vostokone's Dear Esther (Mac) review

Sets a high water mark for atmospheric experiences.

This slow, barely interactive, goal-less virtual novel is an atmospheric masterpiece. We've seen some games that focus on atmosphere more than plot or gameplay such as LIMBO, Journey, Flower, and Heavy Rain but none of those hit the highs that Dear Esther not only hits, but maintains for its entire duration. Despite doing nothing other than walking around, Dear Esther is immersive with beautifully rendered scenery, poetic and ambigious narration and a chilling score. There are no achievements for climbing that path to follow a dim light, but you'll find yourself doing it anyway and never regretting it.

It's criminally short length (about an hour) doesn't quite justify it's price, but the short length is appropriate for the story so the game doesn't feel like it's overstaying its welcome. Kudos to a developer who doesn't run a game overlong just because gamers expect long games. If you do decide to take the plunge, it can be very rewarding and is utterly unique.

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