Dear Esther isn't much of a game, there's no challenge or goals involved. All you do is press forward. Literally.
That being said, it's only the surface of things. Dear Esther manages to pull off one thing a good game is supposed to have: the atmosphere and it does that so well. The abandoned island reeks with melancholy and it certainly makes you ponder. There were times I could almost feel the wind hitting my face, it's quite an amazing experience in that regard. The tranquility of the island is further amplified by a beautiful sound track by Jessica Curry, I've slept listening to it numerous times. While the occasional dialogue makes little to no sense as a whole, that doesn't by the least bit turn me off from the experience, rather it makes the experience all the more intense, thanks to the terrific voice over work.
Considering it is lacking a lot of fundamental characteristics of a videogame, it still remains to be one of the best experiences I've had. To put it in perspective, I have replayed that 4 times so far just so I could get some alone time, where as I can mention a bunch of actual games in my library which I've left without even playing them for an hour, let alone completing them. Moreover, I certainly see myself getting back to it yet again, Oculus Rift support would make that all the more tempting. I've certainly become a fan of Chinese Room after this so I'm looking forward to checking out Everybody's Gone to Rapture.