19 Games Like Dear Esther

Games Like Dear Esther
These first person exploration games like Dear Esther feature more games that let you explore and don’t hold you back with significant puzzles or tasks.

Starting as a free mod of the popular Source game engine in 2008 Dear Esther is an exploration experience that features zero puzzles or direction, instead giving the player free reign to explore the mystery island game setting. The game is now available on PC, Mac, PS4 and Xbox One as a paid experience.

As the player explores this mysterious and unnamed island you’ll listen to a series of letters revealing the mystery behind a deceased wife named Esther of an anonymous man,. Without the puzzles and other tasks of similar titles players are free to engage themselves with the story and become emotionally committed to each letter. All of this culminates at the island’s peak with the final monologue and unexpected ending.

The games like Dear Esther on our list below have a similar focus around exploration and story-telling. In these games you’ll find a limited number of puzzles and objectives or the absence of them entirely, allowing you to more thoroughly engage in the game world.

Games Like Dear Esther

kholat

Kholat

Blending the survival and walking simulator genres into an eerie realistic event Kholat promises not only a great atmosphere but also an interpretation to one of the worlds greatest unsolved mysteries. For those unfamiliar with the strange circumstances that the game is based on, in February 19... Read More »

User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
drizzlepath

Drizzlepath

Walk your way to the heights of the Mountain of Fire in Drizzlepath, a title that sticks closely to the walking simulator genre opting for atmosphere and a relaxing experience over more traditional gameplay mechanics. Taking on the role of unnamed explorer you’ll set off from a deserted b... Read More »

User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
the-beginners-guide

The Beginner’s Guide

Following up the unique experience of The Stanley Parable is The Beginner’s Guide, a game with similar ideas around abstraction and game creation. Narrated by Davey Wreden in a similar fashion to his past game players are taken through a number of areas that feature incomplete games by a ... Read More »

User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
homesick

Homesick

Waking up in an abandoned building Homesick offers up a journey of clues, puzzles, exploration and self discovery. Homesick is a title that bleeds amazing atmosphere from start to finish, an adventure that will keep you entertained for approximately 3 hours. These hours start with players wakin... Read More »

User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
gone-home

Gone Home

Imagine arriving home fresh from a year abroad to find your house empty, where is your family and what events have happened? These are the answers you’ll find as you explore your abandoned home. Pegged as interactive exploration experience Gone Home is set in a decade long past, 1995. Pla... Read More »

User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
dream

Dream

Explore the subconscious of Howard Phillips, a young character who has a boring life but powerful lucid dreams. By exploring these abstract dreams you’ll solve the unique challenge within each of them while discovering secrets that tie into your own future. We’ve all find ourselves ... Read More »

User Score
6.0
(1 votes)
the-park

The Park

Told through a first person perspective the horror adventure known as The Park combines a dark eerie setting with psychological elements. Originally for Windows only the game was subsequently released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Set in the Atlantic Island Park the story follows a single moth... Read More »

User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
everybodys-gone-to-the-rapture

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Taking place after a potential rapture event, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture explores a small English village that has suddenly lost all if its population. Coined as a spiritual successor to Dear Esther the game has the same touch of exploration and discovery. Beginning your story in the... Read More »

User Score
6.3
(3 votes)
soma

SOMA

Explore the depths of an underwater research facility in SOMA, a game that balances science fiction, walking simulator and psychological horror into a single adventure. Referred to as PATHOS-II this group of stations that you’ll explore is on the verge of collapse after years of insuffici... Read More »

User Score
9.0
(2 votes)
dr-langeskov

Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist

Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist is a short free adventure that has players participating in a heist with an unseen narrator. Dr. Langeskov is primarily a game around first person exploration although your path is mostly linear the hidden elements and... Read More »

User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
cradle

Cradle

Cradle mixes science fiction and walking simulation in an independent title that sees you exploring a strange world as you repair a mechanical companion as you seek to also recover your memories. Played in first person Cradle is set in a futuristic Mongolia filled with the likes of robots and f... Read More »

User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
the-witness

The Witness

The Witness combines the likes of walking simulators with the most classic puzzle games of them, Myst. The game involves players exploring a large open world setting (island) as they solve various puzzles scattered around the island, while learning more from the visual and audio pieces of infor... Read More »

User Score
7.7
(3 votes)
the-stanley-parable

The Stanley Parable

The Stanley Parable offers a meta-fictional interactive adventure, what the game lacks in combat it makes up for with mind messing narration that will have you guessing video games and even your own existence in the real world. First born in 2011 as a free Half Life 2 modification this self ref... Read More »

User Score
9.3
(8 votes)
the-unfinished-swan

The Unfinished Swan

The Unfinished Swan offers an adventure unlike others you’ve experience before. In this PlayStation exclusive title (PS3, PS4, Vita) you’ll chase a swan through an interesting game world that has escaped from your favourite painting. Your protagonist in this unique adventure is 10 y... Read More »

User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
kentucky-route-zero

Kentucky Route Zero

As far as indie episodic adventure games go Kentucky Route Zero has one of the most surreal settings in years. From the independent studio of Cardboard Computer the game exists thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign for the project. Split into five acts of which the first was released in e... Read More »

User Score
6.3
(3 votes)
proteus

Proteus

Proteus is more of an artistic exploration experience than a game but is still very impressive and enjoyable. In Proteus you will explore a randomly generated game world and simply spend time enjoying your surroundings. If you enjoy going on exploration adventures in other randomly generated ga... Read More »

User Score
7.6
(26 votes)
miasmata

Miasmata

Miasmata is a unique survival adventure that has you attempting to cure yourself from a deadly disease. The only thing you have at your disposal is your scientific knowledge and the plant life around the island. Miasmata is one of the most unique and impressive adventure games released in recen... Read More »

User Score
8.8
(12 votes)
lifeless-planet

Lifeless Planet

Lifeless Planet involves the exploration of rocky planet with a few basic platform and puzzle features thrown in. Available for Windows, Mac and Xbox One your lifeless surroundings have a surprisingly hidden secret. Set on a distant planet that feels very Mars-like the game follows an astronaut... Read More »

User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
journey

Journey

Journey is a PlayStation exclusive title that is mysterious, moving and impressive. Playing as a robed figure in the vast desert sands you’ll strive to reach the mountain far off in the distance while encountering other players without a single piece of dialogue. The game is all about the... Read More »

User Score
9.5
(2 votes)