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Dear Esther

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Dear Esther is the commercial remake of a Half-Life 2 modification of the same name first released in 2007. This version was redesigned entirely for the Source engine. The game is set on a remote, desolate island somewhere in the outer Hebrides. It is entirely story-driven and has no action sequences. It is possible to swim in certain section, but the player's character is immediately called back when he dies. The player walks the protagonist around, exploring the island, while a narrator gradually releases information about the meaning, hinting at a motorway accident. While he moves towards an aerial through four chapters with a linear design, the significance of the accident and the link to the island become apparent. Through its slow pace and the classical-driven music, the focus is more on the ambiance and the experience, than on actual gameplay, even though there are hardly any scripted parts.


Dear Esther Windows Further in the cave, the first messages appear, hinting at Damascus.
Dear Esther Windows "Dear Esther" are the first words spoken.
Dear Esther Windows Further following a path
Dear Esther Windows Exploring what the inhabitants left behind.

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The Press Says

GameZebo Windows Feb 17, 2012 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100 Windows Feb 14, 2012 9 out of 10 90
PC Gamer Windows Feb 13, 2012 84 out of 100 84
GameSpy Windows Feb 16, 2012 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
New Game Network Windows Mar 02, 2012 80 out of 100 80
ActionTrip Windows Feb 29, 2012 7.7 out of 10 77
GameTrailers Windows Feb 24, 2012 7.5 out of 10 75
Mana Pool Windows Aug 08, 2012 7.4 out of 10 74
MMGN Windows Feb 28, 2012 6.5 out of 10 65
DarkZero Windows Feb 25, 2012 6 out of 10 60


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  • 4Players
    • 2012 – Best Story of the Year
  • GameStar (Germany) / GamePro (Germany)
    • 2012 - #5 Best Indie Game / Mod of the Year (Readers' Vote)

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Contributed to by Sciere (251659), Kabushi (121977) and Iggi (4508)