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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 Slowly dredging through the foliage
Dear Esther Windows "Dear Esther" are the first words spoken.
Dear Esther Windows Walking down the path close to the beach.
Dear Esther Windows A strange scene on the motorway, but underwater

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews Feb 13, 2012 9 out of 10 90
PC Gamer Feb 13, 2012 84 out of 100 84 Feb 20, 2012 8 out of 10 80
IGN Feb 13, 2012 8 out of 10 80
New Game Network Mar 02, 2012 80 out of 100 80
GameTrailers Feb 24, 2012 7.5 out of 10 75 Feb 22, 2012 14 out of 20 70
MMGN Feb 28, 2012 6.5 out of 10 65
Destructoid Feb 13, 2012 4.5 out of 10 45
Darkstation Mar 09, 2012 4 out of 10 40


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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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Sciere (373778) added Dear Esther (Windows) on Feb 19, 2012
Other platforms contributed by Kabushi (159589) and Iggi (7843)