Horror Tip: Dear Esther

Name: Dear Esther
Type: Game (Half Life 2 Mod)
Link: Mod DB page (info + download)

This horror tip is quite fitting with last post’s discussion on what makes a game. Dear Esther is pretty much a first person game without any gameplay and only based an a fragmented narrative. While not really scary it has got a very dark and gloomy atmosphere. The game is highly experimental and might feel a bit pretentious at first, but still very well worth playing. It takes a little over 30 min to complete and offers a very unique experience.

To play it Half Life 2 or any of the episodes is needed. Download the zip and extract to “steamapps\SourceMods”. Then start the game through steam.

What did you like this narrative-only kind of gameplay? And would you consider it a game*?

*Yes, trying to categorize stuff will always fail at some point, but I still think it can create an interesting discussion. For the same reason that for example not calling Pluto a planet is important.