“A deserted island…a lost man…memories of a fatal crash…a book written by a dying explorer.”
Dear Esther is a ghost story, told using first-person gaming technologies. Rather than traditional game-play the focus here is on exploration, uncovering the mystery of the island, of who you are and why you are here. Fragments of story are randomly uncovered when exploring the various locations of the island, making every each journey a unique experience. Dear Esther features a stunning, specially commissioned soundtrack from Jessica Curry.
Forget the normal rules of play; if nothing seems real here, it’s because it may just be all a delusion. What is the significance of the aerial – What happened on the motorway – is the island real or imagined – who is Esther and why has she chosen to summon you here? The answers are out there, on the lost beach and the tunnels under the island. Or then again, they may just not be, after all…
Very intriguing.Zharwyn | May 16, 2013 | See all Zharwyn's reviews »
Most definitely a must-buy for people that are interested in interactive story-driven games. The beautiful environments and the ghost story makes up for the lack of gameplay, it's almost more like a movie. Although when it comes to concepts like these (and there are but a few) less is more in my opinion. It may seem short but since dialogue and other parts of the game are randomized, you may get a different feeling the second playthrough.
Sit back and enjoy a beautiful game with an interesting story.
An interactive movie that cost less than renting a movie.PanzerIV | April 20, 2013 | See all PanzerIV's reviews »
If you want to "watch" a movie without paying 5$ or more for going at the theater, it's a worthy experience when you get this on sale for almost nothing. I think it was less than 2$ when I took it.
A beautiful experienceMarkDeejay | March 16, 2013 | See all MarkDeejay's reviews »
Now this is art. It's a beautiful 'game', an adventure, where all you do is walk around, with a bit of exploring. At certain points in this adventure a narrator will try to tell you (bits of) a story. A cryptic one, mind you. In the end its interpretation is up you, the player. Some of the stories are random, meaning you might get a different one the next time you play. It's a short story, and it will take about 1-2 hours to 'complete', but, in my opinion, it's worth it. There's so much atmosphere in it, it's beautiful. Who would've thought the Source engine could still produce these kind of graphics ? It's breathtakingly beautiful. The little music there is is also perfect. The only little glitch I found was occasionally getting stuck in the environment, but it's not at all gamebreaking. And even though the price is steep for such a short experience, I would still gladly recommend it.
A magical journeyGuardian412 | Jan. 29, 2013 | See all Guardian412's reviews »
Dear Esther is more of a mysterious visual novel, than a game. But its fulfilling its purpose perfectly and capable to grab your attention with storytelling and beautiful visuals. In this "game" you don't have greater goals. You simply have to reach the end of the island on foot, while you slowly learn how you got here, who you're and what Dear Esther is all about. The experience is like hiking on a beautiful, but deserted and mysterious island, where you want to discover everything, and the best is, you'll without anyone or the game would tell you to do so. You'll look around to check the beautiful landscape, the flora, even stones and you'll walk further and further until you reach the end. Curiosity and the great narration leads the gamer from the beginning to the end. If you accept the fact that this is a visual novel and not a game, if you love art and storytelling, you won't regret by purchasing this game. Dear Esther is pure art, a great story to learn and a magical, extraordinary journey you have to experience.
PoeticLekes | Jan. 6, 2013 | See all Lekes's reviews »
Dear Esther has a deep atmosphere and unique poetic narrative. The visuals and sound are great, especially for a low budget title, and the environment is as detailed as it is fun to explore. It's only an hour long and gameplay consists of walking forward and looking around, though Dear Esther is obviously meant to be more of an interactive story than an actual video game. It's biggest appeal would be the location of the game itself. The Island feels so lifelike and genuine, It'd probably be an awesome place to visit in real life. I guess it just has a magically feel to it, I don't know. My biggest criticism would be it's price. I couldn't recommend this at full price, but Dear Esther was a nice experience all the same.