I’ve been meaning to play Dear Esther for a while and I finally got round to it. I found it a really interesting venture into experimental game play and makes you consider what constitutes a game, and what doesn’t.

At the beginning of the game you find yourself on an isolated island. The only mechanic is really to explore and figure out what brought you there. You don’t really do anything other than exploration and discovery but the elements, the models, textures and audio are all expertly realised and together they create a very compelling environment.

Dear Esther offers an extremely engaging environment to explore

Another interesting aspect of Dear Esther is the experience it presents and the emotion it attempts to invoke. It’s far removed from what you would usually think of for a first person game. There’s no excitement, no aggression, just melancholy and curiousity that compels you to continue on your journey.

Dear Esther isn’t for everyone, but if you’re interested in game design Dear Esther is an unusual game that really makes you think what goes into a game. By considering extreme cases I think you can learn a lot about subtleties in more mainstream titles.