Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. Jan 5, 2014
    95
    A beautiful, emotionally engaging, artfully crafted game, completely centered around exploration and telling a mature story through interaction.
  2. Dec 2, 2013
    75
    A story that will move some and alienate others.
  3. Nov 10, 2013
    80
    Gone home is a beautiful story told with talent. The total immersion and storytelling brings a sense of renewal in the world of video games. Unfortunately, lifespan is too short: 2 hours are enough to see the end.
  4. Nov 4, 2013
    80
    As wonderful as Gone Home is, it mostly demonstrates that there's still a long way to go.
  5. Oct 31, 2013
    73
    Gone Home is an ideological sister to Dear Esther, only not as beautiful or mysterious.
  6. 80
    In the context of macho gaming, this ghost mansion is hiding something much scarier: a simple, elegantly told story that suffers only from its steep price. [Issue#234]
  7. Oct 17, 2013
    90
    Gone Home is one of the most entertaining and moving games of the year, a clear example of how videogames can be a form of art without mimicking other media.
  8. Oct 16, 2013
    65
    Gone Home touches a lot of emotional subjects so it might stir up someone’s feelings, but it failed to move me. [CD-Action 11/2013, p.67]
  9. Oct 9, 2013
    70
    Gone Home is an interesting experiment, that didn't move me as much, as the developers probably wanted it to. The way of telling the story and the quality of the script seem a bit simplistic and tend to look at the gamer from a high position. Still, I think Gone Home is a step in a right direction and I really like these kinds of experiences. If only the developers had put more work into polishing the game - perhaps next time?
  10. Oct 5, 2013
    91
    Gone Home is a first class adventure, very well written and quite charming. [Oct 2013]
  11. Oct 1, 2013
    90
    It's just a wonderfully crafted, well-paced story about a family. And that's really it. There's not much else out there like it. It may not sound like much on paper, but Gone Home had such an impact on me that I'll be thinking about this game for years to come.
  12. Sep 25, 2013
    60
    While Gone Home must be applauded for the excellence with which its story is delivered, the central thread itself feels unsatisfying and underwhelming, a wannabe-revolutionary call to arms acknowledgeable with little more than a shrug. [Oct 2013, p.88]
  13. Sep 25, 2013
    73
    This clever finger exercise in storytelling satisfies our joy of searching through the lives of others. But its narrative is not strong enough to let us overlook the simple graphics or limited depth of gameplay. But it is an enjoyable experience – especially for gaming-crowd over 30.
  14. Sep 16, 2013
    80
    Gone Home is a fascinating, surprising and indispensable experience.
  15. Sep 15, 2013
    85
    Leans heavily on nostalgia and sentimentality, but Gone Home is an affecting game that challenges you like no other.
  16. Sep 12, 2013
    90
    Dear Katie, when you arrive at home, you won't find me. But I've left plenty of messages for you to get to know me better, and even more. You'll find yourself amused. Your sister, Sam.
  17. Sep 11, 2013
    80
    Ultimately the game feels like a risk, an antithesis of much of what gaming currently aspires to be, but it also uses the medium to its advantage, to tell a personal story in a new and innovative way. Hopefully it leads to more developers stepping out in a similar fashion, and together pushing the medium forward in equally interesting and unexpected ways.
  18. Sep 10, 2013
    90
    No battles, puzzles or magnificent vistas. And still Gone Home is nothing short of an amazing experience. It’s one of the finest games ever to use exploration and discovery as storytelling. It may be short but it is a story that will stay with you forever.
  19. Sep 9, 2013
    90
    It feels next-gen not because of the graphics, but because of the experience. In a few years we'll see many more games like this, and we'll have to look back at it to see where it started.
  20. Sep 6, 2013
    85
    Yes, its price-tag is absurd, but the overall structure and storytelling of Gone Home is something most modern games lack. You should give it a try.
  21. Sep 5, 2013
    91
    Gone Home toys with suspense, thriller and adventure. It grabs me by the throat with its tense atmosphere. It seduces me with its side stories and touches me with its intimacy.
  22. Sep 2, 2013
    70
    Don’t be misguided by the haunted house vibe: Gone Home uses traditional adventure elements to tell the tale of a young teenager. It’s an interesting and innovative combination, that is held back by conservative gameplay and storytelling.
  23. Sep 1, 2013
    98
    In Gone Home, there are moments of fear, moments of joy, moments of sadness, and moments of peace. In the end, there is acceptance, the kind which comes from a tale naturally concluded and a chapter neatly closed.
  24. Sep 1, 2013
    90
    Gone Home will make you question everything, including how you react to certain key events within the game world. It was a lot like the feeling I get from watching a really amazing episode of The Twilight Zone, where the eerie story serves a greater purpose than just scaring the crap out of you. There's a message behind the mystery of the house on Arbor Hill that may reveal as much about you as it does about Kaitlin's missing family.
  25. Sep 1, 2013
    80
    However, what you get out of Gone Home is a top-class piece of interactive storytelling. Considerable care has been put into all aspects of The Fullbright Company's debut title, and the end product is a roaring success that may hit home closer than you would expect.
  26. Aug 30, 2013
    100
    Its unconventional, non-violent subject matter and gameplay also skilfully and confidently prove that not all games need an "attack" button to be enjoyable and interesting -- and given the growing sense of weariness a lot of us have been feeling with super-violent experiences, that's something that should be celebrated.
  27. Aug 29, 2013
    90
    Gone Home is a poignant love story, masterfully crafted and delivered with a great sense of storytelling. The environment plays the role of the narrator and the objects left behind by the family are like words the player has to reveal and listen to in order to understand what’s happened.
  28. Aug 26, 2013
    90
    Games like Gone Home only come around every once in a while. The game has an unique and original concept that is executed perfectly. So good, you’ll want to finish the game in one go. The credits might roll by in about three hours, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this game is a special experience for everyone who’s open to something new.
  29. Aug 26, 2013
    90
    If you enjoyed The Stanley Parable or Dear Ester, or you’re a fan of narrative-driven games, you owe it to yourself to play Gone Home. For $20 it can seem quite steep so you have to be willing to pardon the linear gameplay and short length in favor of the journey. But the few tears I shed confirm that I feel the experience is worth it.
  30. Aug 26, 2013
    80
    Gone Home is a great and necessary experiment in interactive narrative. But while the presentation of its story is fantastic, the story itself has its flaws and its emotional punches won't connect with everyone. A recommended experience, but only when its price gets cheaper.
  31. Aug 26, 2013
    80
    The delivery may need a little work, but Gone Home’s story is one that’s well worth being a part of. It’s dense, rich, striking and moving; few games this year will leave quite such a mark, and despite a few missteps, it could well prove a watershed moment for interactive storytelling.
  32. Aug 23, 2013
    90
    The Fullbright Company's first indie effort is backed up by a touching narrative, one paced incredibly well, that effectively engages players through the bulk of the game's short three-hour runtime.
  33. Aug 22, 2013
    90
    If you're interested in a more grounded story and don't mind calling a game without violence, well, an actual game, then you should definitely consider Gone Home. For everyone else the best I can recommend is to keep an open mind in the future and maybe catch the next one.
  34. Aug 19, 2013
    100
    Gone Home tells a story unlike any other game in recent memory, and yet it does so in a way that only a video game can. The masterfully executed environmental storytelling guarantees that each player will walk away from Gone Home with a different experience.
  35. Aug 19, 2013
    95
    Gone Home is the video game equivalent of those movies that nobody knows about, but the originality of which overturns the concept of cinema and pierces the big blockbuster movies like a small but sharp sword.
  36. Aug 17, 2013
    90
    By the end of this two-to-three-hour journey, it isn't just the house that'll seem lived-in, as the characters are equally realized and relatable.
  37. Aug 16, 2013
    100
    Gone Home achieves an unexpected and effective range of emotions. Although it’s a mostly sad eerie poignant story, it has flashes of anger and frustration, and the way it manages to fold music into these emotions, as well as the choice of music, is every bit as good as what Bioshock Infinite did with its music.
  38. Aug 16, 2013
    90
    Gone Home does only one thing but does it superbly, telling a touching story solely through exploration that makes it well worth experiencing.
  39. Aug 16, 2013
    90
    It nails the alienating sensation of feeling lost in a place that should be your home, and perfectly emulates the mild fear that comes with exploring a big dark house - especially when it appears that something might be wrong. If you think that great narrative is its own reward, you'll love Gone Home.
  40. Aug 15, 2013
    95
    With excellent writing and remarkable attention to period detail, Gone Home turns the process of exploring a house into a captivating and deeply poignant journey of discovery.
  41. 100
    An experience that is so startlingly, unexpectedly and enjoyably different than anything else on the market right now.
  42. Aug 15, 2013
    95
    Gone Home is a remarkable achievement, and piecing together its poignant story will stick with me forever.
  43. Aug 15, 2013
    100
    Despite being a very short experience, the mundane acts of walking through hallways, opening doors, or reading pieces of paper become a poignant adventure dealing with personal issues that are handled brilliantly and provide a strong basis for a great game. For that, Gone Home is as much an introspective journey into human life as it is a game so very worthy of your time.
  44. Aug 15, 2013
    85
    Gone Home's crisscrossing threads, like any good short story, are sure to have your mind racing as you try to unravel what's going on. This heavy sense of mystery is mixed with a dose of nostalgia that might have you head-banging.
  45. Aug 15, 2013
    90
    Similar to its more experimental bretherin, Proteus and Dear Esther, it’s a triumphantly successful demonstration that narrative doesn’t need to be funnelled down the barrel of a gun, balanced on the edge of a blade or relegated to a background cut scene for the sake of gameplay. Instead Gone Home actively embraces the unique possibilities of interactivity, laying out a breadcrumb trail of fascinating trinkets that leads to its touching crescendo without ever withholding control.
  46. Aug 15, 2013
    90
    Play Gone Home because you want an engrossing and detailed environment to explore. Play it because you want something new and introspective from your games. Play it because you want to reconnect with a sibling or family member who has grown distant. Play it because ten years from now there will still be people playing and discussing its intricacies.
  47. Aug 15, 2013
    95
    Gone Home is not only an important game in its own right, but is absolutely vital to the advancement of how we approach narrative in games, as well as the subjects we tackle.
  48. Aug 15, 2013
    92
    Gone Home is a story in which you'll get to know a handful of characters without physically meeting any one of them. A game where engagement is driven by exploration and absorption at a pace that perfectly suits the story it needs to tell. An experience that offers first and third person accounts of different stories and trusts the player with filling in the blanks. It's not that they don't make them like this anymore, but rather they've never made one like this before.
  49. Aug 15, 2013
    60
    As a statement of intent, Gone Home is laudable; as a technical exercise in game narrative, it's compromised, but it definitely has its strengths and is worthy of study. But you can't escape the sense that Gaynor, Zimonja and Nordhagen started on this project with grand designs for games as a storytelling medium, yet without a story they desperately wanted to tell.
  50. Aug 15, 2013
    90
    Gone Home is the kind of work that will impress people who write off the medium because of the prevalence of guns in commercial titles. Its potential wider significance aside, however, the Greenbriars’ story is unforgettable.
  51. Aug 15, 2013
    90
    Perhaps Gone Home’s greatest surprise lies in the apparent ease with which The Fullbright Company has joined the game’s subject and its medium: it’s a domestic tale of girl-to-womanhood told with the tools of an action game. As a statement that games can express emotionally resonant stories, Gone Home is a triumph. But that’s not why you should play it. Engrossing, touching and rewarding, it’s well worth the experience on its own terms, too.
  52. Aug 15, 2013
    100
    It’s epic, personal and revelatory to the people involved, and that’s why it’s so special. The moments in my life that I cherish the most--my first love, realizing my brother was my best friend, moving to San Francisco, getting married--would not register against saving the universe from an alien threat, but these are the epic moments in my life. Gone Home grounds itself by reveling in life’s quiet, defining moments, the ones you might write down in a diary, underneath a set of books, only to find years later.
  53. Aug 15, 2013
    100
    Gone Home proves that a game focused on story and exploration, starring a decidedly non-traditional cast of characters can be utterly thrilling. With excellent writing and environments that made me want to explore every nook and cranny, Gone Home simply, effectively drew me in.
  54. Aug 15, 2013
    80
    Gone Home offers its revelations in quietness and purity, and that's why you'll leave it with a spring in your step. Turning the world into a storyteller is nothing new in video games, but I think I've gotten to know it much better here, in its pajamas and inside, without all the noise.
  55. Aug 15, 2013
    85
    Gone Home’s biggest strength is how it tackles more complex and realistic subject matter than most developers would dare touch. The raw and honest writing is refreshing, providing something so different than the standard narrative. It may not last more than a few hours, but I never put the controller down because I was so captivated.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1431 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Aug 16, 2013
    4
    Gone Home is the perfect example of a game that shouldn't be game. It has a really good story and some interesting characters but that alone won't make a good game.
    Normally I would appreciate a game with a good narrative, I believe that the industry needs this kind of game, but a game is not a mere narrative it has to be the combination of sounds, images, story and interaction and Gone Home manages to fail in every aspect except for the story.
    Poor graphics combined with very bad textures and a terrible light effect makes the environment a lousy place to navigate through and that is a pretty important thing here since walking around the scenario 50% the game mechanic.
    The sound is average there really isn't much to complain but there is nothing to praise either.
    The gameplay, if you can call it that way, consists basically on walking around reading messages and notes.
    Gone Home is a pretty good narrative born in the wrong medium it would be a much better choice to release it as short film.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 16, 2013
    10
    I don't usually give games a 10. In fact, there are only 2 other games that I would consider to be perfect 10s: the original portal and pacman ce dx. Those aren't necessarily the best games I've played, but they are the most perfect, if that makes sense. And that is a word that I would use to describe Gone Home: perfect. It is a game purely comprised of exploration and discovery, with virtually no other gameplay components with the exception of some very simplistic puzzles. And yet, Gone Home manages to make seemingly mundane exploration into some of the most engaging and emotional storytelling I have ever seen. Gone Home will be remembered for its brilliant design and execution, but also as a game that bravely led the charge in addressing contemporary social issues that have not as of yet found much representation in the medium.
    This game is not for everyone. If all you play are shooters and fast paced action games, then Gone Home will bore you. However, if you like slower games or games with interesting ways of telling stories, such as Journey, Heavy Rain, Dear Esther, or even mods like The Stanley Parable, than Gone home is certain to grab you and not let go for its 3 hour duration.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 17, 2013
    4
    Walkin' around a house, lookin' at scraps of papers. Openin' drawers, turnin' lights on, the end. Not quite my cup of tea for a video game. Sure, it's an interesting way to deliver a story, but that's all it is, I didn't find it to be the masterpiece the critic's seem to be praising, perhaps they're just far too jaded by conventional games.

    I found the story itself and ending really underwhelming considering that was the focal point of the game; it just felt like a playable, albeit forgettable and predictable, Lifetime movie. So I just can't get on board this hype train. By the end of it, I felt like having no gameplay was more a gimmick than anything else. What happens when more "games" likes this with similarly decent stories come out? Are we still praising it with perfect 10's? It's different, I get it, but that doesn't make it a good game.
    Full Review »