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Dear Esther

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Developed by
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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 spectacular moonlight view at the path and shore below from high atop the tower
Dear Esther Macintosh Abandoned lighthouse
Dear Esther Windows Another desolate view, lighted by the full moon.
Dear Esther Macintosh A cave and ship that has run aground long ago in distance

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User Reviews

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The Press Says

Game Watcher Windows Feb, 2012 9 out of 10 90
The Escapist Windows Feb 25, 2012 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Atomic Gamer Windows Feb 18, 2012 8 out of 10 80
Meristation Windows Feb 24, 2012 8 out of 10 80
Digital Spy Windows Feb 15, 2012 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Edge Windows Feb 13, 2012 8 out of 10 80
Gameplay (Benelux) Windows Mar 31, 2012 80 out of 100 80
Mana Pool Windows Aug 08, 2012 7.4 out of 10 74
DarkZero Windows Feb 25, 2012 6 out of 10 60
Destructoid Windows Feb 13, 2012 4.5 out of 10 45


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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 (281319), Kabushi (130146) and Iggi (5264)