Dear Esther, The Chinese Room’s highly divisive narrative-driven adventure game, is heading to iOS later in the year. It’s arguably the game responsible for the popularisation of the ‘walking sim’ genre.
After originally launching for PC all the way back in 2012, Dear Esther has gone on to sell over one million units. At launch, it was praised for its very deliberate pacing and refreshing lack of action. For sure, it didn’t win over everyone, but it’s hard to argue against the game’s importance as a foundation for the likes of Gone Home and What Remains of Edith Finch.
Your time in Dear Esther is spent exploring an isolated, abandoned Hebridean island. A nameless narrator reads passages from a letter, with the story being drip-fed to you as you continue along on your journey. There’s also a focus on environmental storytelling, with lots of unexplained items dotted around unlikely locations and even ghostly apparitions who linger in the distance, watching you silently.
The Chinese Room went on to develop the similarly polarising Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. That one saw you wandering through a quaint English town whose inhabitants had all suddenly disappeared.
No release date has been confirmed yet for the iOS port, and we still don’t know much it’ll cost. All that’s been confirmed so far is that we’ll be seeing Dear Esther on the App Store later this year.