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Dear Esther

Indie Jam 3 Bundle (Inc. Sanctum & Dear Esther) | £3.77 | Bundle Stars | PC

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Dear Esther, Indie Games, PC games, Sanctum

Indie Jam 3 Bundle (Inc. Sanctum & Dear Esther) | £3.77 | Bundle Stars | PC

Contains Sanctum, Dear Esther, A.R.E.S., Joint Task Force, Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, Commandos 3, Two Worlds: Epic Edition, Garshasp & Battle Paths.

Good value, but only if you don't already own Sanctum (or its superior sequel) and Dear Esther.

Hotline Miami, Thomas Was Alone, Proteus, Little Inferno, Awesomenauts, Capsized & Dear Esther | Beat The Average | Humble Bundle | PC

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Awesomenauts, Capsized, Dear Esther, Hotline Miami, Indie Games, Little Inferno, PC games, Proteus, Thomas Was Alone

Hotline Miami, Thomas Was Alone, Proteus, Little Inferno, Awesomenauts, Capsized & Dear Esther | Beat The Average | Humble Bundle | PC

WHOA.

Humble Bundle have excelled themselves here with one of the best indie compilations I've seen in months. Any price will net you the excellent Little Inferno, Awesomenauts, Capsized, Thomas Was Alone and Dear Esther, which would be an utter steal by themselves. Yet if you beat the average, you'll also get the sensational Hotline Miami and Proteus.

You really, really, need to get on this. Unless you already own them all, that is.

BAFTA 2013: Journey Leads The Nominations

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
BAFTA, Dear Esther, Far Cry 3, Journey, The Walking Dead

BAFTA 2013: Journey Leads The Nominations

The British Academy Games Awards 2013 nominees have been announced, including a neat mix of big-budget AAA games and some deserving indie shouts.

Indeed, thatgamecompany's Journey has managed to steal the show, being nominated for a whopping eight categories including Artistic Achievement and Best Game. The Walking Dead, Far Cry 3 and Dear Esther follow (with seven, six and five nominations apiece), actually managing to beat the likes of Assassin's Creed III and Halo 4.

Of course, nominations are all well and good, but we'll find out the actual winners on Tuesday March 5th. We've got all the details after the break, everything from Action to Online Multiplayer and Ones To Watch. As always, we'd love to hear what you make of the choices - and your personal pick for the overall winners.

Click here to read more...

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
A Valley Without Wind, Best Indie Game 2012, Dear Esther, Defender's Quest, FTL: Faster Than Light, Game of the Year 2012, GOTY 2012, Hotline Miami, Lone Survivor, Thomas Was Alone, Torchlight II, Vessel

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Selecting the best indie game of 2012 is no easy task, and not just because there are so many fantastic titles to choose from. As independent and boutique gaming continues its meteoric rise, it's getting harder and harder to define what the word 'indie' really means. Is it one man in his bedroom or garage? A relatively large team with a multi-game deal from a major publisher? What was once an ostracised segment of games development has become a massive part of the mainstream market, and a force to be reckoned with over the coming years.

We've taken the decision to include Fez and Journey in 'Best Download/Marketplace Game', which went live earlier today, simply because the competition is more relevant in that category.

So, down to business... and Merry Christmas!
NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.

Title

Description

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

A Valley Without Wind

A Valley Without Wind is enormous, life-affirming and brilliant. Enormous randomised worlds, tight platforming gameplay and infinite scope for exploration made for an addictive indie classic.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Dear Esther

Though only a 'game' in the most tenuous of senses, this interactive oddity still gives us pause for thought and introspection. Dear Esther may be maddeningly surreal and abstract, but we'd urge you to give it a go.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Defender's Quest

One of the very first indie games of 2012 proved to be one of the very best. Defender's Quest managed to perfectly fuse RPG and tower defence mechanics into a gloriously compelling experience, which we're still dipping into eleven months after launch.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

FTL: Faster Than Light

If you love roguelikes, space operas and always dreamt of being the one in the big chair saying "Make it so!" then this is the game for you. FTL is massively replayable, hugely rewarding and genuinely thrilling at times. Engage!

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami is a sleazy, shocking, often unpleasant and thoroughly worthwhile use of a few hours. Dennaton Games' "f*ck 'em up' is as compelling and exhilarating as it is brutally raw.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Lone Survivor

A one-man masterclass in effective survival horror design. Utterly tense, disturbing and unforgettable despite its two-dimensional trappings.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Thomas Was Alone

Thomas Was Alone is a bona fide indie masterpiece that reminds us that you don't need glitzy graphics to create relateable characters with meaningful depth. A minimalist triumph.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Torchlight II

Runic Games may have less than 40 developers on staff, but they delivered what is perhaps the best loot grinder since Diablo II. Practically perfect in every way.

Game Of The Year Awards 2012 | Best Indie Game

Vessel

A truly superior puzzler and one of 2012's most cruelly under-rated games. Massive quantity and exceptional quality made for a truly wonderful purchase, brought home with exquisite art direction and liquid modelling.

Click here to read more...

Dear Esther, Defense Grid Gold, Lume & PoP Free At OnLive Today

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Dear Esther, Defense Grid, Indie Games, OnLive

Dear Esther, Defense Grid Gold, Lume & PoP Free At OnLive Today

OnLive are still very much a-live despite this week's bizarre bankruptcy/buyout/employee equity grab, and to celebrate, you can get four indie games free on the service for the rest of the weekend. If you've never tried Defense Grid or Dear Esther, now might be the time to do so.

To participate, go here,select the game you want to get a full play pass for and then register it to your account. You'll have to repeat the process four times to get all four games. More details on the OnLive blog and Facebook page.

First Details Emerge For Dear Esther's Successor

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Dear Esther, Everybody's Gone To The Rapture, Open world, PC games, Shropshire, thechineseroom

First Details Emerge For Dear Esther's Successor

thechineseroom have revealed the first details for their next original IP. The Dear Esther devs have revealed that as well as heading up development on Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, they have a time-limited, open world title called Everybody's Gone to the Rapture in the pipeline too - an apocalyptic curio set in rural Shropshire.

Click here to read more...

Steam Summer Sale Daily Deals Round-up | 16th July

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Assassin's Creed II, Audiosurf, Dear Esther, Gemini Rue, Greed Corp, KOTOR, Metro 2033, PC games, Steam

Steam Summer Sale Daily Deals Round-up | 16th July

Slightly later than billed, here's our pick of today's best time-sensitive Steam sale bargains. Some of these deals can either be found cheaper elsewhere or tend to crop up regularly (such as the Men Of War offers), so enjoy our edited highlights. These deals will expire tomorrow morning, so you've plenty of time to make an assessment.

Assassin's Creed II Deluxe Edition | £3.74

Assassin's Creed II is the game that launched Ubisoft's series from pure potential to absolute dominance. It's still a cracking free-roaming kill-a-thon, and for £3.74, you'll even get the deluxe edition with some extra DLC. If you already own the standard edition, you can optionally upgrade for an extra 99p. Check out our Assassin's Creed II review for more details.

Dear Esther | £1.74

Is Dear Esther a game? Is it performance art, an interactive poem perhaps? Either way, at £1.74, you owe it to yourself to find out. 8/10 review here.

KOTOR | £1.74

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic is generally known as a prime example of BioWare being on top of their game. Which, of course, means that it's a must-play for anyone who enjoys RPGs, Star Wars or good games that rock.

Metro 2033 | £3.75

Just in case you don't already know, Metro 2033 is an atmospheric and unconventionally bleak shooter that doesn't pull any punches. We rate it.

Indie Bundle V | £6.99

Indie Bundle V rocks my world and makes me uncomfortably aroused. For £6.99, you'll get the stonking Gemini Rue (who says adventure gaming is dead?), Greed Corp, The Tiny Bang Story, an Ys RPG and Audiosurf. Mmm.

Dear Esther Smashes 100K Sales Mark

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Dear Esther, Indie Games, PC games, Rob Briscoe, Sales, thechineseroom

Dear Esther Smashes 100K Sales Mark

thechineseroom's atmospheric indie hit Dear Esther has broken the 100,000 sales barrier, with the company's Robert Briscoe spilled the beans on Dear Esther's official site.

Click here to read more...

Independent Games Festival 2012 Awards

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Dear Esther, Fez, Frozen Synapse, IGF Awards 2012

Independent Games Festival 2012 Awards

Fez Top Dog, Dear Esther & Frozen Synapse Honoured

Here's your second dose of industry prizes for the day: the IGF 2012 awards that honour the best that the independent scene has to offer. Fez, the astounding dimension-shifting XBLA platformer from Polytron, scooped up the Seumas McNally Grand Prize - and is currently in certification with Microsoft meaning that we'll be able to play it soon. Soon. Yes, soon. Sorry, but I've never been able to use that word in conjunction with Fez before. It feels nice, and we just hope that it doesn't get delayed again.

Frozen Synapse, Dear Esther, Beat Sneak Bandit and student project WAY also received plaudits. In mainstream news, Microsoft has pledged to publish Super Time Force as an XBLA exclusive, which comes complete with contract and sponsorship.

We've got the whole shebang after the breeak.

Click here to read more...

OnLive Offering Indie Games Festival Nominee Demos

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Dear Esther, Frozen Synapse, IGF Awards 2012, Indie Games, OnLive, To The Moon

OnLive Offering Indie Games Festival Nominee Demos

OnLive has announced that they'll be hosting demo versions of all the nominees and honourable mentions in this year's Independent Games Festival until March 11th. If you've yet to sample the delights of Dear Esther, Frozen Synapse, SpaceChem, To The Moon and Atom Zombie Smasher, it's high time you did.

You can also vote for your favourites... and if you like them, buy at a 75% discount once the promotion finishes. We'll be ready with a roundup.

Click here for the full list of OnLive indie demos >>

Dear Esther Review | Mona Lisa Smile

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Dear Esther, Indie Games, PC games, thechineseroom

Dear Esther Review | Mona Lisa Smile

Platform: PC

Developer: thechineseroom

Is Dear Esther a game?

It looks like a game. You control a character from a first-person perspective using the mouse and WASD keys like a game. It uses the Source engine - not unlike a game. But Dear Esther is infinitely less and undeniably more than a traditional gameplay experience; simultaneously barely interactive and thought-provokingly profound.

This is probably going to be the most challenging review I've ever written. Not least because, at the time of writing, I haven't fully wrapped my brain around what Dear Esther is actually about.

Dear Esther Review | Mona Lisa Smile

Click here to read more...