Average Playtime: 2 hours

Dear Esther

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About

Dear Esther is a game that questions the very concept of a "game" as an entertainment. It is more of an art project that was originally started as a mod on the Source engine (the one Half-Life 2 is based on). The player assumes the role of a nameless and faceless character, a man, who wanders around a cold island at the shores of Scotland. When you enter certain parts of the island, the main character reads aloud his letters from the past, revealing his tragic story. All other characters, including the protagonists’ wife Esther, are only mentioned by the narrator and do not appear in the game. There's very little actual gameplay, and your goal as a player is to explore the island and discover as many parts of the backstory as possible. The goal of the game is to follow the story, immerse yourself in the experience and pass it through your emotions.

Dear Esther is famous for its visual design and sound: there are gorgeous natural landscapes (the caves in particular), ambient sounds, and music. Melancholic mood and darkened landscapes befit the story that is all about loss and grief.

Platforms
Metascore
75
Release date
Developer
Robert Briscoe
,
Sumo Digital
,
The Chinese Room
Publisher
Sumo Digital Ltd, The Chinese Room
Age rating
13+ Teen
Website
http://www.dear-esther.com

System requirements for PC

Minimum:
  • OS:Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Vista64
  • Processor:Intel core 2 duo 2.4GHz or higher
  • Memory:1GB XP / 2GB Vista
  • Graphics:DirectX 9 compliant video card with Shader model 3.0 support. NVidia 7600, ATI X1600 or better (Pre-Sandybridge Intel graphics chipsets not yet supported)
  • DirectX®:9.0c
  • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
  • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
Recommended:
  • OS:Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Vista64
  • Processor: Quad core 2.4GHz or higher
  • Memory:1GB XP / 2GB Vista
  • Graphics:DirectX 9 compliant video card with Shader model 3.0 support. NVidia 8800, ATI Radeon 2900 pro or better (Pre-Sandybridge Intel graphic chipsets not supported)
  • DirectX®:9.0c
  • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
  • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

System requirements for iOS

iPad 2 Wifi, iPad 2 3G, iPhone 4S, iPad Third Gen, iPad Third Gen 4G, iPhone 5, iPod Touch Fifth Gen, iPad Fourth Gen, iPad Fourth Gen 4G, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 4G, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad Air, iPad Air Cellular, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Mini Retina Cellular, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Cellular, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 3 Cellular, iPod Touch Sixth Gen, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Mini 4, iPad Mini 4 Cellular, iPad Pro, iPad Pro Cellular, iPad Pro 9.7, iPad Pro 9.7 Cellular, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad 6 1 1, iPad 6 1 2, iPad 7 1, iPad 7 2, iPad 7 3, iPad 7 4, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPad 7 5, iPad 7 6, iPhone X S, iPhone X S Max, iPhone X R, iPad 8 1 2, iPad 8 3 4, iPad 8 5 6, iPad 8 7 8, iPad Mini 5, iPad Mini 5 Cellular, iPad Air 3, iPad Air 3 Cellular, iPod Touch Seventh Gen, iPhone 1 1, iPhone 1 1 Pro, iPad Seventh Gen, iPad Seventh Gen Cellular, iPhone 1 1 Pro Max

System requirements for macOS

  • OS: MAC OS X 10.6.7 or higher
  • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Hard Disk Space: At least 2 GB of Space
  • Video Card: ATI Radeon 2400 or higher / NVIDIA 8600M or higher / Intel HD Graphics 3000
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Last Modified: Feb 25, 2020

Where to buy

App Store
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Dear Esther reviews and comments

Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
Review is written on 30.12.2015, edited on 30.01.2016 Whether Dear Esther Is a Game or more of a Film, there is a question of arguing about it. You can explore an Island, not open World moderately, but rather linear. Still, you get to see a lot. A Story is told in certain Places. Since the Story is told in English and unfortunately I didn't understand everything, I'm not going to evaluate it. There is supposed to be a German Language patch, but I did not test it. You can actually just walk, unfortunately you can't walk. You have a Flashlight with you that goes out on your own. You just have to go and look at everything and listen to the Narratives. That's who can't do anything with it, shouldn't buy this Game. For those who want the Game, the Question is whether you should buy it, or watch it as Lets Play. Because the Game is almost like a Movie. If I had the Choice again, then I would buy it again. But not at Full Price. I'd wait for a Sale. I had these Bugs: At certain Points my Screen was freezing and I couldn't keep playing. The Game is divided into four Chapters, but unfortunately you have to play through it completely in order to be able to select the individual Chapters. But these Bugs come right in the first Chapter, but later they also come. Have found out that you have to save just before the Places where the Bugs are. Then when you reload, you get on. Normally I wouldn't recommend this Game because of the Bugs. However, Mythras had Enlightened me that no Forums mention these Bugs. Which means it may be because of my System. Since I consider the Game to be a small Masterpiece and it seems to be going bug-free At others, you have my Purchase recommendation. Rate but wait for a Sale.
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Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
Dear Esther Is not a Game. It's an interactive Narrative. You don't know who is the Main Character, what she does on the Island, what she has for a Goal and, above all, who Esther is and all those that occur in this melancholy Narrative. So one wonders, as you roam the Island listening to the Voice of the Main Character, what is the Meaning of the Journey, where do you want to go, what happens in the End? All you can do or do in the Game is run, panning the Camera and dying. That's all the Game allows in terms of Interaction. You walk, watch, listen. The Beginning of the Story seems tough, boring, monotonous. But with ever deeper penetration into the Island, you learn to love the Details that the Game has to offer and marvel at some places not bad at the Beauty and Reality of the lovingly designed Graphics. What makes the Game special at this Point is the Curiosity about what's Waiting For us at the goal of the Game, and the Exploration opportunity. There are many Paths, Caves, etc. that are worth a Look And which are special in their own Way. So you can also swim underwater and let yourself drift by the Current. The Journey is accompanied by beautiful, but also somewhat strange Sounds, which do not seem to be of this World and which give you a distressing And melancholy feeling. But the most important Question that was buzzing in my Mind personally was, "What happens when I arrive at the End?" Is the Game now worth €9.99n? No. That, though, is much more in the Brevity of the Game than In terms of quality. Would I play the Game a second Time? Yes, because there are still places I would like to see. Who is the Game for? So Patience is an important Requirement, as you can't run fast in the Game;) Otherwise, for anyone to recommend, something to think about and put a lot of emphasis on beautiful Graphics. What makes the Game special? The Main Emphasis of the Simulation is without Question on the very good Graphics (even now in 2016). But also the Fact that you not only walk silly through the Area, but also think for yourself. Here, however, it is crucial to adjust the German Subtitles or the German Synchro.
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