About a month ago I gave my thoughts on Dear Esther. Why do I bring this up? Well it’s because Proteus is a game that reminds me of Dear Esther. Like if they were people they would be cousins or something. Dear Esther is older pretentious, and artsy while Proteus is younger, happy-go-lucky, and maybe some people would call him a bit purposeless. Maybe this is a silly way to illustrate Proteus, but it is what comes to mind for me. However, let’s learn a bit more shall we?
Truth be told, there really isn’t much of a story to Proteus. Remember how I said it could be described as a bit purposeless? You wake up and are greeted with the sight of an island. You’re then free to explore said island. You’re given no goals, no narrative, you’re just free to look around.
The nuts and bolts of the game are about as complex as the story. You basically move around the island and that’s about it. You can’t really interact with much of anything. You mainly just travel around the island while music and sounds play.
You can also travel through all four seasons by finding a magic circle during the night. You start during spring and then go to summer, fall, and finally winter.
- Time to Chill. This game is just very relaxing. There is no pressure, no purpose, no danger. It’s just exploring a cheerful little island with fun little music and noises accompanying your stay.
- Graphics Brought To You By MS Paint. As you can probably tell from the screenshots, Proteus is not the prettiest game in the world. It is maybe even what a lot of people would call ugly. Despite this, the atmosphere is so bright and cheerful, even in some of the more dreary sections like fall. It was just kind of worked for the game, somehow.
- No Point. The point may be to be relaxed, but I can do that by sitting outside, going for a walk, reading a book, even playing another game with a story or some kind of point. The game might be enjoyable for a bit, but I played it for about an hour and don’t really expect to go back to it. There not even any pretentious story to try to figure out like Dear Esther.
- You Want How Much? I didn’t realize this right away since I got this game in an indie bundle, but on Steam Proteus is going for 10$ (which I realize is also the same price as Dear Esther, and would have been a negative for that game too). Ten bucks for a game with not very good graphics and no point? A cursory look at the other games ten dollars or less on Steam will give you much better options that I would recommend before Proteus. Maybe at half or a quarter of the price you might be justified in picking this up, but even then I’m not so sure.
I’ll be honest, I actually enjoyed my time with Proteus more than my time with Dear Esther. That is probably the equivalent to blasphemy for some, but I enjoyed the bright, vibrant, and cheery mood of Proteus more than the dark, dreary, and pretentious vision of Dear Esther. That said, I still wouldn’t recommend Proteus. It’s way too expensive for what it offers. If you happen to pick it up in a bundle like I did, well give it a whirl you may enjoy it for an hour or so, but I don’t think it has more than that to offer.