Proteus is wonderful. So wonderful it needs more space, variability, events, structures, animals, plants, time, music, feedback, etc.
Antichamber was more fun to play as a demo a couple of years ago. It went from purely logic puzzles to mostly cumbersome block puzzles, though the start still maintains the heavy use of proverbs+insight. Certainly a clever game, but its nonlinearity and lack of a decent navigation system cause unnecessary meandering and jerky progression. Visuals are just good enough.
Taylor Clark profiles Jonathon Blow and the state of videogames only a little hyperbolically. The Witness is apparently about existential awareness of ourselves and the world around us— using Blow’s mind and reality as the medium.
Dear Esther is a short game in which the player walks around an island and experiences a story. As far the prior description goes, the island is beautiful, the atmosphere is thick with emotive music and sound effects, and the level design is polished to the degree of ocean glass. The narrative is unimpressive.
I took a bunch of screenshots, several of which are contained after the break.