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Mixed or average reviews- based on 1557 Ratings

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  1. Aug 16, 2013
    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.
  2. Aug 17, 2013
    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. Expand
  3. Aug 17, 2013
    It has extremely simplistic gameplay and a narrative that is entirely forgettable because of the lack of any people to interact with. Who ever thought trying to experience someone else's memories by rummaging through their stuff would be a good idea clearly doesn't understand simple psychology, let alone what makes a good video game.
  4. Aug 17, 2013
    A very short lived, exploratory, quasi adventure game for PC. Take on the role of a character that has just come home, wander around a house, rummage through people's belongings and uncover some very minor story details along the way.

    Game play length is roughly 90 minutes long, that includes finding everything. No game play mechanics besides walking around a house and digging through
    stuff, it's less entertaining then a "search and find" adventure game and costs twice as much.

    The developers would have been better off writing a 'choose your own adventure' book then programming a game. Avoid at all costs.
  5. Aug 17, 2013
    Gone Home is, well, not a game. It's a $20 "experience" that puts you in a house and tells you to rummage through your sister's things. Not much happens. In fact, nothing happens. It's on the level of other "interactive stories" such as Dear Esther. If you were into that kind of stuff, then by all means purchase this... thing. If you were looking for a game then you're in the wrong place, brother.

    Probably the worst part is that, for all its emphasis on story, Gone Home doesn't say much. It provides limited commentary on a social issue, but nothing that hasn't been said before.
  6. Aug 19, 2013
    A walking/rummaging simulator gets rave reviews because of a generic coming of age story that's lauded by people who haven't read a book since highschool. The reviews tell more about gaming journalism than they do the actual game.
  7. Aug 18, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Warning: This review also spoils Iron Man 3 if you haven't seen it. This review is also long.

    I am feeling mixed emotions at the moment. I literally just finished the game about twenty minutes ago. I downloaded it about five hours ago, but my Steam in-game timer says I have only played it for three hours.

    First things first: I barely read any reviews at all. I think I skimmed either Joystiq's or IGN's or something, I cannot recall. I saw some of the screenshots, and then I checked the game out on Steam.

    Missing family members? Check.
    Resident Evil-like mansion? Check.
    1995 spooky period setting? Check.
    Detective emphasis where you pick up items and look for clues? Check.

    So this game is obviously about either a murder, a haunted house, or some sort of missing family detective game, judging by the screen shots and Steam profile, right?

    I boot the game up. Title screen is pretty spooky and ominous. I bet my family's bodies are in that second floor left window because it's illuminated on the title screen!

    The game opens with a "Hey don't mind me, I'll find my own way home" phone call. I have an inventory system and a map. I'm digging it. It's dark, stormy, the lightning and creaking noises are scary and ominous. This giant Resident Evil house is deserted and abandoned. I decide that I'm going to hug the left wall the entire game, and check every nook and cranny. And I do.

    I learn about my "father's" failed book sales, I learn about the creepy voice message on the phone, read about my great uncle's will. I enjoyed the X-Files references, and the Street Fighter stuff was great. All right, every thing is pretty cool for now. I bet my family is dead upstairs or something. The atmosphere is awesome. I get genuinely creeped out the dark hallways and the thundering and lightning. I keep thinking there is going to be a dead body or a zombie or something every time I enter a new room.

    After a great first hour or two of scary lightning and ominous noises, things start to get a little weird once you get to the second floor. The first girl punk rock cassette was okay I guess, but now these other ones are annoying me. Oh, here's a story about a pirate captain uh cool? I'm not really feeling it, though.

    And then "it" happens. The moment that makes me say "Uh what just happened?" Remember the trailers for Iron Man 3? Remember how it seemed so dark and ominous? How Tony was all alone? How the Mandarin was such a powerful and evil guy? And you see it and like it at first, but then the Mandarin reveal happens? And following that scene, the movie just loses all appeal. You are no longer invested. What you thought and expected is completely replaced with confusion. That moment happened to me in this game.

    "Dear diary I like Lonnie." Uh okay. That's cool, I guess? Seems a little unrelated to the dark and ominous feel of the game. My family is still totally dead and murdered, right?

    Nope, all the ominous darkness and set-up is basically for naught. After that reveal, it turns into a high schooler's interactive "Dear Diary, me and Lonnie let's be pirate punks blah blah blah." The game attempts to return to the "dark and ominous" setting with cryptic clues about your deceased great uncle and stuff.

    A little further, I get a little more hope when I find out there's a pagan ritual going on and some Ouija board talk. I thought to myself, "Awesome. She's totally killed herself in the attic, right?"

    Nope. Your parents are away at a couple's retreat because your mom is probably cheating on your dad, and your sister at the ripe age of 17 with all of her wisdom runs off with a now AWOL Lonnie and the game ends.

    I'm terribly confused as to why they marketed it the way they did if the main story line (your sister is gay and ran off) has nothing to do with the dark and ominous setting.

    Did I enjoy it? That first hour or so going about the house was great. Scouring corners for clues, attempting to find out what happened to my family, old creaky noises, Resident Evil flashbacks, etc. But then after the "Dear diary" event, I just stop caring. It got to the point where the game mentions a Kate/Kaitlin, and I honestly forgot that it was my character's name. Other than a few postcards, I am just a boring uninteresting protagonist going on a easter egg hunt for my sister who is apparently a master at setting up cryptic notes and secret passages.

    Does it matter if Sam was gay or not? Not at all. Even if Lonnie became Lenny, I don't care for a high school girl's 3 hour version of Dear Diary.

    The game is misleading in its tone and advertising. Do I regret my purchase? I don't know. $18 is a bit much for a 3 hour game I will never play again. All the hype and great reviews are a little misleading. This game could have been a great spooky detective murder mystery. You could have been a protagonist that mattered. But nope. You are just a boring older sister that no one cares about it seems.
  8. Aug 18, 2013
    $20 to experience a poorly written story that lasts less than an hour and still managed to bore me in such a short space of time. I feel completely ripped off. Don't waste your money.
  9. Aug 17, 2013
    This game is more akin to an interactive movie. That could be okay, but the point is, this game is short. Too short. One hour short. And it's not good.
  10. Aug 17, 2013
    Whatever the critics are smoking, let me have some. With all the X-Files references and ghost stuff, I was expecting a ghost story or something interesting. Visually very interesting looking, but just walking around reading gets boring really fast. I couldnt get into the story of it, the thing, meh. Save your money and your time, unless your like these critics and find like this deep or something. Expand
  11. Aug 17, 2013
    I would like to say that this is a horrible game. But if I'm going to be honest, I can't say that, since "Gone Home" really is not a game at all. It is remarkably short (around 2 hours) and yet still boasts repetitive gameplay. All you do in this game is explore a house and examine the notes, pictures, documents, and artefacts contained therein. The house is big, and is well done by the developers, but to make a good game in today's video game industry, you're gonna have to make a bit more than a house. The story is very uninteresting and uninspired. It is also very predictable, as you can probably predict the ending around 10 minutes into the game. That is not to say that Gone Home's story is generic. Actually, this game is actually quite original. But at the end of the day, originality is overrated if you can't produce good gameplay, story, or atmosphere. It also doesn't help that this short, excuse-for-a-game, costs $18 on steam. So, if you are looking for a cost-effective game to purchase, stay away from "Gone Home" like the plague. Perhaps this game's only redeeming feature is that the voice acting of the ONLY character that speaks is done well (Yes well, not amazingly, but well nonetheless). Expand
  12. Aug 18, 2013
    A terrible non-game. I've got dear esther for free and played it, but this, I wouldn't even take it if I were paid for it. It has no gameplay, simple as that. Dear esther looked good at least, but this, this is just bad. If you're going to do nothing with the interactive medium, just go ahead and make it a movie ffs. I hope we won't see more of these awful "cinematic experiences", they're just not games, and in this case it's especially laughable. Expand
  13. Aug 17, 2013
    Gone Home isn't really a game, but a rather interesting yet unorganized story. You will spend at least 2 hours digging through drawers and cabinets to find mostly useless scraps of paper, most not even relevant to the main plot of the story line. While this game does have a good story it is simply not worth the twenty bucks, or the time it takes you to dig through the game.
  14. Aug 19, 2013
    OK, I feel compelled to write about this game. Why has it got a score of 90? Normally I trust metacritic's scores but not for this. Many games get marked down for poor singleplayer, interaction, lack of multiplayer, length, re-playability etc. Why hasn't this? You can walk around, open things, pick up stuff, look at/read stuff and that is it, that's the whole game. At first I thought "Hey, this could really go somewhere, it's building up" but it really isn't. At one point, the game mentions occult poltergeists and has secret passages, but these have nothing to do with the story whatsoever.

    Very disappointed.
  15. Aug 21, 2013
    I wanted to like this game, I really did: a combatless detective mystery solving the mysterious disappearance of your family. But what it essentially boils down to is an hour and a half or two of reading notes. The plot amounts to the same vapid 90210-level writing that the game itself mocks multiple times, with several cringe-worthy lines that carry a rather clichéd story to a forced, unrealistic end. The roughly three dozen pages of notes could easily be read in ten or twenty minutes on their own, and amount to something you can already find all over on Deviantart.

    But you can't charge money for that, can you? The slow plod of having a player-character who must trudge around the mansion picking up these scraps simply serves as a vehicle to slow down the pace of this reading. The graphics and atmosphere are initially enticing, but they quickly become irrelevant, comprised of empty rooms that requiring you to poke at something before the next bit of storyline text appears.

    The game looks nice. The premise is intriguing. But unfortunately, it amounts to an hour or two of unnecessary trudging around and clicking around for the next bit of text, mere padding that allows them to charge $20 for a few pages of generic drama.
  16. Aug 19, 2013
    This is, to put it bluntly, not a video game. I don't mean that in a snarky way. You have people who go "Metal Gear Solid is a movie because it has too many cutscenes" or "Planescape Torment is a novel because it has too much text", but Gone Home is, even in the very loosest sense of the word, not a video game. Arguably, a book has more interactivity and skill involved, since you need to possess the motor skills necessary to turn the pages. Expand
  17. Aug 17, 2013
    It just wasn't for me. For a game that is $20, its far to short (2 hours); the design/architecture of the house is oddly in-normal and amateur, and the story just didn't do anything for me. I guess this one just fly's over my head as I cannot understand the critics answers for a 100%. I give it a 3 for its creepy atmosphere.
  18. Aug 17, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Negatives points: extremely slow paced (give sprint for revisiting rooms!). Unneeded/useless crouch function. Unneeded right-click and object rotate function. Besides Sam's notes, all other notes added nothing but bore. No puzzle solving or anything, game is about reading paper notes. Denying access to the most interesting (dirty) note was NOT a good idea. 99% of objects were useless and did not need a pickup function, they were not even interesting (pens, magazines, toilet papers). Game was promising a twisted ending but delivered nothing at all (yes... you are so smart and unique!). 2 hours later, conclusion was my sis has gone gay and has fled, but not a single foke was given by me, at least if it was Terry I could have laughed about it.

    Positive points: Game keeps you interested from start to finish, because it promises you with lies! Sam's story unfolds well and her voice journals are good, pretty shame it's rather basic. The bit in the first secret room, I picked up the cross and as i was reading it, and the light bulb went out, that bit sh!t me up real good, if only there was a lot more of that in the game.

    /Overhyped, basic game at best...
  19. Aug 19, 2013
    Do you rate this as a game, or as a visual novel?

    As a game, it's terrible. There is barely any gameplay, and what little there is is nothing to write home about. You walk around a house, looking at stuff. That's about it.

    As a visual novel, it's more of a thing. Gameplay doesn't matter in visual novels, so let's talk about a story. It's nothing to write home about either, and the
    ridiculous reviews given to it by "critics" are most likely due to the hip agenda the game addresses.

    As a game, it's a 0/10. As a story, it's 3/10 at best. That amounts to 1.5 average, but I'll just give it 0 to balance out all the 10/10 reviews that COMPLETELY ignore how terrible a game it is.. If it can be called a game to begin with.
  20. Aug 20, 2013
    I downloaded Gone Home expecting a deep story told in a unique way. The concept was sound enough, walk around a house mashing your use key on everything that glows white and looking at it from all directions to piece together a story. It would be great if they actually ran with that. For most of the game you aren't really piecing together a story as much as reading some notes and looking at a convenient book on the floor and reading a teenage girl's diary. I expected that I would have to actually think about what happened without having a definite answer, but no it's basically throwing the story at you like a book or a movie. This leads me to my main problem with this "game". There is no challenge. This is not the holy savior of video games, this is not someone redefining a medium, and this is definitely not a game. At best this is an interactive story and the story part of it feels uninspired and lazy. You can guess the ending 20 minutes into the game and there are no curve balls in the main story. Some of the side stories are interesting but not enough to carry it. Maybe with proper execution it could have become something great but unfortunately all we have is this little tech demo that squanders what great potential this concept has. Expand
  21. Aug 19, 2013
    Unbelievable. If only games journalism was a licensed field of work, then we could strip it from everyone who rated this game higher than a 3 out of 10. This is not a game, and is an "interactive story" in only the loosest sense of both words. Yet another high watermark in a long-standing tradition of prominent games journalists broadly failing to do their jobs properly.
  22. Aug 19, 2013
    Gone Home has a big twist,, well no, not really, think of the first halo, now imagine that instead of having aliens on the box and in the reviews they kept that secret.
    Gone Home "twist comes less than 10 minutes into the games so if you want to know why this games such a big deal you might just want read a spoiler and see the rather shallow reason for a lot of this games positive
    There are no real puzzles, sometimes you collect a key and the game tells you were to go on the map to use it.
    The rest of the time you just walk from room to room and pick up highlighted objects to unlock audio diary's,
    Sometimes your need to place a tape in a tape player but that's about as complex as it gets, there little to it passed that.
    The games story is of course it's big selling point and since the game is being sold as something you have to come into with no knowledge of, I can't talk about it without it being seen as a spoiler.
    What I will say is if this story were told in any other medium it would be a total non event.
    There's little to it and you can guess most of it before your halfway done.
    Overall I can't recommend Gone Home to anyone but the most hardcore fans of the quirky, the story while rare in games is uninspired and shallow and there's hardly any gameplay to it.
  23. Aug 17, 2013
    Don't know why the reviewers loved this so. Interesting "game" while it lasted, which was all of 90 minutes. Definitely not worth the price of admission.
  24. Aug 19, 2013
    The only semblance of gameplay Gone Home has to offer is ~90 minutes' worth of pitiful, painfully easy exploration. Exploration that can be further simplified with in-game options. Couple that with a hamfisted narrative that exudes pretentiousness and you're left with a $20 interactive novel. To call this a video game is insulting. If you want to tell a story or make a statement, go write a book or a screenplay or something. Videogames are not about narrative exposition. Absolutely disgusting. Expand
  25. Aug 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It amazes me what passes as a "game" these days. This "game" is the perfect example of what should not be a video game. you can literally beat the game in under 1 min, the story is bland and predictable but is considered "the best story in video game history" because its about a homosexual child. This "game" is a whopping 20$ which is way to much for a pile of garbage like this. This "game" is the embodiment of hipster indie developer bull**** that is the cancer to the video game industry Expand
  26. Aug 20, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. After picking up a tissue box for the tenth time and realizing that there was no point in clicking on anything except notes and postcards, I realized I was simply being lead through an Oprah Book of the Month. Every time the story made me believe something amazing was going to happen, it turned out it was just a typical story of an angsty teenage girl who was mad at her rich daddy and mommy. Typically people don't buy "games" to experience something they could otherwise do by breaking into the house of an upper class high school girl and pilfering through her drawers. If you step back for a moment and think about it. this interactive story is creepy as all get out. Expand
  27. Aug 18, 2013
    I'll tell what good in this game. Sound designs along with nice house makes the game very atmospheric. Unfolding the story by reading hand-written notes and letters is a nice feature, and many objects in the house is detailed.
    But this "game" doesn't have anything else than walking through a house, listening to your sister and finding your way to the end of the house. This takes maybe 1-2
    hours and in the end story is nothing special. $20 for a short walking simulator is too much. I don't recommend this to anyone. Expand
  28. Aug 22, 2013
    9/10 for a game that is not a game in first place. Sure you can move around and click on things, I guess the developers thought my morning routine deserves a 20 dollar price tag on it, for it takes me an hour, feels completely rushed and there is not a real story to it.

    See, here is the real twist, were I a lesbian, my morning routine would be deemed as "IMPRESSIVE", "OUTSTANDING",
    "GRANDIOSE", or any other adjective truly devoid of meaning when it comes to modern gaming.

    Almost no game-play, a so-so story which is only viewed in high regards for the feminist inquisition takes no prisoners and we would hate to be labelled as a chauvinistic people, and a length that makes angry birds seem as long as a first play-through of Skyrim.

    I would suggest avoiding this one, or waiting for a Steam sale of under a buck; 20 dollars for a movie ticket is excessive, then why is it not for a game which provides with little more?
  29. Aug 25, 2013
    $20 for a virtual, empty mansion. Know what you're getting into before buying this is NOT a horror game. Arguably not even a game at all. All you do is walk around while listening to your lesbian sister whine about her first-world problems. If I wanted to hear a spoiled rich white girl whine, I'd just go to Tumblr. Your local library also most likely has a bunch of sappy teenage romance novellas that you can read for free. It's not that I hate a good story Silent Hill 2 is a game that combines excellent, moving storytelling with a chilling atmosphere but this is amateur, cringeworthy nonsense. When she said "the morning sunshine is the saddest thing I've ever seen," I had to hit the mute button. It is extremely hard to feel sympathetic towards a character that does absolutely nothing but whine, whine, whine. Expand
  30. Aug 19, 2013
    10 minutes. That's what will take you to finish this "game".
    Not even worth a pirate, don't waste your time with this garbage.
    You can find much better stories in books, and if you're playing games for the story I really suggest you get the out of gaming altogether.
  31. Aug 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What? After taking notes on what I found, I didn't need any of them to complete the game. It's merely completed when you find all the keys/combinations? Too easy. I could have completed it in 30 minutes if I'd known this. This is not an adventure game there's no adventure. Expand
  32. Aug 19, 2013
    To me a good game has a balance between story and gameplay. In Gone Home the gameplay consists of reading things until the games decides to tell you more of the plot. There isn't any need for this to be a game. It would have been better as a book or even a point and click adventure. There are really good flash games that do what Gone Home does.
    If you think this game is unique you're
    wrong, there are plenty of games similar to this with most of them being games that are free to play in your browser. Of course you don't get the excellent voice acting but most of the game is text so it's not a big deal.
    I've heard people say this game has good atmosphere. If night time and bad weather is enough for a game to get praised then standards have seriously dropped. So if you agree that the gameplay is pointless carry on reading this; or if you think the gameplay is an essential part of the experience then write your own review explaining why, I'd love to read why someone would enjoy the gameplay.
    You can buy 2 books for the price of this game and which has more value? If this game had been a book then I'd be giving it a positive but as it is I can't recommend anyone spend money on this. You're better off watching a playthrough on youtube. After beating the game once there is no point in ever replaying it. I was very disappointed by this game after seeing all the praise it's been getting.
  33. Aug 25, 2013
    Gone home is a game that has become famous for being finishable in 47 seconds, or played through for TWO HOURS and charge you 20 bucks. It's at this point that I mention how most indie games last more than that time and often sell for less. It's insulting to sell a game at this price for it's length. It tries to excuse itself from this by stating that it's a story driven game, when the only thing of note in this generic drama, and the reason why everyone is giving it high scores, is because the main character is female and lesbian.

    Gameplay-wise, the game is a first person 'Adventure' game. You arrive at your house, your family has apparently gone missing and you must uncover the mystery behind it. Now, I like games with mysteries, I like exploring environments and finding clues and reaching a conclusion that is correct and won't direct me to the bad ending (Or just be wrong and give me some penalty) but with this game, the writing was awkward and it felt like reading a generic drama. The only difference was that it took time to turn the page because you had to search for the next one in the house, which is the reason why this is called a 'game'.

    Graphics are okay. I don't judge games based on graphics, but considering the short duration of this game and poor story it's something I have to point out. It's an Indie game with good graphics and that at least pulls the score up a bit from the effort that was put on that front.

    However, this game has no replayability. Nothing changes when you replay the game, and if you check a certain wall the moment the game starts you can finish the game within 47 seconds of starting it.

    The thing that bothers me the most about this game though, is how it has a Metascore of 90 for a game that isn't a game, for as much as one may praise a story and like story driven games, lasting two hours isn't an excuse when you charge 20 bucks for it. Want a good story driven game? You can buy the Soul Reaver story arch and Defiance from the Legacy of Kain series from the same price as this game, Three games lasting at least 8 to 10 hours each with proper voice acting and a compelling story. That amounts to 24-30 hours of gameplay for around 20 bucks, compared to 47 seconds-2 hours of gameplay for 20 bucks. Make your choice.
  34. Aug 19, 2013
    you really call a game this i dont care about the story dont care about the graphics i just want to play! instead of a interaction book when we are going to learn?!
  35. Aug 20, 2013
    There is no game and there are shallow depictions of a family and there is barely a story. Maybe 2 hours of content at most. I don't want to be associated to this as a gamer.
  36. Aug 22, 2013
    In short: get this game if its less than 5 bucks or part of a bundle. It feels like a longer demo. The setting and sound are nice, but characters, story (in a story centered game) are very bland and way too short. The only interaction is the pacing. You can influence nothing else.

    Gone home... does not really do anything wrong. It does not anger me as many games did in the last time...
    And I do enjoy games that tend to be very calm and with a minimum of interaction (Myst) or narrated movies (Walking Dead). I also identified with the main character (who has such few characteristics that this is not hard.) and enjoyed the fact that 2 girls are the center of attention here.
    Myst has a compelling world and culture, the Walking Dead tells a gripping story of multi-faceted characters (yeah, stereotypical some). Gone home is also story centered and the story in my view is utterly standard and told in a very boring way. So does this just boil down to my taste?
    In the beginning i was very intrigued: I had not read anything and expected suspense, maybe horror (x-file tapes lying around, the name "Steven King" popping up). I hoped that this was the way the story would go. Or if not, that i would be cleverly cheated out of my sheepish reasoning.
    The 90 points on meta critic also did their fair share. I have to think carefully if I can afford buying a game the screenshots, trailer, soundtrack and meta critic score convinced me. Also I love supporting a genre that really needs more good publishers.
    Now i really, really regret having spent 20 Euro on this game. I still would have liked to play it but not for 20 Euro. I would recommend it to people who like interactive stories (not really interactive... the story does not react to you you cannot influence anything but the pacing), the sound is nice, the voice acting as well. I especially liked the effort put into the handwriting. But this is simply... not enough for a game. Where Journey captures you with mood and also some essential game-play and difficulty here, there is absolutely no difficulty at all. I could have picked up the (well written) diary of a 15 year old girl instead. I have no reason of "playing" this a second time or watching somebody else playing it. I could not even talk about the game with friends. I actually feel cheated... There does not have to be a shocking twist or compelling tragedy in every story, but the whole set up, the premise is so intriguing, that the very banal 1000times heard many times told better story with 0 interaction disappointed me a lot. Maybe I would have liked that story more, if i was 14 or 15. But then the time period the game is set in might not have been so interesting to me.
  37. Aug 22, 2013
    Gone Home is the latest Indie effort to be bound and gagged on the plaudit train. And, while Indie efforts are usually worthy of praise because they strain to do something different, Gone Home is clearly a case in point that stresses different is not always a driving point for a game. While it's true there genuinely isn't an experience like this 'out there', most gamers out there will probably suggest there is a reason for that.

    The critical acclaim is quite baffling, but I doubt it's worth trying to figure out. Just as critics felt like they had to give room for post modern art, it seems game reviewers here are doing the same thing. They see something unusual, something that tells a story a different way, they say it has emotion and involves the player.

    Here's the thing, though, Gone Home doesn't succeed on any of those points. There have been games this year that have evoked emotional storylines, and still given you something to physically do. Gone Home's only hook is that you allegedly have to piece the story together, from aeons of crumpled up notes and journals. The rest of the two, yes, count it, two hour experience is spent picking up items which either have no use, or make vague nods to what's going on in the house, or to pop-culture of the 1990s. Know how games put the odd easter egg in here and there? That's Gone Home's idea of a fully interactive experience. And the less said about the overall tone and theme/message of the story, the better. It's as if the writers decided on this subject to make a point, a point they had obviously done little research of.

    Thing is, regardless of how unique GH is, there really isn't a need for it. This is a once in a lifetime game that will hopefully fall off the radar, or find a niche of gamers that would be happy doing this. I can't imagine anyone wanting to go through such an experience again, unless the same gimmick was improved vastly beyond the non-game GH is.

    And, the final point, as people have mentioned, is the price. 20 bucks for a 2 hour game is laughable.

    There are plenty of better interactive story games. I point you to 999 and Virtues Last Reward. A story that surpasses anything told in GH here, and one that truly makes the player think far beyond when the credits roll, so much so, a replay is almost a guarantee. These games are 40 hours long, and barely cost much more than what the guys who made GH are asking for.
  38. Aug 19, 2013
    The game is quite decent if you look at it from a "proof of concept" kind of standpoint. It shows you that games with a huge focus on story can be made and that they have potential.
    Is this game worth $20, though? Absolutely not.

    The graphics are alright for this type of game. Nothing spectacular to be sure, but adequate. More attention given to the lighting would have really helped
    the atmosphere, though.
    The sound design is passable as well. Sound and music are used sparingly but appropriately. Nothing that will wow you, but fitting for the game.

    The two major problems, then, are the story and the "gameplay".
    I applaud their effort to completely focus on the exploration and ditch enemies and puzzles altogether. It's just a shame that the exploration really isn't all that fun. You can walk around, pick up objects and examine them. That's it. A bit of variety would have really helped. How about a flashlight to let you explore dark, long abandoned rooms inside the house? How about some semblance of interactivity between items? ANYTHING to break the monotony of slowly walking from room to room.
    I realize that the exclusion of typical gameplay elements was a conscious choice, but it wasn't a good one in my opinion. A game focused completely on exploration should make exploration fun.
    Then we have the story. I have to admit it's well written and indeed somewhat interesting, but it's just out of place and not fitting.
    The tried and true (but nevertheless interesting) setting of the old, spooky mansion at night with a storm blowing outside would have lent itself much better to a real mystery story. I'm not going to spoil anything, but in my opinion they should have stuck with a tried and true (but interestingly told) story to go along with their tried and true setting instead for going with a story that simply feels out of place.
    The fact that the "big reveal" is obvious 20 minutes into the game doesn't help, either.
  39. Aug 20, 2013
    Disappointing. What a let down. Short (would have been even shorter if the walk speed wasn't so slow). Very little interaction. I don't get it. Reviewers are giving it rave reviews purely based on the fact that it is a LBGT interest story it seems. Yeah, that's different/nice, but the story itself was completely UNINTERESTING!

    1.) Small environment....check
    2.) Graphics that could have
    been done 6 years ago...check
    3.) Very little interactivity...check
    4.) SLOW movement...check
    5.) Sappy voice-overs...check
    6.) $20 price!!!!....check
    7.) Uninteresting first love (albeit lesbian) story...check

    We have a game folks!!!!

    Don't waste your money. I love independent genre bending games, but a game this is not. Nor was it an experience worth the money and particularly not my time. It's a shame that such a seemingly lazy effort is being rewarded by the reviewer community.

    You want a unique game that tells a gripping story, here are some games that do this better...Flower, Journey, Catherine, Braid, Limbo, PORTAL!
  40. Aug 20, 2013
    A craptastic story hidden under the veil of love and relationship which is in reality nothing but a lesbian teenager's senseless decision about life. It is not entertaining, emotional or epic in any way, it is just infuriating. I hate teens going through puberty and their stupid useless lives with useless decisions and i want to spit in the face of the guy who thought this would be sensational in any way. Technically the game is an unoptimised piece of toot. It has reused models, mspaint textures (especially in small areas they are obvious) and what not. All in all, avoid buying or even pirating this at all costs. Expand
  41. Aug 25, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The only thing they did right was, ummmmm, ummmmm, nope cant think of anything. You play 2 hours to find out your sister is gay, and your family is on vacation. Seriously who comes home from vacation and does this? Expand
  42. Aug 25, 2013
    You go around a house to read and check things out and unfold a poorly written story. Like a shallow interactive book, 95% of stuff you explore will add up to NOTHING. That load of stuff you just learned about the family? It means nothing, the game never puts it to a test or challenge. There is not even a challenge to this game. That whole time you wasted reading useless information about useless characters WILL BE IRREVOCABLY THROWN INTO THE VOID.

    You'd expect like a more serious back story as to "why the hell is nobody home after I arrive from a long ass trip to another continent" other than a bunch of sweet love stories and meaninglessness. Don't listen to people blindly praising this for "being different" (which is not an excuse to be crap). You'll even notice that some people are praising this for homosexual relationships. Truly the end of times this is.
  43. Sep 2, 2013
    This is not a game.

    There is literally no gameplay here, and the developer makes a selling point of it, saying "No Combat, No Puzzles." I got the game from a friend and didn't read anything about it before playing. There was some tension before I realized that nothing in the game world was going to kill me, but once that dawned on me the sense of suspense drained away. I was still
    curious about where the story was going to go, but I figured out what was going on about a third of the way through and wanted my character to just go to bed and talk to people in the morning.

    This is an interesting experiment in alternative storytelling, but that starts to fall down as it progresses and relies less and less on user discovery and more and more on linear narration via voiceover. It shows hints of what can be done with this approach, but it feels experimental. As such, it isn't worth paying money for, even if you you're not looking for an actual game.

    The story lasted me about 3 hours, and while it was initially engaging it became more and more tedious as I continued. There's a good bit of 90s nostalgia scattered about, but that only goes so far when the main experience falls flat.

    Ultimately this is an art project, and like most art projects reviewers are afraid to give it low scores for fear of looking like they don't "get it." I think genuinely good things could be done with this approach, but this is essentially a prototype for the process. A promising prototype, but charging $20 for it is frankly insulting. Calling it a game is misleading.
  44. Aug 22, 2013
    While the concept of a story based game is all well and good, and a game without conflict is also well and good, Gone Home's narrative is trite and boring. There is no conflict, there is no mystery, nothing happens. You get some audio logs detailing the relatively boring and uninteresting lives of a family, learn where to go, go there, and the game is over. Perhaps, if this game was five dollars or less, it might be worth looking at merely to expose yourself to something which is experimental. But for 20? Gone Home is barely worth your time even if you want new experiences and certainly isn't worth your money. Expand
  45. Aug 19, 2013
    This game is by far the worst point and click adventure game I have ever played. Extremely pretentious, no real puzzles or need to think at all, and it can be beaten in under a minute. The premise of the game sounded neat when I read it on Steam but this game is a ripoff for 20$, hell knowing what I know now I wouldn't even consider playing this game if it were free.

    To this game's
    credit, the way you explore the game, pick up items, rotate them, open chests, and cabinets is really neat. But that's the best part of this game, playing with items in the house. Expand
  46. Aug 18, 2013
    Excellent graphics and attention to detail but finished, if you could call it that, in about 2 hours. The story line is blah and the ending was a giant yawn. Would not recommend unless the price is around $5.
  47. Aug 22, 2013
    A game with little to no gameplay that lasts 2 hours at most and 47 seconds at least, all of it for 20$.
    The fact that critics are praising it's story is a sign of the extremely low standards the videogame industry has in that particular field. I guess it's worth approaching if you want to watch a movie but feel the need to have some level of interaction (and keep in mind, it's a 20$
    movie). If you're not the type of person that, for whatever reason, is looking for that in a videogame, you should avoid this like the plague. Expand
  48. Aug 19, 2013
    Unfortunately, this is just vanilla tearful love story, where mystical themes and horror elements used to plant chtop you to hook. Disappointment. Don't byu it. Just let'splay it.
  49. Aug 20, 2013
    Garbage. Too short for one I beat it in less than two hours. The story is boring and the writing on the notes were nearly impossible to decipher so I couldn't quite feel personally affected by the character. I wasn't sure if the story was supposed to reflect lesbianism or grunge music in the upper class (I'm not against lesbians for the record) in a decade that was less accepting or WHAT this was really supposed to be about. First-world problems? Major disappointment.!! Expand
  50. Aug 21, 2013
    Quite possibly the worst game of all time. Bad story/writing, no gameplay whatsoever, lasts 1 hour if you're generous, 1 minute if you do a speed run. No atmosphere to pull you in, no nothing. And they have the audacity of charging 20 bucks for this. A joke. A complete joke.
  51. Aug 28, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Gone Home is a game, if that's what you can even call it, about exploring a house and uncovering a mystery. You would think that this would be exciting and riveting if the mystery solving didn't focus on walking around a poorly designed house reading notes because, well, that's all there is to Gone Home. It's simply a hour of you walking around a house, rummaging through cabinets and drawers, discovering poorly hidden secret passages that, if found prematurely, can make the game as short as 45 seconds.

    It tries hard to tell a interesting story which it does succeed in one point, the voice acting, which is the best part of the entire "game". The other point is the completely forced story involving a closet lesbian finding out her true self. The game tries to be subtle, but it manages that as well as someone trying to hide a blood stain on a dress with ketchup.

    The game simply does not hold up to the raving reviews it is receiving by critics across the board. It doesn't captivate you emotionally, it isn't entertaining, and it sure as hell is not worth $20 dollars.

    Yes, a game that can be completed in less than 45 seconds, that consists of nothing more than walking and turning on lights, is worth $20 dollars.

  52. Aug 25, 2013
    "It's a two hour game, almost devoid of challenge, and without replay incentives"
    This is a quote from a review that game this game a 10/10. I fail to see how you can give a "game" without any gameplay characteristics a 10/10. This thing would be no different if it were a movie or visual novel. You may or may not enjoy the story, but a good story isnt a game, it's a book. If you want to
    play a great story centric game, play Planetscape Torment, The Longest Journey, Myst, even Penumbra.
    It's a crime that this game is being fawned over, I hope capable developers don't try and emulate the success that this thing has received instead of developing real games because at that point Gone Home actually begins to have a negative impact on gaming.
  53. Aug 19, 2013
    I'm someone who defends The Last of Us as a "game." I'm someone who defends "Little Inferno, The Walking Dead, and Thirty Flights of Lovin." There is no defending "Gone Home." There is no gameplay. There is no game.
    The much lauded story (the ONLY thing this game is dependent upon) is nothing more than someone's Live Journal or probably a Fictionpress short-story that I read 10-15 years
    ago. Story has nothing to do with the gameplay. You aren't even part of the story that's being told. You are told someone else's linear and melodramatic story while you pick up a random object and spin it around just so you can trigger the next voice over.
    Voice Acting is good and I did like the creepy ambiance (even though its a complete lie), but nothing in this "game" is worth the $20 price tag. I bought "The Graveyard" and I didn't feel as ripped off about it than I am right now.
  54. Aug 20, 2013
    Why did this game get even 2 points from me? Because It had some good voice acting. By that i mean the one voice actor that was in the game. Well anyway don't ever bother picking this game up unless it is 99 cents and even then be cautious.

    On to the game. The story is nothing special. Some say it is the best told story ever. Are they serious? All you do in this game is walk around the
    house and turn objects around when suddenly a narrator voice reads a part of her diary to you. I can tell you that is not even necessary you might just find the paper clips and keys since that is the only thing needed. This game is made for the simple minded and it is over in 2-3 hours. This game in no way makes you think there is not a single moment that you stop to think about a puzzle or anything.

    Is the game industry turning to movie industry? When some game maker makes a game that you can barely call a game it gets 9-10 reviews. You can clearly see what the normal consumers think about this game with the user score being so low.
  55. Aug 25, 2013
    I literally created an account just now so I could warn against dropping $20 on this game. And I'm going to leave it spoiler-less so people won't be inclined to skip it.

    I'm seeing a lot of hemming and hawing in this review thread about why "professional" reviewers were going nutso over this game. I think I can boil it down to two things: Nostalgia and Originality. These are great
    qualities in a game, but this game relies almost entirely on them.

    I'm also seeing a lot of talk on here about the gameplay being "non-gameplay". It's an adventure game they don't traditionally rely greatly on twitch or other tired game types. And it clearly doesn't want to be a game like that. In fact, the game does a pretty good job at being simply an adventure game, in that it unfolds in front of you and gives you plenty to interact with.

    Where that falls short is that there are no interesting puzzles in the game at all. No head scratchers, nothing you even have to figure out on your own. It's not Myst, not even close. It had plenty of opportunity to be that kind of game, but I think the developers were more interested in telling their story.

    Of course, I'd even be fine with that (a la Heavy Rain), but it fails miserably at being an interesting story. It's true that it's not a story you often see depicted in video games, but it's been done to in Hollywood and literature for decades. The climax itself is so trite and overdone it's almost laughable. The game tries to look at you with this wry smile like, "Aren't we bold and interesting? Look how progressive we are!" to which I just shake my head in confusion.

    And the length? When I finished the game, Steam smirkingly showed that I had done so in 99 minutes. By my math, that's about $0.20/min. Parking in San Francisco is cheaper than that, and at least I'd see more interesting things wandering around the city for an hour and a half than I did wandering around this game.

    I promise you're not missing anything here. Wait for a Steam sale if you must, but I promise your money is better spent on just about anything else.
  56. Aug 25, 2013
    This visual novel gets this score from me because of 2 things: the price and the length (also probably because they don't state its a visual novel, which it is.) $20 for 20 minutes of audio clips and the screaming female punk music of the 90's scattered across an hour of walking around a house. The story is probably the only thing that gives this any points in my book, and you can see why there are some very positive and very negative reviews. But even with what the story is about, the length to price is unforgivable. Expand
  57. Aug 24, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Wow. Game.

    Your sister is a lesbian and your mother is cheating on your father...whoopdeedoo.

    I do like how it played with my expectations but besides that it was very bland. I think people are really getting onboard with this game because of the sister-is-a-lesbian-who-runs-off-with-her-military-lover story-arc. This may be enlightening, endearing, or perhaps even shocking to some people. However as a person who is already comfortable with same-sex relationships this game loses its impetus. It merely becomes a rather ordinary (and ultimately boring) experience.

    I do believe that there is a need for games like this to be played, especially by the ignorant. But for someone that lives in a place like, oh, PORTLAND OREGON, this game is a hideous waste of time. I felt like it was trying to teach me something that I already knew, to impart some piece of its marvelous 'wisdom' upon me and help me be a better person. Too late. That's ultimately what this game is, it's late to the party. Not just hours late, but decades.
  58. Aug 19, 2013
    First Mass Effect 3 and now the this. I swear to God that the gaming media has lied to me for the very last time. If you want the full facts on this game, here they are: it's Dear Esther with a hair more ambiance and sans the exploration. It is twenty dollars American and you can beat it in forty eight seconds if you know what you're doing, and not in the Way of the Samurai just-walk-out-of-town sense of the word 'beat'. BEAT beat. It's getting perfect tens by professional reviewers for lord knows what reason, I assume they just don't want to get called sexist or homophobic since the game deals with fairly delicate social issues that internet activists get extremely riled about.

    Whatever. It's not worth twenty dollars. It's barely worth two dollars. Do not buy this game if you care about the industry. Do not buy this game if you are sick of people deliberately making high-minded, 'socially conscious' non-game "'experiences''' (there really aren't enough quotation marks in the world) specifically to score pander to reviewers who obviously can't distinguish art from pretentious faffery, and so claim any game with a plotline deeper than 'shoot the space alien' is Citizen Kane so they aren't accused of not 'getting' it.
  59. Aug 19, 2013
    This is not a game, it is interactive media that is being overhyped by game reviewers for some unknown reason. I suspect bribery. You basically spend 30 minutes walking around in a house and listening to audio tapes about an angsty teenage girl's shallow love life.
  60. Aug 21, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What happens when you take Dear Esther, make the environment significantly smaller, and add the ability to open doors and pick up notes? You get Gone Home, a games that's equally as pretentious, twice as boring, but with the added bonus of a cliched story with very little substance.
    You come home to an empty house and a mystery. Where is everyone? You look around, you find notes, listen to a few monologues and unlock the story. Now I could've ignored the fact that this game is basically a point and click for complete idiots if the story at least had something interesting to offer, but it doesn't. What's the story? Your sister comes to a new school where she feels like an outcast. Then she meets a girl who "gets" her and the two become a lesbian couple. The parents object, but she commits to her love, but then her lover reveals she's gonna join the military after high school, effectively ending the relationship, but then she decides to back out at the last minute and the two live happily ever after. So, it's basically "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back", but with two girls and no boy, which I assume is supposed to add something to the story, but not really.
    Now, I don't mind if you use a formula to tell your story as long as you can present it to me in an interesting way that makes me see it in a new way or challenges me. Gone Home does neither. The lesbian relationship adds about an ounce of drama and that's about it. Otherwise, it's just your standard romance with nothing new to add or surprise you with (unless you have a problem with homosexuality or something).
    The whole thing will take you about 2 hours to complete and the game will run you about $20, which is about $20 more than it's actually worth. If the story had been good, I'd have ignored the gameplay. If the gameplay had been good, I'd have ignored the story. Gone Home failed on both and left me unsatisfied and underwhelmed.
  61. Aug 24, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A terrible, 45-minute long "game" featuring muddy graphics, terrible compressed sounds, and a rather bland drama featuring (GASP!!!) lesbians. But my main gripe with Gone Home is the complete and utter lack of gameplay itself; it's only mechanic is simply walking around and picking up notes. There's no conflict, no character development, nothing that would make you care about the characters or the story other than the fact that her sister and her friend are lesbians.

    Had the game not featured a feminist and LGBT agenda, I'm confident that it would not have achieved a high rating from any critic. But nobody wants to be wrongly labeled "misogynist" or "intolerant" nowadays- it would kill business.
  62. Aug 21, 2013
    A “video game” about walking around an abandoned house, reading letters and whatnot, while a narration explains everything to you, doesn't sound all that remarkable. The plot seems to be getting a lot of praise, but I found it utterly vapid and a complete waste when compared to the game's atmosphere. It astounds me as to how this “game” is receiving perfect scores. I think a lot of the approbation being dumped on Gone Home is merely because of the homosexual subject matter. Expand
  63. Aug 21, 2013
    WARNING Not for consumption by males! This is not a game, but an interactive chick story.

    No action, no enemies, no threats, no obstacles, no puzzles, no excitement, no fun but don't worry because there's... reading! Lots and lots of reading! Explore a house, read a whole bunch of notes (most of which have nothing to do with anything) and... well that's it.

    I won't post the ending
    because everyone knows how it ends already. We all agree that it was really, really stupid. Save your $20 for something else anything else! The critics really dropped the ball on this one (or were paid off, maybe). Expand
  64. Aug 20, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. For a VIDEO GAME there's a surprising lack of actual gameplay. Literally all you do is rummage through the house, look at notes and listen to audio logs. You just walk around and look at things.

    Its supposed redeeming feature, the story, is not some masterpiece critics praise it as. It is actually extremely bare bones and simple, and doesn't even follow story telling 101 with no conflicts, twists or even a resolution. Not the mention the subplots go absolutely no-where. The only reason the story is considered to be great and 'deep' is because it involves lesbians. Just because there are lesbians are involved doesn't automatically mean you are dealing with deep or heavy themes.

    Not the mention the game only takes 1-2 hours to complete, and can actually be finished in 2 minutes without any amount of skill. It also only takes place is one setting. Despite all this it still somehow costs $20. This game is quite simply overpriced, pretentious garbage.
  65. Aug 21, 2013
    Gone Home is a feminist, "check your privilege" type of game that everyone should avoid. This isn't worth your time. Hell, this isn't even a game to be honest. Avoid this at all costs.
  66. Aug 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This 'game' isn't even a game. There is hardly any interactivity at all. I mean, sure, you can flip a switch and lights will come on, and when you pick things up and they'll move, but that's hardly anything to write home (no pun intended) about.
    This, uh, thing, has been given great reviews because of it's supposedly 'deep' and 'insightful', but it's not. It's about a teenage lesbian running away with her girlfriend while her parents are on vacation. Whoop de doo.
    To top off this dinner of garbage, the game is 20 USD. 20 dollars for a game you can literally beat in less than 2 minutes.
    To summarize, Gone Home is an overpriced, pretentious, and sad excuse for a game.
  67. Aug 25, 2013
    I simply cannot believe how low games have fallen for something like this to be considered one. A fact that is not helped by the quite frankly pathetic and desperate pandering of the ''professional'' reviewers by giving it such high scores just to seem ''progressive'' and ''mature'' when all it really does is lower their credibility.
    It's depressing to even say this but the game itself is
    not what got it those high scores since it is barely a game to begin with but rather it's push by non gaming tumblr feminists who get high on the ''I'm progressive thus I'm better than you'' mentality.
    Nothing else to say about it really it's just a incredibly short and shallow attempt of the ''interactive movie experience'' with it's only real selling point being that it's ''PROGRESSIVE''.
  68. Aug 21, 2013
    It's a good idea that does not pan out. They could have done so much more with this story and blew it on a sappy plot that still leaves a bunch of guess work. You can analyze every 3d detail of every 3d object in the game but you will end up pretty disappointed.
  69. Aug 25, 2013
    Well, i played this game because of the wild over-the-top reviews and because I like good stories. And yes, this "game" has a good story. But that's all there is at the positive side. All the high reviews seem to be just based on the "special" story. I can't tell you the big secret (you stumble upon about 10.15 minutes in the game) without spoiler but it's a sad fact that this is the reason why this "game" is so hyped.

    The length if the game, with each and every stone turned, everything read, every cassette heard was exact 2 hours. The graphics are bearable, but not very good. The atmosphere is a little bit spooky, but otherwise it's just an old house with tons of cups, pens and rooms. While every review tells you it is not a puzzle game, it is: search for the next key to unlock the next door. A key might be a special year as a lock combination or just a key.

    So: nice story, super short, old graphics, absolut not replayable (except hearing the message machine again). For 5$ I would have said: yes, it's an interactive (very) short story. Let's give it 7/10. But for 20$ on Steam this is a joke. Compare it to true storytelling treasures like the Walking Dead episode game. And then PLEASE tell me why you would rate this game more than 4.
  70. Aug 22, 2013
    This is not a game. To be considered a game there needs to be some way to lose, but that's not the case here. All you do is walk and look at stuff and it can be beaten in less that 50 seconds. Why does this cost $20 again? To give you an idea of how bad this is, FEZ was more of a game and Dear Esther was more engaging. It really is that bad. Only buy this if you get off to burning money.
  71. Aug 19, 2013
    This is not really a game, you don't play it so much as sit through it. Its comparable to a lot of flash games, or short duration creative things you can find on the internet such as last rose in a desert garden or those scp games. The difference here is those games don't try to pretend to be serious games, but little things to mess around with, and they are free.

    There is no game-play
    really, you just explore around. Exploration is not bad but comparing it to old point and click adventure games they have puzzles as well thrown in. There is no re-playability, once you uncover the story that's it. The 'game', if you try to stretch it out, will last maybe an hour or two, and if you try to rush through it, is beatable in literally 2 minutes(look for it on youtube).

    This is the sort of thing that should have been embedded in a web page, given an appropriate url, and virald itself around the internet. Not something claiming to be a game that people are tricked into paying for. As a sort of artistic thing like that it would have been quite good. But as a game, the only positive thing about it is its atmosphere, which is why i gave it a 3.
  72. Aug 22, 2013
    Twenty dollars for a poorly narrated coming out story? Is this some sorta joke?
    Credit where it's due, the gameplay concept is intriguing but the execution is far off the mark, it would have been a far more compelling game if the player wasn't put on such a linear path and when the narration and writing is so lacking it really detracts from the experience. It's borderline offensive how
    badly this game is made, to handle delicate subjects such as someone coming to terms with their homosexuality in such a hamfisted manner as this game does is plain tasteless. Expand
  73. Aug 19, 2013
    Gone Home is an interactive storybook. In a bad way. The storytelling is fine, but there is nothing that truly identifies this as a video game. I respect indie developers and wish that more big game companies would take routes like them. Gone Home, on the other hand, is a terrible excuse for a video game. If you know what you're looking for, the 'game' can be beaten in nearly 30 seconds. After you've gathered the information packets and diaries and such one time, you have nothing left to do. No alternate ends or paths. No replayability. No real reason to collect the collectibles. There is no conflict. There is no threat. There is nothing to hold the interest of the player, unless the player is a twelve year old girl. The atmosphere and advertising is extremely misleading. The creators are probably laughing at all the positive reviews and revenue they made from people purchasing this 'game'. Gone Home should never have been sold to the public. If this 'game' was released in any form, it should have been as a free flash game on the internet. This abomination of gaming is worth no amount of money and only adds to the success of games that aren't games. The 'professional' critics that rated this 'game' so highly should be completely and utterly ashamed of themselves. There is absolutely nothing about this game that warrants anything better than a 4 out of 10. The let-down factor after seeing what looked like a true detective/horror/mystery game in the trailer knocks the score down to a 1. And the padding of the reviews by the huge amount of casuals can only lead a gamer to give this a 0 in an attempt to get the word out to the rest of the community that Gone Home is not worthy to lick the dirt that true games have just tread upon. Expand
  74. Aug 20, 2013
    "If something is different does not automatically make it good." This is a phrase that game makers and game creators need to get rammed into their head. Yes, this game is "different" but in the end, is it really even a game? It's an interactive experience, no doubt, but calling it a game is just wrong.

    Presentation: Everything looks well enough and you can interact with almost
    everything. Rummaging through your house and searching for clues. However this is also one of the biggest detractors from Gone Home. Just because you can mess with everything, doesn't add depth to the game. It clutters everything up. And on top of that, everything you find, only a select number of things have any use, making it a tedious task to go through everything to find the random key or mcguffin to continue on... but I'll get to that in the gameplay section.

    Sound: Sound is nice, nothing too special though. The music isn't bad, but it's a bit bland. I ended up listening to the songs a few times before I decided to turn it off.

    Theme: This is probably the main drawling point of this game, and damn if it doesn't screw that up in some way. I love the idea of "Gone Home". The idea that a home is never without secrets. The idea that a familiar place is no longer familiar to you and even has a sinister tone. That everything is off and nothing is as it seems even though it's only your paranoia... and that's the problem. While nothing is as it seems, and everything "might" be a bit off, nothing really is. The tension that builds up, the teasing the trailers give you, showing that "something is up in this house" all in all, is an empty promise within an empty house. All you are doing is going through the old house finding out about the main character and her family and how everything just feels off to her.

    However that is also a big flaw. It does feel off to her, but at no point do I feel like I am in her shoes. Sure, the protagonist feels odd in this place that was once her home, but what's the point? I can't get drawn in. I distinctively felt like it was her life, not mine that I was looking at. This negated almost all of the tension created. "I" wasn't going home. She was going home and I was just watching her do it.

    Gameplay: This is the final nail in the coffin for me. Gameplay is virtually nonexistent. The game prides itself on it's story, but that doesn't give an excuse for making the gameplay poor. I can respect what they are doing though, trying to make an interactive experience. However this feels more like an experiment than an experience. It's not polished, it doesn't draw in the player. It just shows them things and expects them to react as if they were the protagonist. And even then, there is no way to lose, no way to fail your goal. You just keep plugging away until you find the secrets of the house... which in the end is a huge anticlimax. It also has zero replayability, considering you can beat the game in less than 2 minutes if you know what you are doing.

    Summary: While the game as a lot of good ideas, very few of them are executed well. A majority of them fall flat on their face. I can't feel connected to the protagonist, the gameplay is nonexistant and short, the experience doesn't draw me in, and it's an expensive game for what it is. Right now it's going for around $20. Don't waste your money. Wait for a humble indie bundle and try it for yourself. It might be worth a playthrough if you get it for 2 bucks, but not 20.
  75. Aug 23, 2013
    As a storytelling experimentation, Gone Home hits the spot and hits it hard. The game feels interesting enough to drive you to go forward and learn what's been going on in your new house while you left. And every piece fits right into place. The 90's atmosphere is incredibly well rendered, and anybody who grew up in these times will smile at the VHS, audio tapes, old TVs, and overall looks of the house. The attention to detail is there, and is part of what compels the player to hear the whole story.

    But let's face it As a game in the strict sense of the term... Well, Gone Home is simply not a game. It's a VERY SHORT interactive story, that might be of interest to 15 years old girls.

    Video games are at a turning point, the indie market has grown, huge and mature, and I am the first one to rejoice at that fact. But Gone Home falls flat on his face when it comes to telling an interesting story. The ending is nothing more than pure disappointment, leaving me behind my screen, thinking "What That is all Am I supposed to feel something right now I had absolutely no sense of accomplishment when I got to the end of the story. No last minute twist, nothing sad, nothing happy. Just a big nothing.

    This game represents everything that is both good and bad about experimental storytelling. Its puzzle-driven narrative and great atmosphere makes you want to go deeper into the story... But it's shortcomings and lack of interactivity makes you wonder why is this a game and not an audio book. As part of a bigger game, it would have been incredible. Imagine that instead of having a cutscene that just unfoils the story to you, you would have to explore, read, listen, solve (easy) puzzles and just be attentive to what's going on around you.

    What I don't understand is how can a serious reviewer give this "game" a 9/10 or 10/10 The 7th Guest, the 11th Hour, Beneath a Steel Sky, Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max... There are so many great adventure/puzzle games that manage to deliver a good story, and that actually make you feel like you accomplished something at the end, that I don't understand why Gone Home is apparently deserving of such high scores from the "professional" critics. Ironically, all these games are from... The 90's.

    Gone Home is simply an experiment in storytelling. Like many games are trying to do nowadays: Convincing people that the video game can be a great media to tell a good story. But Gone Home is very far from being the most interesting one.
  76. Sep 5, 2013
    This game was EXTREMELY disappointing, the story is just dumb, and this type of game is all about story. I don't care for gameplay, i don't care for enemies or puzzles, i LOVE a good -story only- game (To the Moon being one of my favorite games of all time) But the story of "Gone Home" is flat, the ending is terrible and inconsequential. You don't care what happens to this stupid sister of yours, I was expecting a great shocking revelation or something and what we got at the end is just DUMB. DON'T BUY THIS. Collapse
  77. Dec 27, 2013
    I wish I could give a lower review than a zero, this "game" would deserve it.

    In short, this is NOT a game. This is not worth 20 bucks, this is not even worth 2 bucks. It's an interactive walk and pick up simulator, on a backdrop of 3deep5me nonsense. Just another case of how big time reviewers don't give a about the quality of the game at all, just the bull**** they can get out of it.
  78. Aug 22, 2013
    This game is a big disappointment, it starts out mysteriously and gets exciting and creepy sometimes and gets your hope up for a mindblowing ending but it's just not what you expect. I only give 3 score because the voice acting is good, but this story, i can't tell how disappointed i am.
  79. Aug 25, 2013
    Could have been a 4/10 movie but ended up getting a 9/10 videogame by critics.
    Bad writing, bad "gameplay" bad bad bad bad

    Not worth the time to watch it on youtube much less buy it like I did.
  80. Aug 20, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I gave this 3 stars instead of zero, because it was an innovative way to tell a story and I love stories. I was tempted to give this a zero for the same reason I love stories. And this one sucked.

    Gone Home is a literary bait and switch that promises a spooky mystery, a haunted mansion with secret passageways, misguided teens who dabble in the occult, and a family gone missing. It has a dark and stormy night, creaky floorboards, and mysterious pentagrams and candles. And while all of this sounds good, it's not what this game delivers.

    *major spoilers*
    And where are the missing parents? They went away for the weekend presumably to add a little spark to their marriage. And where is my lost little sister? She ran off with her girlfriend. That's it. No ghosts. No mystery. No plot twists. Nothing.


    Those are two hours I'll never get back.
  81. Sep 16, 2013
    I bought into the hype and got the game. Now I want my money back. Even the 90's references, which was said in the reviews were one of the good bits of the game, were underwhelming.
  82. Sep 23, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Let me tell you my experience from start to finish, and why I gave the score I did.

    I bought this for $20, expecting an ambient psychological horror story, as the game presented itself in the trailers as eerie but not filled with jump-scares, so I obviously expected creepy rather than scary. The moment I went in, I got chills down my spine at the sound design. Every little sound and movement sounded fantastic.

    Ten minutes in, and I'm enjoying the references, I feel the build-up coming towards me and I wonder if I'll walk into a room of a ghost, maybe a hastily closed door. But as I drag on, I realize the new initiative of the game: a girl who, as she ages, begins to show sexual confusion and melodrama. It's become a girl's cryfest. Fun.

    An hour in, and the only thing roping me in now is the detail they put in everything and the side stories, hoping they will lead to new tunnels. Nope, it's like introducing side characters that get used once and are never talked about ever again. At this point I'm pretty sure I know what's going to happen.

    Two hours in, I'm staring at my screen, thinking, "That's it?" There was no twist, no increased conflict, no actual ending. The girl just up and went with her lover, there is no chase, there is no panic enunciating from HER OWN SISTER, who would rather keep rummaging through her missing sister's junk. Then I think, "Come to think, what the hell about her sister?" The sister doesn't do anything, other than being a reason to walk around the house. No input from her was disappointing, definitely a letdown.

    Three hours in, and I'm uninstalling the game. Uninteresting, scatterbrained story and the budget was put into all the wrong things. I don't care about the price of this pen, or how your lesbian lover is in the army.

    Verdict: The game had an interesting idea, top-notch voice acting and sound design, but these points are null when you poorly execute a story. It's like trying to immerse yourself in a multi-million roller coaster ride that goes 3 miles an hour. The way to pick up stuff and move them is interesting, but certainly nothing innovative. The only way you'll enjoy and relate to this story is if you are a teenage adolescent, have never picked up a book in 3 years, and enjoy generic, predictable outcome melodrama. I do not recommend thisgame.
  83. Aug 26, 2013
    If this is a game then I'm Michael Jackson.
    Jesus christ people please check your privileges this is NOT worth 20 dollars or even 5 dollars..........
  84. Sep 1, 2013
    Overpriced, way too short, and not much of a game. It is being pushed on the merits of it's story, which isn't all that great. This game has a bunch of positive reviews from people trying to push the politically correct agenda and rate it highly because it features social issues they support, but they are completely ignoring it's lack of merit as an actual game.
  85. Aug 25, 2013
    £15 is not a justifiable price for a 90 minute long adventure game which offers so little. This title wouldn't have measured up in innovation, craftsmanship or storytelling to other games 15-20 years ago, let alone today. The interaction is limited and poor, the puzzles are nonexistent, the story is preachy and the linearity is so forced that you might as well be on rails. I understand that many gamers are insecure and defensive about having their medium validated as an artform, but this can be achieved without promoting mediocrity. Expand
  86. Aug 30, 2013
    This is a short game firstly. At most 3 hours of gameplay. Its barely a game considiring it has no mechanics. Its simply a story that you have to navigate through and that is not a game to me. It looks good though and introductary its interesting. The story is ok but that is all. 18 bucks is a very steep price for this "arty tale". BUT! As a shortfilm/interactive book whatever it is quite good. Its just not a game. Expand
  87. Sep 1, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Meh,

    I don't have a problem with this being a "interactive story" instead of a game. But I do have a problem with the story creating lots of situations that doesn't solve.

    Why is the house called the psycho house? What happened with the morphine addict uncle, why was he in that situation? What about the Grandfather, why was his painting defaced? Is the father an alcoholic? Does the mother have an affair with a co-worker?

    The sister is lesbian, great, I already understood that before I entered the basement, but what about the rest of the family? The conclusion was sooo disapointing.
  88. Sep 27, 2013
    I like to think of myself as an adventure game aficionado, having played most games in the genre from Zork to Amnesia. This "game" is a supreme disappointment. Like a lot of indie titles, it has great promise at the start: interesting and novel storyline, realistic characters...that quickly dissolves into the player wishing that a larger game company would have come along and taken over the game so it could live up to it's potential.

    - Great voice acting and interesting characters.
    - A big, empty house to explore with lots of attention paid to the design of the objects you can pick up
    - A storyline that starts out with promise and fizzles quickly into a dull, anticlimactic ending that seems rushed and devoid of any real tension.
    - Character stories that go nowhere and have zero closure.
    - No real scariness or tension, even though there was plenty of potential for it.
    - Overly simplistic gameplay. Actually, you can't call it gameplay. It's more like you are walking through a storyline picking up pieces of the narrative as you go. You can look at objects but rarely do they serve any additional purpose.

    You should buy this for $5 max. Seriously, you will be done with it in 2 hours and kick yourself for having paid any more for it.

    P.S. I loathed Dear Esther, and this is just a couple steps above.
  89. Aug 25, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Gone Home is one of those game that tries to be different. Instead of focusing on gameplay, one of the main pillars of video games, it focuses on story. There is nothing wrong with that and many games did this successfully. Gone Home however, doesn't. You find yourself returning from a road trip and arrive at your home. Nobody is there, but a note on the door explains your sister Sam has left and cant welcome you back home. The gameplay consists of a maximum of 2 hours of you picking up and examining your family's private possessions. Maybe the story has peaked your interest somehow up until this point, but prepare to be disapoint. Your sister has left home because she found out she was a lesbian and your parents didn't approve. Why she was unable to write this on the note on the door is completely left out. Also, the reason your parents aren't home is because they are on an anniversary trip. Incredible anti-climax. The rest of the story seems to contain loose fragments of information.

    My recommendation? Either buy a game that has actual gameplay value with or without a good story. Otherwise, read a book. If you actually want to play a video game that acts more as an interactive book, maybe try "Dear Esther". Gone Home however, fails to produce an interesting or good story.
  90. Oct 16, 2013
    Unbelievable. This game was just stupid. I have been tricked and duped by left wing "critics" who raved and reviewed about it simply because it is full of "progressive" politics. If you want to play a game that does not cater to democrat and leftist politics, then seriously, you need to skip this.
  91. Aug 21, 2013
    A rendition of The Humpty Dance via Gone Home: Stop what you're doing cause I'm about to ruin an hour or so of your life. I'm glad my friend got this before I did.
  92. Aug 25, 2013
    This is not a game. There is NO GAMEPLAY. At best it is an interactive story. At worst it is a LiveJournal in 3d. I've made better games by accident. You'll have more fun with Superman 64 or Desert Bus.
  93. Aug 27, 2013
    This game is like a movie idea that got rejected. I seriously felt like i was watching a long episode of degrassi or something. Not worth your money and the scores metacritic blows out of proportion saying inflated statements about this game.
  94. Oct 20, 2013
    Prior to playing this I had heard so many praising it as one of the greatest stories in any video game. Upon finishing I questioned whether those people had any idea what a good story actually is, because Gone Home; despite it's reputation as a great story-focused game; is executed so poorly that it barely qualifies as a game or even a story.

    There is nothing of interest to discover
    here but a teenage girl's struggle with her friend. It's different sure, but in the end it's a conflict that has already been resolved and means there is nothing to become involved with or witness here. After 30 minutes to 2 hours of nothing but wandering this empty house, your reward is minimal emotional payoff, and then you're greeted with the credits as trashy 90s punk rips through your ears.

    I'm upset to see this proclaimed as a good story when the only reason to care for it is if it resonates with your life in some way. There are no events to behold or become hooked by, or even a narrative to experience. It's the artistic equivalent of a poetry piece posted to tumblr. No craft has been put into making this something genuinely great or interesting. It feels like a self-serving vanity project that possesses no substance as story or game. The only merit I found in Gone Home is that it is a display of how terrible something in this medium can be without being broken or offensive.
  95. Sep 22, 2013
    Shameful display of what video games have turned in recently. Most of objects in game look like filler. Yes, there are notes papers anything you can read but can I use pens, highlighters? I could manage to find a way to microwave myself a bucket of ice-cream. So called "interactive enviroment" doesnt live up to its name, the game is basically walk-and-read which makes it quite simillar to run-and-gun games mechanics wise (if there were any...). Story is trivial, the only "new" feature is trendy "homosexual" theme. Writing is "why?.."-grade. Last but not least: horrible optimisation. Game took 2 gb of ram, I had fps spikes in some areas Expand
  96. Dec 28, 2013
    Luckily I got this "game" on a Steam special. I normally believe the story to be the most important part of a game, but there's no game here. Added to that the story is lame and I've read Sweet Valley High books with better plots. The writers were smart though cause this ~10 page story (didn't really keep track) woulf never have got anywhere as any other medium.

    If I could score it less
    than 0, I would. Expand
  97. Aug 26, 2013
    "Oh boy, a main character's a lesbian, OBVIOUSLY we should give this an 11/10!" HELL NO. The whole lesbian thing is the worst plot twist I've ever seen. This doesn't even qualify as a visual novel, much less a game. Abysmally repetitive gameplay (you pretty much just walk and pick things up) and terrible graphics (they aren't everything, but you can't have giant eyesores everywhere) make this not even worth $5. I can buy VVVVVV for $5 and that'd give me more entertainment than this $20 pile of vomit. In fact, spend those $20 on La-Mulana. You'll get at least 13 times the length and there's actual gameplay. And then... I guess you can spend those other $5 on Mann Co. Supply Crate Keys. Expand
  98. Aug 24, 2013
    This "game" has no gameplay; it's basically a $20 movie, and even the biggest blockbusters don't cost that much for me to go see. $20 for a boring, cliched movie trying to pretend that it is a video game. Yeah, nah, off.
  99. Aug 22, 2013
    This simply isn't a game and doesn't belong in this section. It is a fine and interesting piece of interactive fiction. In order to qualify for the designation of game it would have to have gameplay, which this completely lacks.There are no challenges in the game that need to be overcome in order to progress and no systems to be learned and manipulated. It shares no characteristics with anything that has been called a game from ancient egyptian Sennet to Chess to Settlers of Catan to X-Com. The sooner that interactive fiction artists stop insisting on their work being judged and classed as a game the sooner interactive fiction can grow and develop as it's own medium. In the meantime this work is being sold and examined under the same criteria as a Call of Duty or a Dragon Age. Expand
  100. Aug 20, 2013
    I've played visual novels with more gameplay than this. Forced story elements and bland interaction leave a pretty empty experience. The fact that this can be completed in a mere few minutes makes any price over 1.00 a joke. If your interested in this, then you probably would be interested in the thousands of VNs already out there. They are much more worth your time, with prices starting at FREE.
  101. Sep 5, 2013
    This game was EXTREMELY disappointing, the story is just dumb, and this type of game is all about story. I don't care for gameplay, i don't care for enemies or puzzles, i LOVE a good -story only- game (To the Moon being one of my favorite games of all time) But the story of "Gone Home" is flat, the ending is terrible and inconsequential. You don't care what happens to this stupid sister of yours, I was expecting a great shocking revelation or something and what we got at the end is just DUMB. DON'T BUY THIS. Collapse

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
    A beautiful, emotionally engaging, artfully crafted game, completely centered around exploration and telling a mature story through interaction.
  2. Dec 2, 2013
    A story that will move some and alienate others.
  3. Nov 10, 2013
    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.