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Mixed or average reviews- based on 1431 Ratings

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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..........
  6. Aug 18, 2013
    Be prepared for what you're getting into here. This is not a game. It's an interactive story and a very good one at that. I very much enjoyed the subject matter and the direction the game went. I won't spoil anything here but know that there will be quite a few people who won't agree with where this game went. That's just human nature. But you'll know going into, if you have a faint idea of what the game is about, if you'll like this game or not. I do feel like this "game" is a bit overpriced at 20 bucks as it's literally just a story and nothing else, especially for the length (barely an hour and a half long). But it's a very nice, thought provoking story. It's truly a nice surprise to see how far media has gone in the last few years when dealing with certain kinds of subject matter and this is no different. However, this is still being billed as a "game" when it should have been more of a book than anything else. I can't give anything about a 7 to something that pretends to be a game and isn't one. Expand
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Aug 18, 2013
    No one can write a proper review of Gone Home without spoiling everything, but I'll try. Every review you read should tell you that the narrative in this game is incredible and moving. But this is an example of a story that couldn't be told as well using any other medium. The year is 1995. The player plays as Katie, who comes home from a trip across Europe to discover that no one else is home. As Katie, you search your house in an attempt to discover where your sister Sam went. Sam left clues for you, scattered throughout the house. As I played, I really felt as if I had come home to my (creepy) house and was trying to solve a mystery that my sister had left for me. And as time went on, I got more comfortable with the house. As the story picked up, I found myself unable to stop playing. I'm so impressed that this was made by only a few people. I'll definitely pick up whatever they release next.

    P.S. Many people are complaining, "It's only a few hours long and it costs $20!" But the length is exactly what it needs to be. There's no useless padding like there is in most games. If you value your time, you will appreciate the length.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Aug 19, 2013
    I have to agree to some trolls down here, this is not a game, IT'S MUCH MORE! The level of immersion has nothing to do with those "games". This experience will make you feel more emotions than 99% of your steam catalog in just 2 hours! It's incredible what they achieved with no characters, no animations, just some text and audio log. My only complain is the sound compartment, don't get me wrong it's great overall, but that rain effect it's a bad loop that you can hear in every room, they should just fix that. The launch price is also a little high and i got some sluggish frame rate look speed.
    After hours I'm still in the uplifted state this experience put me in. Use the try before buy it formula, if you are not sure. But i guess that after you will see the credits rolling you will be throwing money at your screen!
  21. Aug 17, 2013
    The story is good, the exploration is exciting, but at the end, it just ends. It reminds me of Dear Eshter, but with more paths and more things to interact with. With so much stuff laying around, this could have been a first person adventure game with puzzles and secrets. Anyway, it feels like a good experience and a bit overpriced.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. Aug 20, 2013
    I gave it a 10, my actual score would be 9.6 but i guess I cannot do that.
    If the game was a littlebit longer with some unexpected plot twists, it would be an instant classic. But still its a great game with an unique style and story, godlike voice acting (best I've ever seen since the Last of Us) and amazing atmosphere. Definitely better than garbages like mass effect or dragonage with
    their long but repetitive unimaginative dumbed down gameplays. Expand
  26. Aug 18, 2013
    Gone Home is a game that succeeded in bringing me into its virtual reality world. The player is Katie, who comes back to an empty house with a note to not look for her sister. Soon, it's tough to not pick up every breadcrumb left while exploring the house you've never been in.

    I've found that little touches immersed me in Katie's world. I was able to put back explored items in its
    original location. The 4th wall was cleverly broken at one point that I had a habit of turning on all the lights. Rather than holding shift key to run to the next checkpoint, I wanted to walk and think about my own personal past. Now, as a parent, how can I help prevent my own previous mistakes or be closer to a loved one. By the same token, I've felt similarly to Sam, and I wanted to be able to tell her of the future: it gets better.

    Gone Home is a game that forges new ground on a new way to tell a story and it succeeded. It's not a game in the sense that it challenged me to do something faster or gave me an achievement for solving a puzzle. It was a personal challenge to see if I could keep from tearing up. Though many may not recognize it as a game, the freedom of exploring around the house and the constant atmosphere through the storm to tell Sam's story cannot be provided by any other medium as effectively as this game did.
  27. Aug 18, 2013
    This is not really a "game". It is, however, an excellent experience. Playing (experiencing? watching? interacting with?) it, I was most reminded of going to a theatrical installation in a house in London-- the house was set in Victorian decoration, as if the residents had just left; you had to learn about the residents and their story by viewing their ephemera. However, the installation being in the real world, you couldn't touch anything; to move anything would ruin the experience of others.

    Gone Home has a similar setup, replacing Victorian London with 1995 Portland. However because it is set in a virtual world, the designers allow the audience to interact with all the objects in the house, while allowing each audience member to experience the story untainted by the experiences of others.

    Negative reviewers, looking for a fun, replayable "game", are no doubt disappointed. But as theatre? it is excellent. The voice acting is good, the characters extremely well-drawn and entirely believable. The objects in the world thoroughly represent the time of the story and teach you about the characters, and the stories of said characters intertwine in a surprising and challenging way.

    As to length/depth of story of which some complain. There is indeed one arc along which one is easily guided. Those seeking to "beat" the game as quickly as possible have ample opportunity to cheat themselves out of the other arcs and much of the character depth. I myself completed the main arc and had mixed impressions; only after realising I had missed some things, and returning, did I realise just how deep this story is.

    That said, the world of Gone Home is finite. In your budget you should think of this as a film or a theatre visit. If you're on a limited budget and your entertainment spend per hour is limited, this may not be for you, or you should wait for a sale.
  28. Aug 18, 2013
    a very good game of exploration and emotion,i was been touched at the end of this adventure!the songs are great and so punk!so i promise you you will pass a beautiful moment in Gone Home
  29. Aug 20, 2013
    Apparently this is going to be one of those games that is destined to become intensely divisive. Like another not-quite-a-game, Dear Esther, it has such extraordinary narrative strength and a sense of atmosphere that it's more of a controllable story. Like Myst, one of the seminal first-person adventures, you're not presented with exactly what's going on in the game, but as you explore your large, empty house filled with secret passages and alcoves, you slowly start to piece together what's happening, culminating in a touching and well-developed conclusion. Even though we don't get to see the game's central characters, I really felt for them and hoped that they can find happiness in their uncertain future.

    Many people have expressed disdain for what this game has accomplished, but these people are probably one of the reasons the late, great Roger Ebert believed that games could never be an art form. Surely a loud and vitriolic chorus like this, who apparently have no tolerance of a game that unfold a drama in front of you instead of laying out a string of achievements to make you feel validated, makes it look like the gaming public want to decry the artistic evolution of their medium. Don't show them "Bientôt l'Été", whatever you do. These are people that would have thought "Birth of a Nation" shouldn't have been made, and they should keep making more Keystone Cops films. These are people that would have preferred to watch "The Brady Bunch Hour" instead of "All in the Family". These are people that wonder why Jackson Pollock paintings are so expensive.

    It may be strange to talk about the cultural reaction to a game instead of the game itself, but the truth is you ought to simply experience the game (though I don't blame you if you find $20 excessive) for its earnestness, immersive story and daring new approach to the adventure game, and video games don't exist in a vacuum. It's important to commentate on the culture that surrounds it, and in this instance, it's a culture that has acted with hostility against something it doesn't understand, citing reasons such as "bribing the press", "hipster conceit" and other flimsy arguments to make it sound like they're right and everyone else is wrong.

    Well, as someone who's enjoyed games like Dear Esther, Heavy Rain, El Shaddai and Flower, I know I'm not alone. Some of us are pleased to see video game culture starting to grow up, and it's up to us all to show that it'll take more than nagging skeptics to keep gaming as a disposable-entertainment medium. Gone Home is a modest game that unfolds into a beautiful story, and it mustn't be marginalized because it didn't give you a score, put walls in your way, or attempt to hurt you. This is one of the rare games that rethinks what a game can do, and it shouldn't be struck down and called a freak for that.
  30. Aug 21, 2013
    Gone Home is what I imagine that William Faulkner would have created if he had made video games. You really should not be put off by the mediocre overall user score. This is an art house game, but it is truly incredible. The voice acting is superb and the aesthetics are spot on. The nostalgia made me feel like I was in my own house, growing up in the nineties. There were moments of suspense, and you spend a good part of the game afraid, but everything you do in the game ends up turning into this beautiful mosaic that will stay with you for a long time after you finish it. Games have potential that no other art form as, because of interactivity, and Gone Home is a game that capitalizes on this, and provides an incredible experience that helps you walk a mile in someone else's shoes. Expand
  31. Aug 21, 2013
    Just... Incredible. I started the game and thought it would be scary... Then, I got so enthralled into Sam´s story, that I´m just out of words. It´s not a game per se, it´s an experience and a beautiful story.
  32. Aug 21, 2013
    Twenty bucks for a game that disappoints you to every corner of what you thought the game would be. Scary? Mystery? It's a story about a girl who has another cliche story that could be heard on TV.
    Good story? Buy a book which lasts more than 2 hours and probably would do a lot better.
    Gameplay? I thought the rotating function would come to good use. Well to beat the game, all you have
    to do is pick up papers.

    See I thought the secret passages, the light popping ONCE was a change of pace, but what for? The story is mainly about your sister who ran away for a loved one. Did it matter that she was a lesbian? No. It was another cheesy love story. Don't buy this. Just watch/read twilight.
  33. Aug 23, 2013
    Not a game--a $20 melodramatic, contrived book/audiobook scattered around a single model of a house. Academic elitism and feminist peer pressure conspire to establish that 'game' and 'modern art' are synonymous and save gaming culture from itself. The jig's up. The 7th Guest did this 20 years ago and had puzzles, but no lesbians.
  34. Aug 19, 2013
    I really enjoyed this. It's not going to be interesting for everyone but I loved slowly combing through the empty house, piecing together the mystery of where the family had gone. The separate threads of each character were incredibly immersive even though I was just picking up receipts, letters, pizza boxes. I have never seen a game environment tell such an engaging story. The sister, Sam's, story is incredibly heartfelt and the voice-acted diaries are very high quality. It is a very short game, but I would compare it to a good novel. I felt quite satisfied after finishing it. There is also the novelty of such a well realised physical environment that is so familiar no caves or fantasy kingdoms or WWII bunkers, but the sort of home many of us might have grown up in (okay maybe the richer half). I found myself opening the dishwasher, pulling out the rack, and then stacking the cups in the kitchen cupboards because I can do that in a game now, and not to fill some sort of predestined game task, but because I wanted to see if I could. I can't wait to see where these sorts of games end up. Expand
  35. Aug 18, 2013
    Gone Home is not a traditional game. Much like Dear Esther, it is a story experience. You return home after a trip abroad to find your parent’s house empty. Only by rummaging through items and letters will you reveal more about the Greenbriar family. Flickering lights and scratching behind walls produces an unsettling atmosphere. Gone Home allows your imagination to run wild with theories, but the revelations are far less memorable. The experience takes 2-3 hours and there is little reason to revisit it. It is an intriguing premise, but one that does not reach excellence. Expand
  36. 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.
  37. 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
  38. Sep 1, 2013
    Wow. Adventure game my ass. This is There is no gameplay, and the story is mediocre. It seems to be getting praise because it involves LGBT rights. Well, I think I may get some sewage, unload it on some toilet paper with "LESBIAN" written on it, put it for sale, and proceed to be called the future of cuisine.
  39. Aug 17, 2013
    This game was interesting, as far as game "play" and storyline. However, is it short, short, short. I played through the ENTIRE game in about 2 hours. A little disappointing for the price.
  40. Aug 17, 2013
    More of a gorgeous and elegiac tone poem than a conventional video game, Gone Home clearly won't be for everyone. By now you'll likely be aware that the game's mechanics are light even by adventure game standards.

    So what? To place some kind of requirement for interactivity and manipulation on games is insulting to the medium and limits its ability to tell more abstract and artful
    stories. To say that a video game must be some form of escapism is condescending as well. We welcome games that challenge our reflexes or even our intellect, but why do we shun games that invite us to embrace our emotional depth? It almost every other medium, it is a token of high art to be able to imitate life. Genre fiction rarely wins Pulitzers, and when it does, it's celebrated for the depth of its characters, not the inventiveness of its technology or the distance of its planets. Films that win Oscars are by-and-large about ordinary people, not giant robots or superheroes. Yet the high watermarks for video games are, at best, lauded for inserting human depth into otherwise violent, chaotic, and distant adventures.

    That's what makes Gone Home so remarkable. It claims that games can instead be about that most precious, difficult, and rich of all things life. It is an obstinate, uncompromising mission statement to that end. It postulates that video games CAN at the very least aspire to be art, and submits an early, if somewhat rough-hewed, demonstration. There are, yes, elements of the game that could use more polish. Some textures leave detail to be desired, and there is occasionally a repetition in less important objects that can break the otherwise masterful trance the game places on its players. But otherwise, the home that The Fullbright Company has created is teeming with humanity, with a lived-in, painterly feel not unlike the sorts of world favored by literary authors. There is, from the start, an immense solemnity to the game (it does take place on a dark and stormy night a rare misstep), but as one unravels the stories lurking inside the Greenbriar estate, there are moments of surprising humor, made all the more poignant from the furrows of sadness from which they spring. The music, most of it diegetically found through cassette tapes, is an incredibly well realized throwback to the riot grrrl era of the early and mid-nineties. In fact, the house is littered with nostalgia porn; the folks at The Fullbright Company have either cleverly designed their cultural touchstones to maximize appeal to retro-obsessed late-twenties hipsters for whom the concept of this game will likely hold the most appeal. After all, the dream of the nineties is alive in Portland (!)

    The sort of game Gone Home is couldn't be more clearly advertised. It is a deeply ponderous, subtle experience. Some have heralded it as the next evolutionary step for gaming as a storytelling medium. I would contend that is false. Video games still offer a way to combine tremendous interactivity, emotional investment, and philosophical gravity to narrative that allow for games like Bioshock: Infinite and The Last of Us to be possible in only this medium. That will continue to be the mainstay of what we consider quality gaming, and rightly so. But Gone Home offers a radical alternative, a game without clear cut objectives, without targets and points. A game that allows you to just exist and enjoy and uncover and explore without the typical urgency or high stakes. That, to me, is something that is truly special and fantastically courageous. I can't wait to see what comes next.
  41. Aug 18, 2013
    Gone Home is exactly what I expected it to be. The game is like an audio book combined with an exploration game.

    The player starts in front of the house, and has to find out the story behind the character the player is playing. The story of this young woman is really well written. Also the voice acting is very nicely done and then I am not even talking about the atmosphere in the house.
    It has some kind of creepy feeling because of the storm passing over, but the music is very releaving and not creepy at all. The sounds in this game are very well done.
    The gameplay however is very short. In about 45 minutes one can discover most things about the family and the character. Which is a shame, because the developers and writers could have done so much more with the story. The interactiveness of the objects in the game are well implemented and very smooth. Many objects can be picked up and examined up close. And these objects have good detail as well. Which is another good point of this game.
    The developer really has taken much attention to detail in the game. Everything is related to the story and it really looks like the family just moved in. Also the graphics of the game are nice and the developer has used very soft colours in the textures and so on.

    Gone Home is not for gamers who want action, but want to discover, explore and want to listen/read a story. And for those players Gone Home is a really good experience. The developer has done a great job on making this story driven game. Is it worth the money? Yes, but only on discount.
  42. Aug 18, 2013
    In the last few years, games have taken to using exploration as a storytelling tool. Whether it be the audio diaries found in Bioshock or the various letters seen in The Last of Us, developers are realizing that oftentimes exploration and discovery can paint a better picture of the world than dialogue can. With Gone Home, The Fullbright Company takes this idea and runs with it.

    play as a girl named Kaitlin who has just returned to a new home from a yearlong trip in Europe. As you arrive on a late stormy night, you quickly realize the house is deserted. A note taped to the front door from your little sister states that she has left and not to worry about her. And so the game begins.

    The game plays in the first person, but do not mistake this for a FPS. You're given no guns, no weapons, and fight no enemies. There are no jump scares, no one you're running from, and you're never in any real danger. For this reason, the game is not for everyone. People who get bored of exploration and must always have someone to shoot at will write Gone Home off almost immediately. That's okay, it wasn't made for them.

    Gone Home is all about exploration. The game tasks you with finding out what happened to your family, and most importantly your little sister, Sam, just by combing through the house. This would seem very mundane if you were given a mediocre setting, but thankfully that's not the case. The house, while very large, is brimming in realism. Every room has a great "lived in" look to it; I was reminded a countless number of times of my own home growing up. This is a place that begs to be explored. As you make your way through the mansion, you'll come across letters, manuscripts, homework assignments, and most importantly diary entries spoken to you by Sam herself. Every room has things to pick up and examine, and you'll want to see everything.

    Every house has a story to tell, and this one is no different. Through studying the various items you'll come across, a story will slowly start to come together. Mostly given out of chronological order, the collectibles act as the pieces to a larger puzzle. Piecing together the narrative with the little tidbits you're given is one of the most powerful experiences I've ever had in gaming. The connection you feel to the characters is immediate and strong; so much so that you forget that you've never actually come face-to-face with any of them. I'm not going to say anything else regarding the story, because you really need to unravel this one for yourself. Just prepare for it to tug at your heartstrings.

    Gone Home is a game that makes us rethink the definition of a videogame. It's story is novelistic in nature, and its gameplay consists only of exploring a house void of people. Yet in the way that only the best art can, it does so much by doing so little. This is a game that will keep you thinking long after the credits roll, and one you won't forget anytime soon. Highly recommended, go buy this game now!
  43. Aug 23, 2013
    By playing this game and then coming here to check the reviews, I can honestly say that every single good score by the critics was only the result of piles of money shoveled to them by the games producers, (which tends to happen, see Tale of Two Brothers, Dragon Age II etc.) Ignoring the blatantly paid off critics I'd have to say this game is awful. Literally. Awful. Personally, this game would of been much better if it was just a book.
    But noo, they have to make a game filled with awful models, lighting physics, godawful compressed sound effects that sound like they ripped them of a site and above else THE GAME IS ONLY AN HOUR LONG!
    On top of all that $20 really?? Is this a joke???

    I advise everyone considering buying this game because of the critics reviews to at least realize that they were bought of and if you still want to play it, then at most, please torrent it of a site so these wastes of humans being don't get your money.
    Trust me, you WILL be disappointed.
  44. Aug 27, 2013
    Short stories aren't games, especially when they have no game play. If the story didn't take advantage of lesbians, no one would care about the story.
  45. 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.
  46. Oct 8, 2013
    Summary: A history of lesbians. That's why all the critics give that score. In my opinion, did not deserve to go on sale. Gone Home is the perfect example of a game that shouldn't be game. If you wan't to read about "lesbians stories" i will buy a book about that.

    Games are for kill, explore and feel adrenaline, not for that.
  47. QOO
    Nov 16, 2013
    I'm sorry, but Walking Simulator 2014 (Gone Home) should not be sold. What you get for 20 bucks is a 2 hour game at the most, with a boring story.. The gameplay is non-existent, so if you wanted a game, you'll be disappointed. There really is no appeal to this game, and no one should be buying this. There are adventure games out there that give more story and interactivity. Play them.
  48. Dec 29, 2013
    Gone Homo is a pretty gay game, literally, and as such deserves a place in the trash. The fact that so many games journos heaped so much praise on it just shows how wildly out of touch they are with their fanbases, and how desperate these people are to latch onto hip political trends so quickly. As a game Gone Homo isn't one, as a story it's cringeworthy, and for $20 it's a mere 90 minutes of wandering around an empty house piecing together a story if you for some reason really want to lose more faith in humanity and see this abomination for yourself just head on over to your friendly torrent site and check it out for free, otherwise steer clear of this sandwich. Expand
  49. Dec 29, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game was horribly misrepresented by what I saw on steam. I expected a neat mystery with revelations and real discovery.. yet what i am met with is some stupid (albeit well told) little story about a lesbian girl and her aspirations or whatever. The exploration was somewhat cool and interesting until i found out what it was about. Then i just felt disgusted and betrayed. Expand
  50. Aug 23, 2013
    It's a nice thought, but it wasn't worth $20. It wasn't that great a story. It seemed like something a sexually confused high school girl would write in her diary. Roger Ebert is laughing in his grave.

    If you want to play an interactive visual novel that has a truly gripping emotional story, check out Katawa Shoujo or Analogue: A Hate Story. And Katawa Shoujo is freeware!
  51. Aug 18, 2013
    Certainly enjoyable, an excellent example of adventure gaming in first person, and a decent story but... 2 hours of gameplay? Zero replayability? That's fine too, for 5-10 bucks, but 20$ is just too much for a one time experience like this. Amnesia (or the sequel) is the same price and offers so much more, as do many other first person or adventure games.

    I liked this game, I really
    did, and I don't want to come down on it too hard, but... again, two hours of non-replayable gameplay is just not enough for the price tag. I hope the developers make more games like this; maybe they can release them cheaper using the same engine? I hope so because I will not be purchasing any of their releases at full price after this. Expand
  52. Aug 19, 2013
    Ok. I will try to be fair with this game. It is a very good experiment. And I enjoyed while it lasted. But on the other hand. It is very difficult to call this even a game (note reading simulator maybe?). And mainly it takes to complete like 2,5 hours if you are checking everything. Plus there is basically no replay value. And the price is not adequate to this. My suggestion wait for price drop or some humble bundle, then get it really cheap and enjoy this experience for the price that corresponds the amount of gameplay. Expand
  53. Aug 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The so called "critics" need to check their state of minds.

    Dear critics, we turn to you to infrom us about games, when a game gets 9.5s we assume that we MUST play this game and it somehow revolutionizes gaming.

    The game costs 20 bucks, its a linear story based fps exploration game inside a house. You move around and pick up objects and twist them around, then you hear an audio log and you continue doing that till you get to the last one and the game ends.

    That is the essential gameplay, The graphics are pretty good and the game is optimized but its not a "game"

    Its a tech demo.

    Reviewers will tell you that the story is pretty good, yet its a about a lonely girl who thinks she is a lesbian when in reallity she never had a boyfirend so she justs runs away with another girl who actually is a lesbian, thats it, not much of a resollution either, yet it gets 9.5 and most importantly it costs 20 bucks.

    The consumer is ripped off 20 bucks for 1 hour and a half of linear exploring in a tech demo, rather an actual GAME.

    There are far better GAMES to play for 15 bucks, shadowrun returns,rise of the triad, call of juareze gunsliner, hell even mars war logs.

    Sure they have flaws, but they are GAMES with GAMEPLAY and the reason they are criticized by reviewers and have lower scores is because the so called "critics" criticize the flaws in their GAMEPLAY since this game has no gamplay whatsoever and you keep moving in a linear fashion and pick up objects and examine them, there is no gameplay flaws to criticize so that gives them 10/10.

    That is the truth and it hurts but this notion that the less gameplay the game has and less complex it is, the better, has to stop, or we will be playing movies instead of games pretty damn soon.

    The user score shows that the so called "critics" should og and criticize movies instead and not games.
  54. Sep 2, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I just watched someone else play this game on youtube, I'm so GLAD (get it? Gay lesbian, whatever whatever) I didnt pay $20 for this. It's basically propaganada against dont ask dont tell rapped in a 1 hr "game". By game i mean no puzzles, no nothing. It's like a bad M Knight Shamalan movie hiding behind gay rights. If you criticize it, you are a homophobe. OK, I'd rather be a homophobe and have $20 than give this a good rating. Expand
  55. Sep 8, 2013
    If I wanted to read a retarded blog of someone I don't give a about ranting about his sexuality I would have made a tumblr account
    Even calling it a game is pretentious
  56. Aug 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Gone Home is a video game that is triumphs in tapping into the one thing we all seem to share an imagination gone wild in the face of uncertainity. It's an experience all of us likely had at some point in our lives you're home, alone, with the sounds of a creaky house settling, maybe with or without a nasty storm outside. Any sound, any shadow evokes a response of fear when, in reality, the logical side of your brain knows there is nothing there. Gone Home takes all of that and wraps it up into one fantastic package.

    The setting of Gone Home immediately forces gamers back into that lonely situation just described. The raging storm coupled with a creaky old house that is immediately dubbed the "psycho house" immediately forces our minds to jump to the wildest of conclusions, much like any time you were home alone as a kid. Also, the fact that you're playing a video game certainly helps, as there are very few games that do not have some sort of fantastical moment associated with them.

    And despite pouring everything on with the setting and entertainment medium, the developers keep trying to convey the same message over and over again: you're letting your imagination run wild, and there is typically a perfectly good explanation for everything. The bathtub is the perfect example of this. Who didn't see that and immediately think "Oh there it is! There's the first clue to this murder mystery!" when all it was was a hair dye job gone awry? And then there is the parent's messy room. You probably thought "Oh! They had to hurry out of here! See! Something nuts happened!" when, really, they're probably just lazy slobs. (How else can you explain a family who still has moving boxes in their entry hallway nine months after moving in?) Then we start seeing things about a possible affair, leading to "OF COURSE! THE DAD MURDERED THE MOM!" when of course they're just gone for the weekend. By this point, if you believed any of the occult stuff was going to go anywhere, well, I don't know what to tell you.

    Of course, all of this doesn't really feel clear until making it to the attic. Personally, my heart was pounding as I raced to the attic, expecting full well to see something horrific b/c, well, it's a video game. Then, nothing. And it all made sense at that point. Of course! I let my imagination run wild! We all did! This game might as well have been called "Occam's Razor."

    All the while, learning about the four family members is a fascinating character study that all of us can likely relate to personally. I would say all of us have experienced feelings of sibling jealously, not understanding our parents/kids, work frustration, relationship frustration, or living up to impossible expectations. This could be an entire other story.

    Judging this game by the graphics or gameplay is, frankly, unfair. It shouldn't even be part of the grading scale on a game like this. Movie and music reviewers have had to learn this in the past, and video game reviewers are just starting to scratch the surface of it. When I evaluate a game, I ask myself "Did the developer achieve their goal? And was their goal one worth striving for?" In the case of Gone Home, I say yes.

    Gone Home takes some of our most base expectations of the world around us and the video game medium and shines a light on them in a way most of us have never experienced. Sometimes, the simplest answer is the correct answer. No, that creaky floorboard isn't a murderer who crawled through the window. Stop letting your imagination get the best of you.
  57. Aug 26, 2013
    I don't think I've ever purchased a game before, then after finishing wanted my money back. This would be the first. At least if you purchase Kindle novel you have 7 days to return it for a full refund. The same should apply for this Gone Home, as after all it's more of a very short novel, than a game.
  58. Sep 2, 2013
    Unbelievably pretentious interactive story packaged as a video game, purely to reach a broader audience. Luckily I didn't lose my $20 to this gimmick (I played through with a friend; he, however, DID lose on this purchase). Still, I'd like the two wasted hours of my life back.

    The spooky, haunted vibe throughout the narrative the only interesting element in this failure is just a
    veil. Yes, I'm aware that The Fullbright Company was very upfront when I came to the gameplay mechanics and features they implemented. I was aware of the lack of ANY enemies or zombies or hordes that may have been creeping around every corner. Still, half of the narrative was devoted to exploring this seemingly haunted house, only to completely ignore the need to wrap up this storyline in any way.

    The interactivity isn't clever. It isn't unique. It isn't fun. After about five minutes picking up EVERY object at random in the house, it's impossible to not get bored. And unfortunately, that's the ONLY strand of gameplay to the entire game. Painful.

    If this and the added multitude of other poor user scores are still not enough to convince you to stay away, PLEASE divert to YouTube and watch a Let's Play instead. It doesn't matter which user you pick to watch, as each will prove to be just as un-entertaining as the last and you can then at least see the narrative for yourself and decide that an average 4.9 user score is accurate. Seriously, I'm trying to save you 20 bucks.
  59. Sep 11, 2013
    sorry i this is a short review but its really hard to give an in depth review without spoiling it

    Ok the game isn't a bad game, but can i really call it a game. it is really hard to talk about this game with spoiling it but in short words. this is an interactive story were you come home from a European holiday and no one is in the house and you try and find out were everyone is. that
    is pretty much it .

    It tries to do something new by giving you a well written story, and a very good voice actor, and a house to explore. it tries to but you in to the players shoes,but the bad point its how many houses have letters hanging around the house because I know in my house we have none, Locked doors in wired places which try and drag out the game. and hidden passages how many houses have hidden passages.

    i see what its trying to do and it is a ok story but its no enough to make me play it over and over again. I know it was made be a Indie company but they had experience in gaming companies, i expect this kind of game from a student or free to play game but not something you pay for.

    ok to talk about the graphics this game was made in the unity Engine, models were poorly sized and textured for a game that is asking for a money. models take time to make and the look of things this looks very rushed.

    I really wish i could score this game higher I really do but i have to put a price on this game and this game shockingly game priced of 14.99 GBP. I give it 2 GPB, as much as its a great story and the voice actor is very good but and its a big but, I'v played better free indie games and all it is really is, is a atmospheric story. and that is also why I had to score it a 3
  60. Sep 19, 2013
    While this game is lauded by mainstream gaming review sites I can't help but feel this praise is wildly unjustified and given mostly as a way to push how politically correct these gaming sites purport to be. If you take anything from this wildly overpriced 'game' other than 'gay people exist' then you must have been living under a rock.
  61. Oct 19, 2013
    F*** this game....and f*** the critics. I think the creators knew that critics would just get on the bandwagon like the sheep they are; thus causing us poor gamers to buy it. Unbeknownst to us, the critics gave it good reviews on the most superficial of basis' possible. I felt like this game was similar to a film which wins an Oscar. In this case, it is similar to a film that clearly doesn't deserve it, but won simply because of its "groundbreaking" message or some gay crap like that. Expand
  62. Dec 27, 2013
    There is no game. Saying there was a game here is a joke. The only reason critics like it is because of the lesbian empowerment angle. Yes, the game review industry is that sad. It's not fun, nothing happens, it ends and then you get angry for having spent money on this. Hipsters may like it, critics have NO CHOICE but to like it, but game players shouldn't be tricked into spending money on this.

    Dear Esther is a much better game if you like this sort of "game." At least it has atmosphere and beautiful graphics. This allows you to explore a house I last saw in U9.
  63. Aug 25, 2013

    This is not a traditional game. It's a short story.

    I also contend that one should not judge a game based on the price point. You can argue it isn't worth x dollars due to the length, but it shouldn't affect how you'd rate the experience. Take Crusader Kings II, Halo, BioShock series, etc. These are games that people absolutely love. If they all
    come out at, say, $60 and you would grade one 9/10. Does that mean that the game is a better game at $20 on sale? Or that it's garbage at $80? No. Same great game, different price. Might be you wait for it to go on sale, that's fine. But you shouldn't trash the game based on this.

    Having said that, on to the game.

    I enjoyed every minute I played. There weren't that many minutes, but I was thoroughly engaged throughout. There are multiple stories presented, many in very few words. Putting together clues to build the story in your head is a wonderfully fantastic method to bring the player into an experience.

    To say too much would spoil the game. I won't do that.

    I enjoyed the game very much. As to whether it's worth whatever cost is attributed to it is up to each individual person. There isn't really any replay value, but the story is fantastic to me. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the game is that it made me feel like I was a kid in 1995 again. Remembering home made copies of movies, 2 to a VHS tape. Making mix tapes. Being scared of dark room (I was 7 then). And those punch button light switches were the same we had in my childhood home.

    I am fully behind this game and I hope that this game serves as a catalyst for change in gaming. It's possibly the beginning of a new genre!
  64. Sep 13, 2013
    This is the worst "game" I have ever played. I bought into the hype and purchased Gone Home a day or two after release. Late-night Lifetime Network-tier story, Bad graphics, bad aesthetic, boring environment, poor sound quality, 90 minutes long, and $20. This is the first time I have ever had buyer's remorse toward a game. The meta score shows just how out of touch journalists are with what a majority of gamers want out of a video game. Expand
  65. Aug 20, 2013
    Bland and insipid, are the word I'd pick to describe Gone Home. It's seems to be another game from people who apparently have no interest in making games, there are no puzzles or enemies just exploring a deserted house, it is the bare minimum of interactivity to technically be called a game. The story, what there is of it, is presented in the most circuitous way possible and it's not all that interesting or compelling. I really do not understand what the critics love about this "game". This should be called suburban exploration simulator cause it really does seem the creators stumbled on an urban exploration blog somewhere and though it would make a good game. Expand
  66. Sep 6, 2013
    The fact that this game has a 90% from critics is really going to have me second guessing any future reviews i read, in this game you literally do and accomplish nothing. A ridiculous waste of money.
  67. Sep 1, 2013
    don't buy or play this game. Watch Pewdiepie or Macaulay Culkin playing it. The game maybe could look funny if they dont realize that they are playing a game
  68. Aug 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sam is a lesbian. Your parents are on vacation. Ghosts don't exist. Rosebud was his sled. There, you don't have to pay 20 bucks now, go buy some decent audiobook. This game is okay. It's definitely not 70+ that journalists give it, but it is okay to play once. Expand
  69. Sep 3, 2013
    i got this game because of all the hype made out there. but honestly.. this kind of game isnt for me, i played 15 minutes and bored the out of my mind, and couldnt finish it. i would rather read a book. good job on the marketing dough.
  70. Jan 1, 2014
    Well, what to say? This is probably 1st game I'll give score 0. It's first extremely bad graphics, but that's not crucial because lately we have few indie efforts with bad graphics but extremely fun games!!!
    In other side, Gone Home have nothing. It's just walking through house and read some letters. It would probably be more fun as textual adventure from 80's.
  71. Aug 24, 2013
    I've only written one game review before this, but I had to since online love coming up with excuses to hide their intolerance. It is simply amazing. As a 90's kid, alot of nostalgia was brought back to me and the atmosphere is definitely the game's strongest trait. Most reasons I see for why the "core gaming kids" are hating on this is a) they feel the story is "immature and generic" and b) It's "not a real game, but a movie." For a) If you can find me just FIVE games that have a similar story to this (spoiler alert: you won't), then I'll consider your excuse for it being "generic." As for b) This isn't a "real game" worth a high user score, yet minimalist adventure games like Journey and Walking Dead are? Expand
  72. Jan 17, 2014
    Most overrated and overhyped game of the year. Literally it doesn't deserve so high scores. The plot is not intereresting at all, after playing 30 minutes through - you already know the story. And the ending is just boring.
  73. Oct 31, 2013
    If you like to spend time clicking stuff, reading letters and listening to a stupid teenager audio tapes, this is your game. The critics cheated me, I never was so regretful buying a game.
  74. egn
    Dec 20, 2013
    This isn't really a game. The developers are great visual artists; but game developers? No. Most of the 10 reviews here are probably given because of "political correctness". This also explains the developer reviews.

    You walk around a house. You hear about this white family's first world problems. The daughter is a pretty badly stereotyped man-hating radical feminist.

    developers are more interested in political statements and scoring cheap points with empty politically-based criticisms of other developers.

    They also censor criticism of the game on the Steam forums, which is basically to be expected I suppose.

    Anyway, not worth the price, the game has about 10 minutes of playtime, an hour tops.
  75. Nov 27, 2013
    Gone Home has to be one of the most overrated indie games this year. It does nothing new or innovative. It's an interactive story, but the story is just another generic teenage lover story with a predictable ending.
  76. Jan 5, 2014
    This game needs a page long rant about miss-leading advertising and what constitutes mystery thriller content. Sufficed to say that the critics are full of it. This game is garbage. Don't waste your money.
  77. Dec 20, 2013
    This is more a warning than a Review. Bought the Steam version (Windows) in October 2013. By then the game was out for some time but still in kind of alpha state.
    The controls are poorly programmed. In my case I have a joystick and rudder pedals. Searched in the forums and found that you have to disable the drivers of them to activate the keyboard and the mouse. Yes, not to just unplug
    them but to disable their drivers. Next problem was a black screen, so I stopped the installation and requested a refund from Steam. Steam just played dumb and asked me to read the forums.

    So, this is a warning not to buy a game which is clearly not bug-free enough to be sold...
  78. Aug 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Why even try to make it scary?
    I didn't pay for this game and it sounds like I was better off, as it is less than 2 hours long. It tries to be scary and atmospheric and then at the end you are left thinking, "is this it?" It's ground breaking in the slightest, point and click interaction isn't new, it's a favorite genre of mine but I was expecting more. To try to scare you with bad scare tactics and then have such an uplifting ending is bizarre to say the least. You know what would have been a better ending? A suicide pact and the mom leaving with the ranger. You could have been finding their bodies. So her father was distant, the mother would be running off, and she'd be loosing the girl. That would have kept the horror feel, the sadness of forbidden love. Although come on, it's the 21st century no-one is shocked by lesbians anymore, it's par for course. They exist, they're nice people, we're over it. Stop milking it just to get reviewed by people who think if they say the game is bad they are somehow bigots. Political correctness at it's best is what you can see from the reviewers. One thing that made me laugh about the game is all those bathrooms and no mirrors. Not a single mirror in the house, strange that. Kind of a cop out. Almost like they didn't have the budget but perhaps with the high price of this game they can show you looking in the mirror in a sequel. You can't do a scary atmosphere game without taking advantage of mirrors. I'd recommend you experience the game, it had some cool points, but don't pay full price for less than 2 hours.
  79. Aug 19, 2013
    One of the best games/stories I have ever played. Gameplay wise, it lies somewhere between Dear Esther and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but holds it own in strong artistic gameplay direction and incredible attention to detail in its visual and auditory design of the environment and even details such as its timing of text animation.

    This is clearly a love letter to the 90s and done in a
    fantastically realistic and matter-of-factly way the human condition. Though this is not yet the Citizen Kane of the game media (and who could ask for such), it is a great stride for interactive storytelling. Expand
  80. Aug 23, 2013
    This is the most beautiful game I have played in my entire life. I thought I knew what emotions a video game could give me when Mordin died in mass effect. And this orchestral game made me feel for the characters in a way that made Joel and Ellie's relationship in Last of Us seem like something you would find in a gears of war game. Honestly, this game is the next gen point and click adventure. Every cliche you think it would fall into it does not. It is absolutely beautiful. Now people have a right to their opinions, but I do not understand people disliking this game. This is the interactive story-telling at it's finest. If you are looking for a combat game go play Battlefield or Skyrim (not being disingenuous I love both of those games the latter the most) but if you want to play a game where you get a story as beautiful as the Last of Us but distilled to a point that every action grips at your heart, and no zombies just real beauty this is your game. If I paid $60 for this game I would be just as happy, this isn't a great "Indie game", this is just a great game period, no modifiers needed. Expand
  81. Aug 28, 2013
    honestly one of the worst games ever made, a crime to the industry.
    firstly it has no gameplay whatsoever, it's just walking around, looking at things, walk around some more.
    the story is also ridiculous and has many loopholes.
    do not trust anyone who rated this game good. they played it because they are social justice morons who read about it on their transgender rights blog and rated
    it highly for the simple reason it has a lesbian in it.
    terrible, awful, a crime to humanity. whoever thinks this is art, or a game, or even a good concept in the first place should be locked in a cell for their crimes.
  82. Aug 19, 2013
    Engrossing and touching. The fact that metacritic is filled with angry user reviews about how this is a "non-game" is depressing and reflects on the lack of empathy that certain gamers have. It's another group of people who refuse to let video games as a medium evolve from just a platform for shooting people in face.
  83. Aug 21, 2013
    Judging from other user reviews, this game isn't for everyone especially if you're main concern with a game is all-out action. If, however, you respect a game's atmosphere and narration, this is among the best games I have ever played. Some may say it is just pointless exploration and it is just a movie in a game. But Gone Home tell its story like only a game can, full of emotion that can't be replicated in the form of cinema. Perhaps the price is a bit excessive for a short, two-hour game, but when you consider the price of a cinema ticket and popcorn, I believe you are definitely getting value for money for such an emotional journey.

    This game was not created for outstanding gameplay and graphics or starting WWIII; rather, it presents a house and story full of life, amazingly conveyed in such a short time
  84. Aug 21, 2013
    Gone Home may not deliver what many are expecting. Some argue that it is not a game at all, and yet the way it tells its story is utterly unique to games. This is not "interactive fiction," nor is it cinematic, because it doesn't ape other media. Instead, it plays to the strengths of the medium in a way that makes its admittedly simple story more emotionally resonant than it would have otherwise been.

    Games often struggle with storytelling because gameplay convention limits the kinds of stories you can tell. Narratives fall apart as they give way to zombies, ghosts, and robots consistently in order to give players something to shoot. Gone Home toys with these expectations, and is filled with a sense of foreboding and dread, but rather than giving in to these gamey impulses, it uses that sense of urgency to help build a connection to the unseen cast of characters that have vanished from this house.

    It's a two hour game, almost devoid of challenge, and without replay incentives, but I think it's a mistake to divide a game's price by its length to determine its value. Gone Home offers something unique and tells the kind of story that most games never would. Stop reading, check your expectations at the door, and open your mind. This is not one to miss.
  85. Aug 22, 2013
    What is the most fun of playing adventure games? you'll have to put everything you knew away because GONE HOME is not a usual video game that my come every year. games like this- i you find of course- is what called "Art Game" and that's true because of the story. story of GONE HOME is not an excuse for gameplay or something like that. its the reason. the reason you should play GONE HOME is story and in the end; story give you an important better-than-jewelry gold reward. it's a story about love, and it's not the matter of ages and gender... it's about love. Expand
  86. Aug 22, 2013
    This is the best game I played for a very long time. Luckily I hadn't have any spoilers and I did not know what to expect. After I get used to the spooky atmosphere I was consumed by the story and couldn't stop to play it. I even caught myself turning around (ingame) as I heard a creaking noise... Beautiful!
  87. Aug 22, 2013
    A lot of user reviews of Gone Home can't accept Gone Home for what it is, which is perfectly okay. The game does feature well-developed female characters and uses a simple interface to tell a moving and personal story. I would argue it's a game with far more emotional complexity that shines through because the game allows you to simply experience its story instead of insulting your intelligence at every turn or demanding you experience a story through violence. It's beautiful, well-crafted, and a fresh of breath air against the backdrop of countless shooters and fantasy escapism. It's an adventure game where the adventure takes place in your own imagination instead of force fed in little chunks. Some people can't handle a truly great game when it comes around, which is perfectly okay. Expand
  88. Aug 23, 2013
    While critics seem to adore the "progressiveness" of Gone Home, the reality is that it's one of the lowest quality games you're going to find. The story is dull and corny, and most of the pieces are told through paper scraps and notes that are months old yet somehow seem to still be sitting on top of tables or in waste bins that one can only assume never gets emptied. Even better is that you'll encounter moments such as finding a recent note about a boy that wants his Nintendo game back only to find another note from further back that says he's already gotten it back. There's really not much good to say about Gone Home. Especially when the level design makes it so you can accidentally stumble upon the ending. Not that it really changes much, because you already know how Sam ended up in the first few seconds when you find her runaway note on the door.

    Gone Home is extremely uneventful, and focuses on a poorly thought out character that really doesn't do much more than irritate the player with how little she cares about other people.
  89. Aug 24, 2013
    Gone Home has a very touching story which moved me close to tears a few times, and I think it manages to not tip over the edge of being too sentimental, although it's a close call in a few parts.
    I understand people bashing the game for not having actual gameplay, but you can't judge all games from the same criteria. Looking at what the game (or, more accurately, interactive story) tries
    to accomplish it does it very well. Expand
  90. Aug 25, 2013
    This is a game which, probably, you will either love, or hate.

    Your parents and younger sister (Samantha) have moved into an atmospheric old mansion, while you (Katie) have been traveling Europe. You arrive to this new home, only to find your family missing. As you navigate the mansion, you reveal insights into the lives of your family members by examining every day objects and reading
    notes left by them.

    What drives the game forward is your personal desire, as a player, to explore this home, and uncover who your parents and sister are, and why they are not there. Sure, you can quickly learn how to open the locked doors, and find out the answers, but then, you will miss the details necessary to make the characters come to life.

    In some sense, it is fair to compare this game to a book. The true experience is found between the lines. Here, it is found in your own relation to the characters, as you infer their traits and aspirations from the environment, and, inevitably, draw from your own personal experiences. However, Gone Home differs from a book, in that it lets you decide where to look next, which provides an immersive presence. This showcases the unique expressiveness of the gaming medium.

    If you possess the patience and interest to really probe into these characters, you have here a short yet rewarding emotional journey. Otherwise, this is just an empty house, and a simple love story.
  91. Aug 25, 2013
    A fresh take on interactive story telling. I didn't know what to expect, but I played the entire game in one sitting and couldn't stop. It was very touching, but also very heartbreaking.

    Ignore the low scores based of "length and price", these are not reflections on the quality and the game doesn't deserve such hate. Its funny to me that folks can love TellTale's The Walking Dead
    "Walking around and talking to people game" and gave it GOTY praise, but they can't give this one kudos for being effective on tugging at player's emotions and how it delivers effective storytelling?

    It was unique and fresh and I enjoyed the entire experience.
  92. Aug 26, 2013
    I went into this game completely blind, having no idea what it is. When I started, I immediately recognized the similarities between this and Dear Esther. As I progressed through the story, I realized that there's no real puzzles. All the items you need to find are hidden, which makes it similar to Dear Esther in that it shouldn't really be classified as a game as It's more of an interactive story, which I'd be okay with if it wasn't so simple. The length is another thing I find an issue. Upon completing the game for the first time, I went back and beat it again in literally 30 seconds, which is a problem. Games should never allow me to beat them in less than a minute if they're supposedly based on an emotional narrative. Overall, I enjoyed Gone Home. Those who watch it being played get the exact same effect as those who play it themselves, and I would not recommend it unless you're some civil rights person who's all about sexual equality. Expand
  93. Aug 27, 2013
    Not a game. This would have been better as a flash animation or a novel. The story isn't particularly interesting, nor is the way it's told particularly new. And at the price being asked, you're going to feel cheated if you buy it unless you're a snob.
  94. Aug 28, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm so, so pissed off upon finishing this game. Not for the gameplay I actually like just rummaging the house leisurely, but, whoever thought the story is extraordinary clearly never reads any single literature in their life. This is twilight v.2, except instead of edward there is lonnie (dangerous vampire boy/bad punk girl). sam just gives up all of her life, future and family just like that for her. And then they live happily ever after just like that?? Is there anyone here really thinks it could work!? Hah! I would like to see the sequel where sam comes home brokenhearted to her parents house

    This is a short story not a game. I wouldn't mind paying 5$ for this, but for 20$ write something better will you.

    And of course the price tag 20$ just screams of taking money as much as they can because the dev knows people will buy this thing for being "progressive" game.

    I would be more inclined to think they actually try to bring positive light into the game industry if the price is 5-10$, equally compared to the game length.

    As it stands, it's all about the money.
  95. Aug 28, 2013
    This "game" is just walking around an empty house opening drawers to find notes. This is not a game, it is a simple story with only one character that has any depth of development. Would you spend $20 on a book that is only one page long and only has one discernible character?

    The only good thing about the production is the voice acting, everything else is average at best. I am giving
    this a score of 0 to balance out the ridiculous reviews this "game" has been receiving. The hype is farcical and I guarantee this title will quickly become forgotten in the dustbin of flawed projects. Expand
  96. Sep 1, 2013
    Jesus christ. I registered in order to tell you what I read on a review (and didn't believe) before buying this game:


    This game is one of the worst ""ADVENTURE"" (it should be called something like storytelling) games I've played. Please do yourself a favor and don't even try it.
  97. Sep 2, 2013
    One and a half hours was too long playing this game. It was boring, repetitive and just plain off-putting. The story was to easy too figure out too quickly (and from someone who worked on bioshock infinite I'd expect more). The game is riddle with graphical glitches and leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. Gone home sucks. 2/10
  98. Sep 3, 2013
    Absolutely disgusting. For starters, this "game" doesn't even have much gameplay. Instead it focuses on "story", but the story is just awful. It manages to be both cringe-worthy and boring, which is a feat that I thought to be impossible to achieve, but Gone Home proved me wrong. You can buy a box of paper clips and have more fun with it than with Gone Home.
  99. Sep 3, 2013
    Thank goodness I looked at metacritic and not just critics' reviews as I thought I was losing my sanity. Every site is raving about this game and I found it a complete and total waste of $20.00. First off, it's extremely short. My steam logged just over an hour for me to finish the ENTIRE game. Secondly, the story was not something I cared for whatsoever and wasn't ground breaking in any way shape or form. The only interaction you have in this game is scanning through objects and listening to diary entries. It feels like a fourth of what a complete game should be.

    If this game was 5 dollars it MIGHT be worth the purchase. For the 20 the developers are asking it's highway robbery. Whoever at that company got critics to write RAVING reviews to get schmucks like me to purchase it should get a medal. What a waste of time and money.
  100. Sep 3, 2013
    My review in two words: Hipster ****

    I have no problem with games that are nothing more than interactive stories. The Walking Dead game by Telltale Games is phenomenal and does the genre the correct way. Gone Home falls flat because there is no reason to play the game more than once and it does an awful job of getting the player to care about the people that are NEVER seen in the
    game. It's intriguing at first, but the story is hackneyed and presented poorly. Without posting any spoilers, I can say that the "build-up" in the story is completely wasted by the ending. It's a shame too, because with better writing, this game could have been terrific. As it is, there is no reason to care about the characters.

    My other beef with Gone Home is the $20 price tag: Massive ripoff. The Walking Dead games were $5 per episode and a single episode is longer than Gone Home. I explored the game carefully and still finished in 2 hours. I could go back and look for the hidden doors, but I have NO motivation to do so, as it doesn't change the story.

    Instead of wasting money on this story, try one of the better done interactive stories, such as The Walking Dead or Dear Ester. Even the point and click adventures of the late 90's (like King's Quest series) had better storytelling and re-playability than Gone Home.

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.