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Multi-Award Winning 2012 Game Is Free To Download, Right Now

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Multi-Award Winning 2012 Game Is Free To Download, Right Now

The genre-defining indie game Dear Esther is being offered for free on PC right now. Its makers, British studio The Chinese Room, are making the game that really pioneered what we've come to call walking sims totally free for a limited time, in celebration of its 10th anniversary.


The first-person exploration game marked a breakthrough for The Chinese Room, who subsequently developed Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. It features super-minimalistic gameplay, with the only real objective being to explore an island in the Hebrides, Scotland. Not that it's a quiet journey, as all the while the player is listening to a troubled man reading out a number of letters to his late wife. 

Speaking of Steam, Valve's handheld console, the Steam Deck, is being released later this month - check it out below...



In case you're unfamiliar with the game, you don’t just have to take my word for Dear Esther being a great pick-up - especially for nothing. It was highly acclaimed at the time of its full release, having initially been made as a mod for Half-Life 2. It was nominated for five BAFTA awards, including Best Debut Game, Best British Game and Artistic Achievement. It won the Originality Award, Best Visual Design, Best Audio Design and more at the The Independent Game Developers’ Association (TIGA) Games Industry Awards in 2012, and received the Excellence in Visual Arts award at the 2012 Independent Games Festival.

It’s a super short but undeniably (bitter)sweet adventure - according to HowLongToBeat, the whole thing can be finished in about an hour and a half to two hours, so you could easily roll credits in one sitting if you wanted to. And if you don’t have any Valentine’s Day plans, it’ll certainly help break up your evening a bit between scheduled comfort eating and screaming into the void. Y’know, just a suggestion.


“It was a joy working on Dear Esther with such a creative, talented and inspiring group of developers, and we’ve been delighted and humbled by the warmth of the gaming community over the last ten years,” said Dan Pinchbeck, creative director at The Chinese Room. “We are thrilled to offer Dear Esther to a new generation of players for its tenth anniversary, and I’m personally looking forward to hearing from those players who are able to explore Dear Esther’s island today for the very first time.”

You can download and keep the Landmark Edition of the game, which features a full audio remaster from the original 2012 release as well as a Director’s Commentary mode, completely for free over on Steam right now, until 16 February at 3pm. There’s literally no reason not to add it to your library, so be sure to grab it now while you can.

Featured Image Credit: BAFTA, The Chinese Room/Secret Mode

Topics: Free Games, Indie Games, Steam, PC

Catherine Lewis
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