‘Dear Esther’ is currently free on Steam

The landmark ‘walking-sim’ is free to download and keep for the next 24 hours

Dear Esther is currently free to download and keep on Steam as the game celebrates its tenth anniversary.

The game sees players explore a blustery and foreboding Hebridean island while a nameless narrator reads fragments of letters written to his deceased wife.

“Abandoning traditional gameplay for a pure story-driven experience, Dear Esther fuses its beautiful environments with a breathtaking soundtrack to tell a powerful story of love, loss, guilt and redemption,” reads the game’s Steam page. It also notes that “every play-through (will be) a unique experience, with randomly generated audio, visuals and events.”


Before its commercial release in 2012, Dear Esther famously began life as a mod for Half-Life 2.

“10 years ago this week Dear Esther was released. To celebrate, PC version is now FREE for 48 hours! Maybe you can offer it to someone special,” wrote developers The Chinese Room on Twitter yesterday (February 14) meaning you have until tomorrow (February 16) to take advantage of the offer.

“My first and overwhelming passion in games is first-person gaming,” Dan Pinchbeck, founder of The Chinese Room, and producer of Dear Esther, told NME recently.Dear Esther was a way of making a first-person game that I don’t think I could have done any other way at that point.”

“The initial starting point for it was this idea of going ‘Can you take those bits where the kind call-to-action falls away, so you’re just left with your thoughts and your feelings?’ Pinchbeck says. “Those are really amazing, powerful moments in games, when it just falls away, and you go, ‘Okay, I’m here.’”

“I don’t spend a lot of time looking back,” Pinchbeck continued. “It’s been quite funny coming around to ten years, it’s been one of the only times I’ve really looked back and gone ‘Oh, yeah’. You almost forget you made it.”


In other news, the Steam Deck verified list has supposedly been expanded once again and now includes over a hundred games.

The list includes popular titles like Nier ReplicantLife is Strange 2, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that the Steam Deck would launch on February 25. That’s following a delay of two months due to global computer chip shortages.