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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 Another desolate view, lighted by the full moon.
Dear Esther Windows Another ship left abandoned with its cargo
Dear Esther Macintosh Along the path more writing
Dear Esther Macintosh Making my way to the beacon in the distance

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Critic Reviews

Bit-Tech Windows Feb 14, 2012 90 out of 100 90
videogamer.com Windows Feb 13, 2012 9 out of 10 90
Eurogamer.be Windows Feb 20, 2012 8 out of 10 80
GameSpot Windows Feb 13, 2012 8 out of 10 80
Digital Spy Windows Feb 15, 2012 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
HonestGamers Windows Feb 14, 2012 8 out of 10 80
Absolute Games (AG.ru) Windows Mar 01, 2012 76 out of 100 76
GameTrailers Windows Feb 24, 2012 7.5 out of 10 75
Mana Pool Windows Aug 08, 2012 7.4 out of 10 74
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 (295149), Kabushi (133380) and Iggi (5840)