Innovation in gaming is often a hot topic when discussing the next console generation, the future of indie titles, or generally the future of gaming itself. Recently, more and more games willing to break the mold have come into fruitation; games that involve tasks or elements of life or fantasy that one wouldn’t associate with being a full game experience, such as running a shop or controlling a droplet of water. That’s not to say that these ‘experimental’ games aren’t full game experiences, but they’re so different from the shoot-em-up mindset most games have and the scale of such experience can seem so much more down to Earth that it can be hard to imagine them as full gaming experiences at first. But games like I-Fluid, To The Moon, The Path, Elevator: Source, and the likes continue to push the limits of what we may typically consider a game and explore new innovations that could capture completely new feelings and experiences for gamers. Games that can break the mold of gaming genres gamers have identified over the years to create new types of games for players.
Dear Esther was originally a Half-Life 2 mod that released July 29th, 2008. Less a typical game and more of an interactive story, Dear Esther mostly revolves around its narrative and an exploration-based experience on a surprisingly dark and gloomy island. The story is short but interesting and allows players to discover the various secrets of the painting-like island. Dear Esther is now being remade for Steam from the ground up with plenty of new features and additions. The remake adds randomized elements, locations, story branches, and more, to make each experience different with new elements to encounter on each playthrough. The game is also being refined with some eye-popping graphics (using the Portal 2 version of the Source Engine), an orchestrated soundtrack, and an expanded and more explorable island. The game releases on Steam on February 14th, 2012. You can check out its official Steam Store page here.
Check out the official trailer below: