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14 Great Games Like Dear Esther

These are hand-picked games similar to Dear Esther. Our experts have spent time searching for great games like Dear Esther. We don't use automatic matching, instead, we identify games that are good to play if you have enjoyed Dear Esther, or as younger rated alternatives for players not ready for PEGI 12+ or ESRB TEEN games. These selections also include games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

In Dear Esther you explore an uninhabited Hebridean island while an old man reads a series of letters to his eponymous deceased wife. Themes of love, loss, guilt and redemption intertwine with the bleak geography and orchestral music. As you explore the derelict remains of buildings, shipwrecks and caves, you find a story that must be interpreted to make sense.

Unfortunately, Dear Esther is not available on Android, PS5, Switch, Xbox Series X|S or iOS. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme:

DetailsGame Details

Rating:

Release Date: 14/02/2012

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Developer: @ChineseRoom

Players: This is a single player game

Costs: Purchase cost

Firewatch

Rating:

Release Date: 20/09/2016

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Developer: @Camposanto

Players: This is a single player game

Firewatch is an explorative adventure where you play a fire lookout in America’s Shoshone National Forest. It has a relational and conspiracy undertone similar to the podcast/radio drama and Netflix show [link to...

Virginia

Rating:

Release Date: 22/11/2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @VariableState

Players: This is a single player game

Virginia is a mystery adventure game where you play a graduate FBI agent Anne Tarver as she investigates her first case: the disappearance of a boy in rural Virginia. You explore the world and find clues to solve the crime, all the time aware that other...

Everything

Rating:

Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @DavidOreilly

Players: This is a single player game

This is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in between.

Game image Myst

Myst

5

Myst

Rating:

Release Date: 01/01/1983

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation Portable and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @cyanworlds

Players: This is a single player game

Myst is a classic video game graphic adventure. Published in 1983, and selling over six million copies, it pre-dates many modern adventure games and created a new genre for gaming. Exploring by clicking in the world to move, you use a special book to...

The Unfinished Swan

Rating:

Release Date: 16/10/2012

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @GiantSparrow

Players: This is a single player game

The Unfinished Swan invites you to explore a world by splashing paint on it. The tactile experience leads you into a fairy tale about an unfinished painting that leads a child back to his parent.

Gone Home

Rating:

Release Date: 15/08/2013, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Fullbright

Players: This is a single player game

Gone Home places you in the role of Katie, returning from overseas to her family home. But the house is deserted and by exploring the rooms you piece together what happened to her sister, Sam. It’s a mystery to solve, but a common one of family...

What Remains of Edith Finch

Rating:

Release Date: 18/04/2017, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @GiantSparrow

Players: This is a single player game

Edith Finch is the surviving member of the Finch family, who seem to have died from a curse. In first-person perspective, you return to the family’s coastal home to learn about each relative’s final hours by exploring their rooms in turn.

Fractured Minds

Rating:

Release Date: 14/11/2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @EmilyMGames

Players: This is a single player game

Fractured Minds is a short game that explores the implications of living with mental illness. You explore everyday spaces that behave in strange and sometimes disturbing ways. To progress, you need to solve some simple puzzles.

A Dark Room

Rating:

Release Date: 10/06/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @Continuities

Players: This is a single player game

A Dark Room is an adventure where you try and survive in the wild. It has a similarly simple start – a single option to stoke a fire – but also evolves into an incrementally complex system of resource management as a larger story unfolds.

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Rating:

Release Date: 12/08/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Developer: @ChineseRoom

Players: This is a single player game

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture lands you in a fictional deserted English village in 1984. As you walk the streets of another era you discover bright human forms who re-enact events like a radio play. Through their eyes, you see a web of fear,...

Game image Tree

Tree

2

Tree

Rating:

Release Date: 13/08/2018

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative

Players: This is a single player game

Tree is a short 15 minute game that tells the story of a boy who plants a small tree. You control the planting, watering and how the tree grows each season. As you do this the years pass and the boy...

The Stillness of the Wind

Rating:

Release Date: 07/02/2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @StillnessGame

Players: This is a single player game

In The Stillness of the Wind you are an old woman who looks after a dilapidated farm. Over the course of a few hours, no matter what your efforts, the farm falls apart as you learn about the woman’s family and have the chance to ruminate on her...

Sunset

Rating:

Release Date: 21/05/2015

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Playing

Developer: @TaleofTales

Players: This is a single player game

Sunset tasks you with cleaning a large apartment in a fictional 1970s South American city. But outside the apartment, there is unrest and rioting. The chaos of the country and the repetitive daily chores grate against one another to create a meditative...

N.E.R.O.: Nothing Ever Remains Obscure

Rating:

Release Date: 15/05/2015

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Developer: @Stcware

Players: This is a single player game

N.E.R.O. is a story-driven first-person indie game with puzzles to solve and story threads to follow. The player character essentially walks a linear path and solves puzzles blocking their way, while a story is narrated.

Dear Esther is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Dear Esther in the following lists:

Solve a Mystery

Like a good crime drama or whodunnit novel, solving mysteries and puzzles is a good way to engage in a story. However, rather than just watching these mysteries while someone else does the heavy lifting, these video games place you firmly in the role of the detective. Gathering statements, sifting evidence and making intelligent leaps of deduction requires care and attention. These investigations makes these games slower than others, but it’s worth the effort each time you find the correct conclusion and move the story on.

These games present you with a mysterious scenario to be solved. Whether with direct puzzles, locations to investigate or crime scenarios to deduce, they offer a unique, first-hand sleuthing challenge.
 
Game image Roki

Roki

60
Game image Portal

Portal

12

Play The Seasons: Get Lost in Bleak Winter Tales

Video games create spaces for us to go and play. These spaces are sometimes an escape from the real world. Equally, games can help us revel and celebrate the real world.

This is a list of game that take us into the long dark months. Shorter days and long nights speak of hibernation and survival. Snow and bare branches suggest that all life has left forever.

Whether they task us with resisting this or getting lost in the dark folds of winter, games of this month are a valuable reminder that life continues (often unseen) where it seems almost impossible. With the faintest foolish hope of a tiny bud read for spring.
 


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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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