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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 "Dear Esther" are the first words spoken.
Dear Esther Windows More glowing markings inside a cave
Dear Esther Windows A waterfall crashing down
Dear Esther Macintosh Rusted boats from long past beached below with the beacon in the distance

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Splitkick Windows Feb 24, 2011 9 out of 10 90
Bit-Tech Windows Feb 14, 2012 90 out of 100 90 Windows Feb 20, 2012 9 out of 10 90
PC Gamer Windows Feb 13, 2012 84 out of 100 84
Edge Windows Feb 13, 2012 8 out of 10 80
The Telegraph Windows Mar 05, 2012 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Gameplay (Benelux) Windows Mar 31, 2012 80 out of 100 80
The Escapist Windows Feb 25, 2012 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80 Windows Feb 20, 2012 7 out of 10 70 Macintosh May 16, 2012 14 out of 20 70


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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 (373768), Kabushi (159622) and Iggi (7844)