If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Dear Esther is free to keep on Steam right now

Happy birthday, dear Dear Esther

Ten years ago today, the commercial remake of Hebridean gloom simulator Dear Esther launched. But this year, we're the ones getting presents. The developers, The Chinese Room are giving Dear Esther away free on Steam for 48 hours. Grab it by Wednesday and it's yours for keepsies. All the gloom and guilt and that wonderful, wonderful lonely island are yours! Happy birthday, dear Dear Esther, happy birthday to you.

You have until 3pm on Wednesday the 16th to claim a free copy of Dear Esther on Steam. It usually costs £8. This is the Landmark Edition, the 2017 Unity engine remake of the 2012 commercial remake of the 2008 Source engine mod.

Ten years ago, Dear Esther was strangely controversial for... oh god, even summarising the discourse is boring. Let's skip over that. What I will tell you is that it was notable enough for us to write two Dear Esther reviews. John went first, followed by Alec a few days later. They both liked parts of it, wandering the pretty island in particular, though questioned if they'd recommended it at the price. It's free right now, so... just get it?

My contribution (with Pip) to one of the many boring discussions surrounding the game is a tongue-in-cheek protestation that Dear Esther isn't even a 'walking simulator', okay, because it's too objective-driven, and calling it one does a disservice to many great aimless potter 'em ups. Pip offered the feeling-out-a-definition description that it's "a digital staging of a radio play, maybe", which is great. But I'm grateful that Dear Esther paved the way for other walking simulators to look at that path and say, "Yeah but what if I ignored paths, and ditched the overwrought writing, and just wandered about, feeling a mood?"

The Chinese Room's latest game is Little Orpheus, a platformer inspired by pulp adventure movies—quite different. After debuting on Apple Arcade in 2020, it's coming to PC and consoles on the 1st of March.

About the Author

Support Rock Paper Shotgun

Subscribe and get access to supporter-only articles, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and game discounts. Your support helps us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information

Comments

RPS@PAX

More News

Latest Articles

Rock Paper Shotgun logo

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch