Game review: Dear Esther

PC, thechineseroom, £6.99

The objective in Dear Esther is to uncover a mystery. As you wander around an uninhabited Hebridean island, your ramblings trigger a voiceover of snippets from a series of letters to the eponymous Esther. In terms of atmosphere, the game plays out like a ghost story with it’s themes of loss and grief.

Some might bemoan the lack of interaction and the fact there are a few too many dead ends, but Dear Esther is about capturing an emotion, even if that doesn’t fit into some people’s narrow definition of what a video game should be. The narrative is ambiguous and open to interpretation, there are no easy answers, but Dear Esther creates an eerie, melancholy mood more succinctly than most games released to date.

Henry Northmore