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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 Macintosh A sea of paper boats
Dear Esther Macintosh Markings on the walls throughout the caves
Dear Esther Windows Slowly dredging through the foliage
Dear Esther Windows Exploring what the inhabitants left behind.

Promo Images

Dear Esther Screenshot
Dear Esther Screenshot
Dear Esther Screenshot
Dear Esther Screenshot

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Critic Reviews

Gaming Nexus Windows Mar 09, 2012 A+ 100 Windows Feb 16, 2012 9 out of 10 90
Bit-Tech Windows Feb 14, 2012 90 out of 100 90
Game Watcher Windows Feb, 2012 9 out of 10 90 Windows Feb 14, 2012 9 out of 10 90
Atomic Gamer Windows Feb 18, 2012 8 out of 10 80 (UK) Windows Feb 14, 2012 8 out of 10 80
Game Informer Magazine Windows Feb 13, 2012 8 out of 10 80 Windows Feb 20, 2012 8 out of 10 80
GameTrailers Windows Feb 24, 2012 7.5 out of 10 75


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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 (473432), Kabushi (187176) and Iggi (12610)