cleanser.

There also exists a free mod called Purgateus, which uses alternate graphics and sound to create a darker setting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
LogicalFrank
( 1.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 16
1. This is a completely awesome tech demo but they seemed to have forgotten to make any sort of finished game out of it.

2. Yes, I get that this is supposed to push the notions of what a game is and I support that. I've been supporting this same notion of pushing what a game can be over and over for some time now and frankly walking sims just aren't pushing anything these days.

3. As per 1, this is built in a charming and effective pixely landscape and the way the music changes based on where you are and what you are doing is frankly breathtaking at times.

4. Also as per 1, some things are wonky and broken in the wild. I couldn't get this to run properly on my 4K monitor for example.

5. What you do in this game is walk around until it is time to stop walking around.

6. I suppose the artistic purpose of this was to explore our relationship to the passage of time or to come to terms w/ the inevitability of death.

7. *yawn*

8. This strikes me as something that might be good to play while deeply involved in certain expanded states of consciousness. By that I mean you should play this after meditating.

9. I didn't really mean that.

10. The breaking point where I decided to not recommend this is when I closed the game when I needed to do something and when I came back, it made me start all over again. There was no warning of this given.

11. I was extremely annoyed by number 10 but it did make me realize and appreciate this world is procedurally generated.

12. Procedurally generated game worlds are cool. Too bad I didn't get to play a game set in this one.

13. The one thing that makes me want to change my vote on this to recommended is my wife, who does not think too much about video games, actually sat down a minute and watched me play this one. It is quite a striking little world and very lovely for what it is. This would be quite effective as an exhibit in a museum where a person would only spend a few minutes w/ it but on the couch or at your desk at home is just not the right setting for it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SoJo
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 16
When I get #triggered I just take a minute breathe in and out heavily with my paper bag
open up this game and just

stop being triggered

10/10 would recommend to all feminist who get just a little bit...

triggered ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Badger of Tzeentch
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 15
You chase a frog accross a field.
10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wulfgar
( 3.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 14
I pretty much only play this game when I have trouble sleeping. It's really good and distracting and relaxing the brain.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bunkins
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 14
Entered game
See island
Ignore
Walk in to ocean for 10 mins
Get jump scared
Turn back
Cry
10/10 That jump scare though
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shooty*
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 13
So, I bought this when I was really quite depressed. Thought it might help. It didn't.
Probably quite good for hippies, or those on massive amounts of drugs, but haven't played it since that initial run through.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Muska
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 13
Product received for free
This thing is not even a game, yet costs 10 bucks.

Good thing is i did not have to, thanks to humblebundle.

It is - at best - a wallpaper generator. All the artsy crap speech is an excuse because developpers cannot write a proper glsl shader.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Aekuems
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 11
I didn't really understand what I was looking at or meant to be looking at, I just wandered around doing basically nothing for half an hour. Not really for me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
localism
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 10
Giving a positive review mainly because of the feeling this game gives you while you're playing it. It has an oddly nostalgic feeling, at least for me. Very surreal, and entertaining at the same time. Definitely one I can walk through again and again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bieker
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
This is the first game I've played where I wanted to applaud after the "end."
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shclumbachus
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 7
i don't even know what to say or think or do after playing this
it makes no sense, and yet it's fun
it's an experience
although you walk, it feels like there is a greater meaning to what you are doing
the music is also really good, and fits the psychedelic atmosphere
i think i'm crazy
Helpful? Yes No Funny
xsmiercx
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 5
♥♥♥♥
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nathan
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
I got this for free. Pretty game, but I don't see how this would be worth more than a dollar.

Want to see something beautiful? You could do that for cheaper, or even free by stepping outside the house and going somewhere to see something. Better yet, bring somebody with you and you'll enjoy yourself even more.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Warning Guy
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
thought i was on acid, turns out i actually was
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Littleshoes
( 1.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 30
Now i do not usally write reviews but i felt that i had to for this game.
Im going to describe my first 20 mins in this game
i open up the game im stranded in the sea with the shore of an island in the distance i swim to shore find some chickens
listen to them for quite awhile move forward a bit and they run into the forest i chase after then my eye gets caught on a home just in the middle of nowhere i go to explore i find nothing but my character crouches down likes he is looking at somthing....or kneeling, i continue on all of a sudden it turns into evening then night eventually i come over a hill i see a white object in the tree it stares i move closer it flys away revealing itself as an owl as i follow its flight i see a gigantic tree in the distance i walk towards it im standing under it just listening to the tree creak its relaxing eventually i decide to leave i turn i see a mountain i walk towards it...thats right walk not run walk i climb it and find a circle of figures i go towards them i enter their circle all of a sudden the stars are going in and out and some are falling....shooting down to earth i eventually move on..... i come to another forest this one is diffrent there are fragments floating around i enter them and suddenly im watching the sun and moon come and go seasons change in the blink of an eye...i decide to quit...for now and i close my virtual eyes.....thus ended my first 20 mins with this game...no its not a game its a experience.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
1. This is a completely awesome tech demo but they seemed to have forgotten to make any sort of finished game out of it.

2. Yes, I get that this is supposed to push the notions of what a game is and I support that. I've been supporting this same notion of pushing what a game can be over and over for some time now and frankly walking sims just aren't pushing anything these days.

3. As per 1, this is built in a charming and effective pixely landscape and the way the music changes based on where you are and what you are doing is frankly breathtaking at times.

4. Also as per 1, some things are wonky and broken in the wild. I couldn't get this to run properly on my 4K monitor for example.

5. What you do in this game is walk around until it is time to stop walking around.

6. I suppose the artistic purpose of this was to explore our relationship to the passage of time or to come to terms w/ the inevitability of death.

7. *yawn*

8. This strikes me as something that might be good to play while deeply involved in certain expanded states of consciousness. By that I mean you should play this after meditating.

9. I didn't really mean that.

10. The breaking point where I decided to not recommend this is when I closed the game when I needed to do something and when I came back, it made me start all over again. There was no warning of this given.

11. I was extremely annoyed by number 10 but it did make me realize and appreciate this world is procedurally generated.

12. Procedurally generated game worlds are cool. Too bad I didn't get to play a game set in this one.

13. The one thing that makes me want to change my vote on this to recommended is my wife, who does not think too much about video games, actually sat down a minute and watched me play this one. It is quite a striking little world and very lovely for what it is. This would be quite effective as an exhibit in a museum where a person would only spend a few minutes w/ it but on the couch or at your desk at home is just not the right setting for it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 10
Giving a positive review mainly because of the feeling this game gives you while you're playing it. It has an oddly nostalgic feeling, at least for me. Very surreal, and entertaining at the same time. Definitely one I can walk through again and again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 7
i don't even know what to say or think or do after playing this
it makes no sense, and yet it's fun
it's an experience
although you walk, it feels like there is a greater meaning to what you are doing
the music is also really good, and fits the psychedelic atmosphere
i think i'm crazy
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
Now i do not usally write reviews but i felt that i had to for this game.
Im going to describe my first 20 mins in this game
i open up the game im stranded in the sea with the shore of an island in the distance i swim to shore find some chickens
listen to them for quite awhile move forward a bit and they run into the forest i chase after then my eye gets caught on a home just in the middle of nowhere i go to explore i find nothing but my character crouches down likes he is looking at somthing....or kneeling, i continue on all of a sudden it turns into evening then night eventually i come over a hill i see a white object in the tree it stares i move closer it flys away revealing itself as an owl as i follow its flight i see a gigantic tree in the distance i walk towards it im standing under it just listening to the tree creak its relaxing eventually i decide to leave i turn i see a mountain i walk towards it...thats right walk not run walk i climb it and find a circle of figures i go towards them i enter their circle all of a sudden the stars are going in and out and some are falling....shooting down to earth i eventually move on..... i come to another forest this one is diffrent there are fragments floating around i enter them and suddenly im watching the sun and moon come and go seasons change in the blink of an eye...i decide to quit...for now and i close my virtual eyes.....thus ended my first 20 mins with this game...no its not a game its a experience.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 14
Entered game
See island
Ignore
Walk in to ocean for 10 mins
Get jump scared
Turn back
Cry
10/10 That jump scare though
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
20 of 26 people (77%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 13
You really need to play the game with the lowest possible form of any real expectations in order for you to really feel immersed, at all.


Trust me when I say this you do NOT need to go through an entire playthrough to get the jist of the game and it is very dissapointing to say that. Seriously- play it for about 10 minutes and there- that's basically the entire game, you don't need to play anymore of it as it won't give you much more than what it offered from the very start.

The world itself is not as 'interactive' as the game claims its primary aspect was made to be. For the most part you'll be walking around mindlessly, wheather changes depending on the time of day,and location which MIGHT trigger a somewhat interesting world 'event' .There are also very minor aspects of the game such as small animals and whatnot that you can approach which will intiate a reaction and a unique sound but this quickly becomes repetitive once you notice it's very petty as it makes no real difference within the meat of gameplay. The only one that does anything to your playthrough is a circle of lights that (from what I've learned) makes the world change from night to day or even its seasons without having to naturally wait for it to happen. But that on it's own right it is not that impressive enough for me to feel that this game shoud cost this much.


The music is interesting at most but I also can't say it's memorable or something people would actually listen to outside of playing it, it's a constant loop that grows mind numbing as you notice it's just the same several seconds of sound that never stops until something in the world causes it to change. I'm not sure how could they mess up one of the only elements that would have made this game redeemable - but- they did for me.



While It is decently ambient and soothing but i can't possibly recommend this at the full price of 10 f*cking dollars. Calling this a game is also a bit TOO generous, it's more like a pretentious pixelated walking simulator that is musically inclined.
Unless you're considering of buying this in a sale that makes it worth less than half of it's full price or you REALLY love this sort of thing- skip it and never look back
- there are far better games that you can play than this which is barren of any real content.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 12
This game is great on acid
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
It's dead simple. It's arguably not a game. But what it is, is genuinely relaxing, charming, and pretty. Play this and feel your tension melt. This is like Homestar Runner's takeabreak.exe expanded to a full hour or so of content. Plus little froggies!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 7
This game is very calming to play through
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
51 of 61 people (84%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
Are games art?

That's a pretty loaded question. It's hard to call Proteus a game, and it's also hard to call a game "art".

Typically, games consist of objectives, things to accomplish. Proteus does not. Proteus is a procedurally generated experience, the music and visual style changing rapidly throughout.

Is Proteus a game? That's up to you.

Is Proteus art? That's up to you.

But it's something worth your time.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
44 of 57 people (77%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
The game has nice music and looks pretty, but that's it.

For $12 you can walk around an island doing, well, nothing.

If you're deep enough to say "I totally get this game, maaaan", then sure, this game is probably right up your alley.

All the people who get it maaan have downvoted all the negative reviews. Such a great review system.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
I hoped I could dig this, since I like the walking-exploration game Dear Esther, but the paths and narrator's story in that game create an objective to keep following the paths to hear all the story, whereas Proteus gives nothing to create an objective for one's exploration.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
I'm not quite sure what just happened to me, but it was beautiful.

i've drank too much/10

would again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
Proteus is not a game, it's one of the (sry for derogatory term) "walking simulator" games.
There are very few interactive parts in this experience and absolutely zero so called "game play".
Yet I like it. As a person that is very stressed atm I can tell you - this is very calming and positive experience, almost therapeutic and very relaxing.
Proteus has a very simple graphics, simple but nicely arranged music and sounds and it's all well put together. There is no narration, story whatsoever that will upset you or put you in any non neutral mood.
Its like listening to the relaxaton tape but with added visuals.
Don't expect anything game like, just try to relax and travel the Proteus island.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
It is...special. And yeah, it is fun for a really short time. Is it worth the 10 bucks? Hell no, but you may think about getting it on sale.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
Mediocre walking simulator.
If you actuualy want a more artsy, better looking game like this go buy Dear Esther.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 15 people (60%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2015
The closest thing to an acid trip you are going to experience without a drug, but in a fantastically beautiful and minimalisticly artistic way. You will wander around an island created in a pixilated simplistic graphical style and listen to odd and exhilarating music and sounds. At first I thought what the F*@K is this thing and thank goodness I picked this up on sale for next to nothing. But then a funny thing happened, as I began to explore the island and interact with its wildlife and landscape I became swept away in it. After I explored enough I was able to find the whirlwind vortex to advance the island to the next season, and the next and then the last. What an unusually odd but worthwhile way to spend an hour. Not a game per say, definitely more of an experience, but if you like art (especially paintings), nature, the seasons and exploration do yourself a favor and experience what Proteus has to offer.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 12 people (58%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
"A game for people who can't visualise calmness"
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
Visual pixelated eye candy at its finest. The way the colors work is satisfying, always mixing together naturally. I enjoy using this game as a way to calm me down. I love exploring the constantly changing scenery, it's like a psychedelic nature walk. It reminds me that there is still beauty in this world. Sure, there's no house jumping singing frogs in the real world, but it's close enough.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2015
Very Cool (And Engaging) and Fun Video game for me In My opinion.,

I
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny