Nov 27, 2013First off, I just wanted to say I tried this game because I love non-conventional games with a great story. I knew that Emily Carrol's wife worked a lot of this game. I love Emily Carrol's stories, and have read a bit of what her wife wrote and really enjoyed it. I thought I would really enjoy this, especially since it's got some high praising reviews. And there were some really good qualities to this game, such as the graphics, and the voice acting.
Here are a few things I wish I had known. First, the main storyline is LGBT based, geared towards seeking understanding from those who are straight. I am guessing this is why it got so many positive reviews (if you hate LGBT propaganda, people assume you're a narrow-minded, homophobic bigot). But it was so focused on the lesbian aspect of it, that it detracted with what might've been an incredible story. I mean, if you were to replace the lesbian couple with a straight one, the story would've been a dull, overly dramatic teenage love story (think Twilight). As for the story itself, there is wonderful voice acting with a lot of emotion (Twilight itself was very well written, in my opinion. But the story, and practically everything else about it sucked). The story was just too predictable. I was hoping for quite a bit more. I mean, it started off pretty fantastic. The lights flicker in the home, there are secret passages and corridors and there are few hints to a haunting, which make it very eerie in the beginning. You hear a lot about the rest of the family, such as a deceased uncle who used to own the place. But none of that is explained, or seems to be anything but an incomplete side story to the lesbian action.
The story is so predictable, I didn't expect it. And gosh, can I say it again, it is TOO teenage-lesbian-love focused!!!!! I mean, the one thing that did turn me for a loop was wandering into a bathroom and finding splotches of blood on the bathtub. Is this ever explained? Nooo... I'm trying not to include any spoilers, but there is no record of anyone bleeding in a tub!!! There are also eerie moments, where there are creeks here and there, and the attic looks downright horrifying with the red lights signaling that the dark room is in use. Throughout the whole story, you're expecting some tragedy and deeper plot. I mean, you're searching your new home for a trace as to where your parents and sister have gone. Turns out, your parents have left for a perfectly reasonable and well needed "break" to help sort things out.
Here is what you discover about your sister. She's 16-17, moves into a new neighborhood with a new school. She is dealing with teenage emotion, and feels like everybody hates her, and her parents don't understand what she's going through (again, Twilight, anyone?). She falls in love with (not a vampire) a lesbian, they have sex, lie to their parents, write love letters, lead some teenage anarchy rebellion protest at school that gets them suspended, she tells her parents (they just don't understand!), tragically their lives go separate ways (she gets accepted into a college writing program, and her lover joins the army), after a few days apart they realize they just can't live without each other and decide to run away. It was an awful story. If it was a straight boy and a girl, it would be awful. But apparently because it's got LGBT in it, that makes it good? I don't think so. I want any LGBT out there to know that while I don't understand all that you go through, I think many of you are wonderful people and I wish more people could see past that. However, I think there are better ways to reach understanding and acceptance. I didn't want a game focused on it. I don't think it leads to greater understanding to focus on it in a teenage, mushy, sexually hyper story. I mean, everyone knows what it's like to fall in love for the first time as a teenager. You're obsessive, your hormones are raging, and unless your careful you do stupid things. I didn't feel that way at the time, but I am so grateful I had parents who knocked some sense into me, and would "tread upon my rights as a human being" to keep me from being an idiot. I also have to attribute some of this to the saving grace of God. As an older brother I would hands down be furious if my teenage sister lied to our parents, had sexual relations with anyone at all, threw out her future and then ran away! We've all felt like our parents were restricting us, telling us what to do, who didn't understand the power of love, who were upset and in shock because they didn't understand (gay or not)... it makes for a bad story, albeit one we can relate to.
1 star for Emily Carrol's wife. You both do great work. I loved the graphics! I love the emotion. But still the story and game play was sub par. I know you can do better.… Expand
Nov 27, 2013Slow-paced, exploration-heavy adventure games are among my absolute favorite, so I was positively thrilled during the first half or so of Gone Home. It sports decent graphics, terrific atmosphere, great voice acting, and a sleek, totally immersive interface that lets you examine almost every object. Add a deserted old house that you're free to explore at your leisure, a creepy subplot involving the previous owner, and we're all set for great adventure!
If only. After an hour or so, I noticed that not much had happened in the way of actual gameplay. Reading notes and documents had been so entertaining, I didn't mind much. But then I started getting the sinking feeling that the game had no intention of delivering on its promises. It wasn't developing into a fully fledged adventure (the inclusion of a limited inventory with completely useless "items" notwithstanding) as I had hoped. Instead, it was morphing into something else.
In a nutshell, the game is an ambush. It is arguably not a game at all. It is, shockingly, a political piece, as carefully and deliberately conceived as it is blatant and ultimately inept. I cannot offer more details without spoiling things, so let's just say that the game's "story" starts veering into "young adult" fantasy territory and it just doesn't let up, right up to the laughable and cringe-worthy finale. Look for no twist, redemption or arc here this is as stereotypical as it gets. In spite of the short length and the overused "lost journal" device, the game even finds the time to take a couple of potshots against a few organizations and institutions; I'll let you guess what its predictable targets are. It's simply hard to believe. Frustratingly, the aspects that COULD have worked beautifully are quickly tossed aside so as not to distract from the main payload.
This is the game's death knell: I'm all for sacrificing gameplay in favor of a compelling story. But Gone Home has neither. You keep waiting for the game to start, and by the time you realize where this is going you've long grown tired of checking every item and opening every panel in search of the next scrap of paper.
As for the story, the designers' agenda permeates the proceedings so thoroughly that you'll likely to be pinned as something or other if you find any fault with it. I may applaud the designers for trying, and for having their heart in the right place, but this is clearly not the way to go. The proof is in the pudding: replace the (non) novelty aspect of the story (i.e., its main gimmick, the one that keeps hitting you over the head) by a more "classical" take, and I have little doubt that you'd be seeing very different ratings from most critics. The last image after the credits is actually enlightening; it tells you that the designers really believe all the trite pap their characters are forced to spout, write and do, with nary a hint of humor or self awareness.
Bottom line: Gone Home feels like a prototype of an adventure/horror game, temporarily populated with a token teenage story and little more. It is, in fact, a very nice prototype. I enjoyed its best bits, but the overall package is a huge disappointment, and in many ways an outright cheat.… Expand
Nov 28, 2013First of all, this is not a game. Just a beautiful love story about blah-blah-blah... There are some things that make a game playable. Not a single one in that story, i prefer to call it "a story". If you're looking for something to spend a few hours without any challenges for your brain, this is a perfect choice. They told us there are many mysteries and things to investigate and explore. Well, the only one secret still remains unsolved, why did i buy that?… Expand
Dec 27, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Strange game. Word "game" is too enough for this. Interactive story or maybe interactive book, but not the game. Gone home has no interaction, no puzzles (except key hunting) but almost every time you're reading scraps of leters, opening drawers and turnings lights, investigating where your family is and what happend. That is the probably the most interesting thing in the game. The end came fast, all the time I expected some story twist but didnt come.… Expand
Dec 27, 2013This game makes for mixed feelings. From an artistic standpoint and the way the game goes about telling the story I may be hard pressed to not give it a 9 or 10. That being said from a video game standpoint, I settled on a 4. It's short, expensive, and at the end of the day is better suited as a youtube video than a game by itself. Interesting story, not what I expected but at the end of the day, this is worth it for $5 or so. $20 and you'll be left feeling robbed.… Expand
Jan 6, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I completely don't get those positive reviews. They may show how low level of narrative is satisfying game critics. I don't treat this as a game, it's not. It's sort of a virtual novel. But novel written by 19 years old ambitious but mediocre student. Nobody would print a book with story like this. And movie would be booed for sure. I don't get that special pregnant-women-like treatment.
Why game critics need so little to get excited? Look at critics score (around 85) and gamers (50).
It says a lot about standards.
Going back to the game itself.
Retro environment is ok. Especially for hipsters but it's fun to see vhs with x-files on it. Misleading side stories are ok, they give something to keep You going to that completely predictable and infantile ending. She is a lesbian? Really?! Whoa! Sixth sense all over again.
And...? Story should start here.
Two points for expanding virtual novels world. But it's still like Harlequin in world of literature.… Expand
Dec 28, 2013Some games are about winning, most about killing. Ever so often one arrives that is about being a human and that is what Gone Home is at its core. I went in not knowing what to expect. I didn’t read the description; I just thought the game looked intriguing enough to give it a try. I am so very glad I did. In just over an hour I experienced the equivalent of a good book or a touching movie but in a fully interactive and nostalgic trip back to the 90's. This is a story about love, relationships and growing up. If you want an experience like no other game out there, Gone Home is worthwhile.
A "Thank You" to the team that put this together, I appreciate what you did and look forward to your next effort. I wholeheartedly recommend this game.… Expand
Aug 25, 2013At 2 hours odd there is certainly the question of whether you get your moneys worth out of this game, and I really understand the negative criticism leveled at Gone Home on this issue. For this review however I am going to put that to one side in the scoring. If you don't want to waste the price of the game on a couple of hours, don't buy it.
Gone Home is a short story told bloody brilliantly. The story develops as Katie, the returning daughter/sister finds written notes around the abandoned house. This has always been a problematic device for furthering a plot line, and is used extensively on a lot of AAA games. If I wanted to read a book I wouldn't grab for my console and controller right? However in Gone Home the place and time is set by the visual surroundings:the books, video and cassette tapes found around the house along with the posters on the walls and decor evoke a wonderful sense of the '90's. Apart from the main story, there are written and visual clues to a number of other characters and side stories that draw you in and deepen the mystery.
Where the game does fall down in my opinion, is the developers overriding wish to subvert the deserted mansion tropes that are so carefully set up. 7 outta 10 may be a little harsh, but this really left a bad taste in my mouth at games end.
If its action, rpg,puzzle solving, strategy or platforming you want, this game is going to disappoint.
But as far as story telling goes this is a nice example of what video gaming can do… Expand
Sep 21, 2013I cannot believe the absolute wretchedness of the Metacritic user community, dishing out these horrendous scores for such a BRILLIANT and THOUGHT-PROVOKING experience. I left this game teary-eyed, absolutely floored by its amazingly realized characters and emotional story.
I loved the voice acting, the music, the creepy atmosphere, and the immense mystery that slowly unfolds as you play, all effortlessly moving at a brilliant pace. Since it's set in the 90's, I felt a great sense of nostalgia as I rummaged through items I used to play with as a child. This game made me feel something completely different from anything else I've played, something completely BETTER than all the action-packed, ultra-violent and incredibly DUMB games I've gotten so used to over the years.
I'm not awarding this game a 10 because I want to see its miserable and downright SHAMEFUL user score go up, I'm awarding it a 10 because it is damn near perfect and deserves it. It's an experience you'll want to revisit. It raises the bar for immersion and realistic story-telling. It grabs you and doesn't let you go until you're finished, with an ending that will make satisfied tingles shoot up down your spine.
This is the kind of game the industry so desperately needs to pay attention to, and I personally thank The Fullbright Company for taking risks and making the game they wanted to make, not trying to appease the trigger-happy ADHD CoD generation of gamers that can't stand to sit still for an entire second without blowing something's head off. This game is not for them, and I couldn't be happier about that.
Dec 21, 2013So i've heard great things about this game from reviews and dcided to try it. Trash, thats it. You arrive to an empty house and have to walk around and find hidden rooms and letters, it's boring, no puzzles or gameplay at all. The first 5 minutes i was neutral, it wasn't boring but not fun, then after 7 minutes i had to endure to complete the game, waste of time, the only reason someone would buy this is if level 1 tetris is to hard for them… Expand
Sep 4, 2013Gone Home transcends gaming into pure experience. It's only a few hours long and you'll never forget it. It's really not worth worrying about whether it's a "game" or not: it's wonderful, innovative and completely enthralling. This is a quintessential example of why gaming is rapidly becoming the dominant form of entertainment. Gone Home is the highest form of interactive art. If you like stories or want to see the possibilities of gaming, I promise you will not regret the few hours it takes to play through this.… Expand
Nov 1, 2013Let’s begin by confirming what others have been saying that there is no way this game is a 87. Paying $20 for a few hours of gameplay inherenently made me feel cheated. There is really no replay value.
When you first get dropped off and realize that something is not quite right. You get the sense that you’re in for a treat and the game will be every bit as good as the critic scores suggest. Unfortunately, the “twist” comes somewhat early, which really kills the mystery to the game. That feeling of unknowing mystery from the beginning quickly dissipates. There are a few times where you think that the game could reintroduce a sense of mystery, but those themes lead to nothing and feel like immensely missed opportunities. Luckily, The atmosphere at has a twinge of creepiness that just goes along with being in a mansion by yourself. It never really amounts to anything. Additionally, the gameplay isn’t too varied. Pretty much all clues are in the form of scattered documents. I found it too often that pages 1, 2, 3, 4 of one document are at completely different corners of the house. It really does feel like a contrived bread crumb for you to follow. The game is a great concept that I hope will be expounded (to a much greater extent) into the future. While there are a few surprises, this game could have been so much more and it is the first feeling I got when I had completed the game.… Expand
Aug 20, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I can truly understand where the negative reviews are coming from. While I thought that the atmosphere created was haunting and incredibly detailed, I too felt a little disappointment when I saw the calendar and realized that the parents were simply out of town. The game sets itself up as a horror adventure game. Dead of night, abandoned mansion with a haunted history, in the middle of a severe thunderstorm. It's perfect!
The story told is truly beautiful and touching, I felt connected to the characters in a way in which I thought was incredible, despite the game only being about 2-3 hours if you take it slow. It's just disappointing in ways, because I think we all wanted to find the parents murdered in the basement, or the Sam hanging in the attic. Not for any morbid reason, that is simply how the game sets itself up.
What the game ultimately becomes is a wonderful lesson on keeping calm in a strange situation, and waiting for the truth to emerge. I still really enjoyed this game, I just am writing because I sympathize with the people that felt let down that the game's dark and creepy tone became all for nothing.… Expand
Aug 22, 2013Great story, like most people say, but it's too short and for about three hours play time at maximum (to say nothing of the lack of replay value), it's not worth $17.95 or whatever Steam wanted for it. For $5 like Dear Esther was, then yes, this game would rate a 9 or a 10. But yes, if you like stories of empowerment and self-discovery, this game is right up there.
Sep 3, 2013This IS a game and it's fantastic. Probably the best of 2013 about as good as "The Last of Us" in completely different ways (although both use environmental storytelling). We learn so much about these characters without necessarily interacting with them directly and the way it uses subversion is masterful. Easily worth $20.
Aug 21, 2013This was a great interactive story(ies), while the $20 might have been steep for some I think it was worth it. This was a well done and effective story. Does a great job of capturing the feeling of the mid 90s and making you care about characters you never interact with. Personally I have paid a lot more for games that gave back a lot less. If you have played the Walking Dead and didn't mind the limited game-like elements you'll probably enjoy this game. Be aware that you will probably be done putting together the stories in under 2 hours.
Also while some of the negative reviews have some legitimate criticism about the games length and limited replayability, ignore the "hurr durr I though there wus gunna be poltergeist or witches" reviews. At no point does this game ever give that impression, unless you are very young or very stupid.… Expand
Feb 7, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game i pure crap, sorry is only crap without a game. Nowadays web hype lets sell very well also the pure crap. The story is ridiculous, thunders and bolts and a raining night are there only to allude something is wrong. Yes everything is wrong this "game" or better this interactive romance is boring, and short. Where the **** is the good story? Knowing your sister is lesbian and go away with her gf the day you come back at home after years from Europe? Is this a good ****ing story? If you like to read old book covers, tickets and 3 pages max notes with boring stuff this is your game.
I hope people saying this is a good game are paid from the producer of this game otherwise they are totally dumb.… Expand
Aug 20, 2013Gone Home is a fantastic story told through the medium of a video game. Be forewarned, the primary focus of Gone Home is the story. There are no real game elements other than exploration, reading, and listening as the story unfolds. If you're looking for a challenge or looking to engage your logic or reflexes, look elsewhere. Gone Home is a unique storytelling experience that really draws you in. Atmospheric sounds, great 90's references, and excellent voice-work accompany you on your journey through the house to discover why the home you've come home to is vacant. I only have one real criticism (be warned, my criticism does not reveal any plot points, but it does regard the general mood at the end of Gone Home). The story is fantastic, but I couldn't help feeling like the ending was too cathartic for all parties involved.… Expand
Aug 20, 2013I appreciate compelling story and innovation that this game has. Also I appreciate the fact that they didn't filled this game with non sense puzzles.But it's hard to ignore game downsides like the amount of text you'll need to read and a fact that this is barely a game.
Aug 23, 2013This game could have easily scored a perfect 10/10. The atmosphere is great, the sounds, graphics and overall has a spooky feeling to it. The story was nice and the voice acting was good.
The game doesn't have much content though. It just lasted an hour for me, and I'm quite sure a speed run would only take a few minutes Like I said, the content is pretty tight. There were times I got startled even for the most littlest of things. And most of the stuff you find around in this game are useless and is just to kill time. But for the price, this game ain't worth it. A game that just lasts for half an hour or more, shouldn't be priced this high. I'm going with a 7/10 for Going Home.… Expand
Aug 23, 2013Gone Home should be in Barnes&Noble not GameStop. It is interactive fiction and a very short story at that. To sum it up, this "game" doesn't feel like a GAME. This feels more like a drawn out intro to an actual game. After it is done, you might find yourself saying "Is that it? WTF was that? I paid $XX for that? I could have went on Re/max Realty and read a short book while taking a virtual tour of a house.". In other words, like many other of us non-paid gamers have said, either believe the "pro-getting-paid" critics hype or save your money, pick up a short story novel and use your imagination for a graphics processor.… Expand
Aug 25, 2013For me I thought it was Okay.
Not great, but also not the abomination people are trying to make it out to be.
Other than the main journal story which came across as underdeveloped, clichÃ©, and uninspired, I actually found the house engrossing to search and read through and explore.
I thought it was pretty atmospheric, additionally, I actually liked the supplemental material about the father, and mother and was more invested in the notes left behind about the father, his failing career as a writer and possible hints at a past affair with another woman.
It's a shame the whole thing got bogged down in a side story about her sister, that may have been interesting as a side story, but not the main story.
I also didn't see the point of setting the game in the middle of a severe storm, it didn't add tension and was a major missed opportunity for dramatic tension.
As a game it could have worked if the house was more complex and the focus being changed in the story.
If game developers and gamer really wish to elevate the medium to the level of art it takes a level of seriousness in the story. This has been done maybe one or two times in the history of the medium. but this is not one of those occasions. For any game like this that wishes to be taken in as an experience and wants to tell a story, these should all be viewed under a light similar to a movie. And in that regard, this was a very bad made for TV movie. It's great that devs are trying to push the medium in new directions, but these devs clearly need to take some of those creative writing classes that were being advertised to the main characters sister.
As for gamers, and I think this is true in this case on Metacritic, really need to stop loving something just for the sake that it's doing something different. Different good, and this is true in the case of Gone Home
Better writing would have definitely saved this game, but as it stands it's just a sub-standard video game plot trying to pass it self as some Higher Art.
Side plot very interesting
Interesting house to play around in
Simplistic Main Plot
Lack of Complex Puzzles… Expand
Dec 9, 2013This was a game experience that was unlike anything I've ever had. It has a very human story that haunted me afterwards. I couldn't stop thinking about the game when I'd finished it. This game is a work of art.
I recommend you read as little as possible about this game before playing it. It's very easy to read something that would spoil the experience of the game.
After playing it, though, I recommend reading some of the analyses of the game that various bloggers have posted. This game has an emotional depth that's just unheard of, and it's difficult to understand the whole thing on one play-through. So, save your reading about the game until after you've played it.… Expand
Sep 20, 2013I am a pretty picky person when it comes to media. If I have a favorite, its really something amazing, and this game is one of those pieces of media. The story is a great one which will make you feel something if you take your time with it and discover what the house has in store for you. The price may seem steep for a two hour game, but it is totally worth the price and I would even pay more now that I have played it. You will not die, this is not a hard to challenging game, but it is a meaningful game. And it sucks that so many do not see that games do not have to be about action and killing people, they can be stories that you can participate in. Im glad the designer is not offended by the low user scores because he knows that what he made was what he wanted, and fans have told him the impact it had on them.… Expand
Oct 8, 2013I tried. I genuinely tried to find meaning in this game but it just isn't there. A girl at home with a dot on her forehead...or her eyes? bad graphics, they should have at least shown her body. In a gaming world where everyone is trying something new it isn't unheard of to make a game like this. but the graphics and the boring aura of the game made it BAD
Oct 7, 2013While this game excels in storytelling and is in general a very interesting experience it lacks any real gameplay, it's more an interactive story with a little exploration and puzzle solving.
I must give it a low score due to the price point being so high for few hours of slow entertainment with absolutely no replayability.
I would pay no more than 5 bucks for this game.
Oct 10, 2013I am very disappointed with the critics on this one. Gone Home was misrepresented every step of the way. All of the advertizing implied this was a horror game. It's not. You will find yourself liking this game at the start but that's about it. The story is well done and well executed "until the end" but nothing we haven't seen before "in movies not video games anyway". Anyone who has played this game knows full well its fatal flaws and I don't want to spoil anything about the story. Critic have given this game overwhelmingly positive reviews and that's just scary. The New York Times "people who probably have never played a video game" called this the greatest love story in a video game...SIGH. All I will say is that if this game was made in the mid 90s "when this game was set" the love story would have been edgy but this is 2013! Just setting the game in the 90s doesn't make you "edgy" or "progressive" just boring yes BORING the main problem with this game is just how dull it is. Please don"t wast $20 on this 4 hour long movie with no payoff at the end.… Expand
Oct 20, 2013Every now and again, a game is released that stands out above the rest. What makes these games so special is that they each bring something new, exciting and different to the player. Gone Home is one of these games. The game itself requires little skill, It requires no fast paced trigger action nor does it involve any jumping/ducking your way through enemy territory or vast foreign lands. It is merely an exploration/story telling game set in a single (yet somewhat huge) house. I personally admit that the plot so far sounds painfully boring and unworthy of a single review. It's also worth noting that the screenshots of the game and the actual game play footage reminded me of some old, slow and overly frustrating point and click game. But this led me to question "Why would a game that looks so dull, slow and old gain so much attention and admiration", and so I played it. After a good 3.5 hours of 'Playing' the game (I use the term 'playing' lightly), I was completely fulfilled with one of the greatest stories I've ever witnessed within a game. The fact that you (Katie Greenbriar) get to unravel the story at your own pace and do it your own way is proof that a gripping, emotional and heartfelt story can be told through a video game. In a book or video however, you're told the story, and the experience is usually linear and controlled, but in Gone Home, you are part of the story, you make your own discoveries and decisions and piece them all together. It is solid proof yet again that a game does not need to exceed 10gb+ of HDD space or require the latest hardware for it to be considered worthy of today's gaming. This game proves that human emotion, empathy and a great storyline can make any game spectacular. This game is definitely not for everyone, especially the trigger hungry, button mashing and adrenaline filled individuals out there (Hence the mixed reviews). But if you admire a deep narrative, involving intensely detailed and interesting characters, enjoy exploring every nook and cranny, and can understand and empathise with a characters emotional/personal troubles and triumphs, then this game is sure to be a treasure. Please take your time with this game and be sure to soak it all in, it is a one of a kind.… Expand
Oct 23, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. DO NOT BOTHER SPENDING YOUR MONEY. This game may seem interesting and for the first five minutes it is.
But then the realisation descends that it is some humdrum love story about a lesbian and her girlfriend. There is NO mystery, nothing going on whatsoever. Even a subplot about the house's past owner that is far more interesting is not developed.… Expand
Oct 24, 2013This is a great game. It doesn't have the feel of any game I've played since 11th Hour, though less about solving puzzles and more about exploring a family's problems and relationships.
I beat it in about 2.5 hours, and I wouldn't say it has much replay value, but it was going for 10bux, and I felt it was a phenomenal value.
Oct 24, 2013Gone Home has an excellent story, I dare say its one of the better love stories I've ever heard but that's the only thing this game has going for it. The game is very short and offers no replay value whatsoever. The mechanics are solid but limited in that you can pick things up, read them and then put them back down and that's it. It's definitely a good game but I wish I had only spent 3 dollars on it instead of 10.… Expand
Oct 25, 2013Definitely worth the time and effort the hype proved to be true and succinct; as I played Gone Home I was reminded of a familiar experience with Silent Hill Shattered Memories on the Wii, where the experience was more of a real-life sim but was nonetheless fully engaging.
I feel wrong saying "I love this GAME" when expressing the joy brought on from this experience, because it is indeed more of an interactive experience. This marks one in a select few that begin a new trend in hyper-reality, gameplay narrative games. Although there is nothing to shoot, no one to buddy-up with or blow up, there are keys to collect, doors to open and switches to activate and in a sense. The joy in "playing" Gone Home is in immersing oneself into an emotional, investigative and nostalgic journey through a girl's house finding out about her family members; what they were each going through around the time your character was on holiday. In searching through the rooms, you find more letters, diary entries, and other miscellanea which implies or explicates elements of the family members' character; the trials and quandaries which face(d) them.
In the end, you are emotionally engaged in the characters and their stories, and feel inclined to take another step further to see just what more this rainy night has in store for Kaitlin.
Gone home is a story about desires and dreams, about being true to the self and integral. It is about the past, nostalgic emotions, family ties, and above all love.… Expand
Oct 25, 2013OK...To review a game like Gone Home is like reviewing strange modern art. Where your principles of good and bad don't really apply. More specifically your principles of "enjoyment."
IS GONE HOME FUN? NO. Is it enjoyable? YES.
Gone Home I finished with a friend and we both cried man tears. I was amazed that a game that was everything I hated and yet impacted me so much. It was short, but concentrated. It was easy, but I didn't care. It told a story we all heard. But still kept you guessing till the very end. It has no replay value, but playing it once will touch you deeper than some movies and even a few books.
Video games were created to be just that, GAMES! However there is this debate going around about video games potential to become 'art.' And that is why there is this split between the critics and the user reviews. Critics are evaluating Gone Home as a piece of art. While, the games are trying to find the game in Gone Home, and that's the problem. Gone Home isn't a game, it is work of art.… Expand
Oct 25, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's not a game, it's an interactive-story. All you do is to rummage your family's belongings to discover what happened. In the game, everything suggest to hide an unexpected, dramatic and emotional secret. But it doesn't
Seriously, this game is a waste of time… Expand
Nov 4, 2013I really liked this because it is so different from the usual shoot-em-ups which seem to be prevalent. I wonder if game-makers think there is no audience for anything else?
The game has an absorbing storyline and the information found during the game creates characters with depth, which is also not apparent in most games.
I took a little over five hours to complete this, taking my time. That does seem short for the price, which is the reason I gave it a score of 9 instead of 10. I would love to see more games like this. I'd also like more games with puzzles and mysteries to solve.… Expand
Dec 26, 2013Gone Home is a disappointing experience. While the throwbacks to the 90s are nice, and the house itself is nice to look round, the game's core is its story, and it's here where it fails to impress. Without revealing too much, the story is very pedestrian, and you'll find yourself becoming quite bored; you'll either stop playing about two thirds in or just get it over with as quickly as possible. Not to mention the whole thing takes a few hours to get through and has no replay value whatsoever.
For a game that has nothing else going for it other than its plot, this is a fatal flaw. There's nothing to really recommend here. Avoid.… Expand
Nov 8, 2013People seem to forget that in the ancient times of video games industry, games were just like books. They were telling a story and delivering something emotional to the players. Gone Home is a beautiful example of a video game book where the main role is the story itself and not any kind of action. If there's a question about games being art, Gone Home is a beautiful proof that even gaming industry can deliver realistic and emotional stories. This game reminds me the old times when I was playing to see and live through characters' story.… Expand
Nov 9, 2013Gone home is way overpriced and over-hyped.
I finished the full game in 2 hours. Decided to take it in as an experience. After all when you came in you knew that you will be wandering around a house, collecting mementos and learning about your family. No surprise here, right?
However what you didn't know is that most of its focus will be about your sister. You get to sort of find out what happened to your parents, but I swear, like 80% of all notes I found was about your sister. The thing is it's not even something secret that you find out. The very first thing that you find is essentially her admitting that she is gay. Guess what's in the other notes? "I am gay. I am gay. I love a girl, etc". Is it really a topic that needs this much awareness?
If you're making an exploration game deal in a variety of subjects, present a variety of lives with different problems, not all black and white either, because that's how life goes.
Also if you're a European you might not find this game as enjoyable, because it is mostly dealing in American problems.… Expand
Dec 30, 2013The gameplay consists of nothing more than picking up and reading items while a narrative tells a story a trite, clichéd story that's ending leaves the player flat with the all too familiar, "That's it?" reaction. It's worth a once-through if you get it for under $5 on a Steam sale, but nothing more. The "professional" critics are doing gamers a disservice on this one with their 9s and 10s and GOTY recommendations.… Expand
Dec 1, 2013Great atmosphere, great premise...but turned into wasted potential. The story builds you up over the very brief hour or so of gameplay and drops you with only some of the details of the side plot, which was quite honestly the plot that pulled me in, and a fairly lackluster ending to the main plot. The graphics are enough to get by, but really leave you wanting. I honestly thought this may have bee built on the half life 2 engine when first seeing it. This team worked on AAA productions before forming their studio. That they would allow themselves to make something of this quality was really a let down. All in all, the buildup is exciting, but the letdown of the lost side plot and $20 price tag left a horrific taste in my mouth.… Expand
Dec 5, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First, let me start this review off by focusing on the general pricing/length of this game. For 20 dollars (or $5 if you purchased it during a Steam sale), you are getting a video game experience that will last no longer than two hours. That's right. 2 hours. The actual interaction with the story last no more than 10 minutes. I could have gotten the same value from interesting stories from browsing forums on the internet.
There isn't much that makes this story unique [SPOILERS START HERE]. A girl gets adjusted to a new life after moving. She meets a fellow classmate. She falls in love with her. They are both lesbian. They date for a year. They run away from home. The end. There is nothing special here. I'm a HUGE reader. I've read visual novels, manga, and over 500 normal novels. This story is truly MEH. Books that are comparable with this game cost a lot less and will have you engaged for 6-8 hours.
But comparing a reading game to other reading forms of entertainment can wait. The most frustrating part about this game is the desperation clicking. I literally went through the mansion clicking everything 2-3 times. I didn't want to miss parts of the story because I got to the end game in 50 minutes. I wasn't even sure if the game was truly complete! I didn't want the money I spent to cheat me even more. The mechanics of the game are just clicking to get a scrap of any mediocre letter or note left by your family. It leaves you in disappointment because a fleshed out story wouldn't leave such a broken trail behind.
There are many experiences that would surpass this gaming experience. Watch an anime (FMA, Steins;Gate, Deathnote), read a book, or check out a visual novel like Clannad. These are all good uses of mediums to tell a great story. Walking through an empty house picking up torn up letters is not. Back to the drawing board guys.… Expand
Dec 15, 2013Gone Home is a game about careful exploration and discovery. The main character is Katie Greenbriar, who’s recently returned from a year abroad. She arrives to a new house filled with artifacts about her sister and parents who have disappeared and are not at the house. Katie’s goal is to determine where her family is and what happened in the last year.
The narrative of the game is through the eyes of Katie trying to figure out what happened to her sister after reading the note on the front door from her sister. Although, despite its initial setup, Gone Home actually tells several different stories. As you search through the dark and gloomy house, you uncover details not only about Sam's situation, but also about what has been going on with Katie's parents, and the home’s previous occupants, too. You'll get insight into the state of their marriage, obstacles in their careers and their interests solely from looking around. The many artifacts in the game allow the gamer to miss or ignore some details, which draws each gamer to their own conclusions. Therefore it is important to examine and read every object you can in the house.
The graphics of the game are ok. The house is well rendered and lit in a way for you to feel the house is eerie and creepy. Although I wish there was more details with some objects I did not find graphics to be an issue. The music in the game is fantastic. The sounds of thunder, the creaky floorboards and doors keep you on the edge of your seat. As well the cassette tapes featuring bands such as Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile give the real sense of the game's '90s Riot Grrrl setting. Lastly, the controls are simple, and it is easy to navigate with either mouse or trackpad and keyboard. The Fullbright Company made sure that the controls do not get in the way of the game and the unfolding of the story.
Playing Gone Home was a new experience that I really enjoyed. Gone Home felt as if I was “playing” a novel. I would recommend this game to someone who would like to try a different type of game, and who enjoys adventures and stories.… Expand
Dec 16, 2013Gone Home is a 1st person video game created by The Fullbright Company that is based around a young woman coming home to an empty house. She has to go through the house, looking at different artifacts to solve the mystery of her missing family.
I was impressed with how such a simple game kept me on my toes until the very end. I constantly found myself looking at irrelevant objects, believing it had something to do with the plot line. Being able to pick up everything possible, added a reality factor to the game, making the player feel like he/she is deciding what and what not to do. It felt like you were in the game. Yes, I know its an over used line to try and state a point, but it’s true. This game is very open. There weren’t a lot of hints so the player has to use their brains to get to the end of the game.
What added onto the story is that it is an effortless game to play. The controls are easy, the sounds around the house are pragmatic and most of all, the graphics are good enough to examine specific artifacts. Each of these elements plays a huge role in this game. Without simple controls, players will get frustrated and demotivate themselves to play. With this day in age, everything has the best graphics and sound, so in order for Gone Home to compete with Call of Duty or The Last of Us, they had to “get to their level.” Each room is completely different and custom to specific characters. For example, the teenager’s room looks like a teenagers room.
As the game progresses, the protagonist, Katie, begins to learn more and more about her younger sister, Sam. Through Sam’s journal entries, she is able to narrate her story. We are entered into Sam’s world through the eyes of the older sibling’s. Sam’s journal entries are what Katie follows to find out where Sam and her parents are.
In conclusion, I would give The Fulbright Company’s Gone Home a 9 out of 10. The game was perfect in every way. It was one of the most realistic games I've ever played. The one part I disagreed about was the way it ended. I don't want to spoil it, but I felt that it could've ended with an explosion instead of a lit candle.… Expand
Dec 17, 2013From the creators of the famous RPG game, BioShock comes Gone Home, an intriguing and suspenseful, first-person game played from the point of view of Katie Greenbriar. When Katie arrives home from Europe, she realizes that her entire family has deserted the house. As our heroine begins to search for clues about their disappearance, terrible secrets and an intricate plot line emerge to capture the player’s imagination.
Gone Home is a unique style of game, as it is exploration based, and the player merely roams around the house finding clues, unlike most games, which involve violence and conquering levels. The subtlety of the game is also a rare quality, since the plot is not obvious at first, although the plot later shows the complexity of characters, and their history, once scrutinized. Without giving too much away, the story involves unusual and complex relationships between characters. Although the graphics are not modern, their lack of sophistication reflects the 1995 setting effectively. In fact, the game has been praised for its realistic depiction of the 1990s and, indeed, items such as tube television sets, auto stereograms, and 90s board games frame the time period convincingly.
The realism, however, is at times bothersome because the game is too darkly lit. It is often overly time consuming for the player to wander around finding light switches, which feels like an odd use of the player’s time. Another negative aspect of this game is its length, as it only takes a few hours to complete from start to finish. Also, in terms of gameplay, the replay value is diminished since there is a static narrative, which limits the gaming experience.
Overall, Gone Home is an enjoyable for the person who likes story-based games rather than brutality. In other words, fans of GTA and Call of Duty may not appreciate the nuanced mood and activities, where Katie collects personal notes, family secrets, and discovers underground passageways and keys to the past. Readers may enjoy this game as most of the game’s strength lies in the layered narrative structure. As mentioned above, the game length is not comparable to popular games as the cost per hour of gameplay is significantly higher, although it may provide the same satisfaction for the more thoughtful player.… Expand
Dec 22, 2013Gone Home is an excellent game that proves that games don't need to just be about killing. The game has actual depth, emotion, and a unique narrative method. I can understand why many would be upset with this game. the game is roughly two hours long, so the full price is a bit much. Thankfully, Steam is known for its sales. It is best to wait until it is marked down. Otherwise, it is a very simple and engrossing game that I found myself completely absorbed in. Once I started it, I could not get up. I had to finish it. I had to find out what happened. I had to experience it. Many take this game as an actual game. Gone Home is more of an experience than a game. It is an experience in atmosphere, character development, and (most importantly) emotion. This is a game of patience that requires attention. If you feel that video games truly are a form of art, Gone Home should be near the top of your list.… Expand
Dec 23, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The year 1995 was a very special year in my life, one that I, as a teenager, remember quite fondly. Among my memories of that time, I spent several days at my uncle's large house during the final week of October. His house has always been a place that has stimulated my imagination due to its size, design, and atmosphere a house not unlike the one featured in "Gone Home". From the moment I first heard of the nostalgic setting and period for "Gone Home," I knew I just had to have it.
First, the positives. Although some have taken issue with the graphics, I actually thought they greatly contributed to the game's overall sense of isolation and eeriness. I almost believed I was back in my uncle's house. The game's sound effects are equally beneficial to setting the mood. Playing the game with headphones on, I found myself wondering "What was that?" when I thought I heard someone in another room. And the control, though very basic, is pretty much all you need for a game like this, though I would've liked a "run" feature to help me get around faster.
Now, the negatives. The game is incredibly short. Three hours, done. Once you beat the game, you could replay it, but probably only once. Really, I don't see any point to replaying it even one time. The game's storyline was also very disappointing. I went into this game spoiler-free, so I was really let down that what seemed to be a thriller-mystery quickly revealed itself as a sappy love story that I had zero interest in. At first, I was thinking that maybe Samantha and Lonnie, two outcasts in their school, were going to form a suicide pact and were already dead, but revelations from Sam's diary gradually reveal that the two are lesbians who want to run away together. It's obvious that the game's makers are making a social commentary on homosexual relationships, but it just seems really weird to have that subject matter in a setting that feels more like "Resident Evil" than an after-school special. I also had a major problem with the inclusion of an actual Ouija board in the game. Though you never actually use it, it's there, hidden behind a wall panel. For those who, like me, are very sensitive about such things, this factor alone prevents me from recommending the game to anyone.
For over twenty years, "Battletoads," for NES, was the most overrated game I ever played. Within a few short hours, a new dubious champion was crowned. I really, really wanted to like this game. But, due to its length, story, and mediocre gameplay, I cannot agree with the critics who are singing its praises. In a year full of great independent games, "Gone Home" is not even in the same league as "The Stanley Parable" or "Papers, Please," two games that are not only worthy of their acclaim, but are already modern classics in my eyes. Is this the worst game I've ever played? No, not even close. I wouldn't say it's a bad game, but it's not even good enough for me to call it "just good". It's average. That's all "Gone Home" is, a critically acclaimed, average game. Way to kill my 1995 nostalgia trip, Fullbright.… Expand
Dec 29, 2013Do not play this game expecting a gripping story or a complex plot. The gameplay is the only thing that this game had going for it, and the gameplay consisted of walking, reading, and moving small objects. The best parts was the ability to pick up most objects, and the navigation of the map. On the other hand, the downsides dominated this small list of good things. The plot was ok, but not exciting, really. There was nothing surprising and it was stereotypical of the time and setting. Some of the mysteries are unsolved, and there is not a satisfying closure. The game is extremely short, which actually does it justice because if you paused playing, you might think there is something exciting to be seen next time you play. That is not the case. I finished this game in just under 2 hours. I do not recommend it and I am glad it was no more than 10 dollars.… Expand
Jan 22, 2014An OK but not great story with an OK but not great game mechanic. Those two things combine for a game that is rather bland. It gets some points for dealing with subject matter that isn't usually covered in video games but that's not enough to make it a good game.
Feb 1, 2014I finished the game in 2.5 hours and was really disappointed. The storyline kept you interested the whole time, and the 90s memorabilia lying around the house was fun, but that was about it. Other than that it was simply entering rooms, switching on lights, and listening to emotional voiceovers that walked you through a story worthy of Dawson's Creek. Really too bad because with a better story the medium would have made for a simply AWESOME game. This way: meh.… Expand
Dec 28, 2013Gone Home falls too short in terms of length and depth. The main story is allright but far from original. The sidestories will give you a nice view on who you are and who you live with, but it's all very simplistic and without many storylayers to peel. I guess I expected more depth in this game, there could be so much more going on. Questions remain unanswered, persons remain outlined but not much filled in (especially you yourself, as Katie).
The exploring way of finding missing pieces of information has been done well and the voice acting is great. The house is big, there's a lot to see if you can stand the unnecessary messy state it's in. I liked rummaging through all that nostalgic 80's90's accessories and listening to the appropriately cringeworthy chickrock cassettes. And the main music is very nice as well come to think of it. There are many details in terms of design and stuff to be find, even though most of it is not of much practical use.
All the pros and cons outweighing I would not recommend this game, unless you can get it very cheap. You might get disappointed if you're expecting as much as there has been said about it.… Expand
Aug 27, 2013Not a single shot is fired, not a single blood is spilled and it over in 2 hours. Yet...in just 2 hours the game tells far more story and creates much more compelling characters than most videogames in their 20 hour run.
Gone Home was amazing experience.
It illustrates how far we have come in the videogames industry. Once it was all about scoring the most points or reaching the finish line; now it is about experiencing the lives of individuals and see the world through their lens. The game shows the might of interactive story telling where other entertainment media falls short in delivering.… Expand
Sep 8, 2013A fantastic narrative with great exploration and detail in every corner. A great indie title any exploration fan needs to play. Great graphics, atmospheric setting to the point of being unnerving exploring the house alone. Accompanied with the great voice acting make this game a winner.
Dec 1, 2013What a mystery! I don't mean the story, I mean why some reviewers have given this game a high score.
It's too basic, lacking action, not scary at all, very short, and the story will likely only strike a chord with teenage girls going through sexual identity issues. Perhaps this is the reason why some reviewers have been kind, because it gives you a kind of "creepy house game" with some "notes on young lesbian lovers". It's a strange mix, seemingly forced together, but is awkward as a result.
There's some enjoyment to be had with exploring, but soon it becomes apparent that there's nothing much happening with this "game" and that it's basically just a boring story told via a simple "pick up this key"... "walk upstairs"...."open door"... the end.
Anyone who describes this game as "art", either doesn't get out enough, or doesn't know what games are capable of, or has an agenda to push this game for whatever reason. This game could have been a lot more. It feels like level one. Now, where's the rest?… Expand
Oct 30, 2013Well, the negative scores seem to be inching ahead of the positive ones, so I feel like I need to support the greens and redress the balance!
Regardless of what others may say on here, Gone Home IS a game, and a beautiful one at that. Similar criticism was leveled at Dear Esther regarding its definition as a 'game', where it was certainly more applicable, but if you define a game as having to perform some kind of skilled actions to gain rewards, then Gone Home is certainly a game.
You use your skills to find the clues around the house and piece together the events leading up to your arrival, and the reward is a skillfully told story that will either bounce right off you, or break your heart, depending on who you are. You can be any age or gender to enjoy the story, but if you only play games for action or excitement, then this game is not for you.
It beggars belief that there are people who bought this game without doing at least a little bit of research first. Do people really just buy games without reading their description? Baffling.
Is it worth £14.99? Will I ever play it again? I'm not sure I can answer either of those questions, but I certainly didn't feel short changed, and it was an experience I'll always treasure (besides, I bought in it the Steam sale!).
Developers who harp on about how important stories are in games should play Gone Home to experience how good stories can be told and that they don't required feature film levels of action, special effects and dialogue to achieve it. You just need talent, and that's what the Fulbright team have in spades.… Expand
Nov 6, 2013Gone Home is an adventure game where you play as someone coming home to a new house after spending time in Europe, only to find that nobody's home to greet you. The dark house with creaky floorboards and faulty electrical wiring makes it pretty spooky, and sets a dark tone that makes you wonder: was everyone just busy that night, or is there something happening in the shadows? As you explore the house, checking out objects and reading letters, you start to catch up on what happened in the year the protagonist missed, leading up to the secret behind the empty house.
Maybe I'm overselling it. I certainly enjoyed exploring the house and piecing together the puzzle, but this is definitely an artsy sort of game, and it's definitely not for everyone. The game is slow, and you do little besides explore and read. But, the story is itriguing and the house is pretty realistic, so if you do enjoy exploring and reading, you may really enjoy this game.
The controls are done well. There's generally no music, though you can listen to a few casettes you find along the way. The sound is pretty creepy between the thunderstorm and the house's noises. The entire experience is really short; I finished it in 2.5 hours.
For such a short game, I don't think I could recommned it at all for $20, but this would be a great game to pick up on a Steam sale. I enjoyed it, and fans of exploration-based games will enjoy it, but Gone Home won't be worth it to you if you are impatient or have a short attention span.… Expand
Dec 29, 2013Is there one true definition of a video game? For me, it's an entertainment piece whose medium of experiencing it is through player interaction, as opposed to experiencing a piece by listening, or reading, or viewing. Can we not go any further than that? Can we not exclude and isolate perfectly serviceable games simply because they don't fit a bracket? That way, we miss out on a lot of great games that otherwise wouldn't exist.
In that regard, Gone Home is actually more of a game than GTA5 or The Last of Us or COD: Ghosts. It doesn't have cinematic cutscenes which feel more like a movie than a game, it doesn't have high-end motion capture with professional actors. It doesn't have elaborate set pieces with Frostbite 3 engine. It tells its story through playing; through the basic tenant of video games: interactivity. You experience the story, not by cutscenes, but by playing it. Just because it doesn't have combat or violence doesn't mean it's not a game. In fact, it's even more of a game than most triple-A games we play today; it utilises the potential of the medium. It shows what we can do with minimalistic gameplay meaning a lot. It's up to the player to decide how deep they want to dive in to Gone Home.
With all that said, it's capable of delivering a story so powerful and unique that you can't help but be impressed with its sheer bravery. It shows what we can do with gaming, and it shows the power of gaming over other media, like film or literature. Therefore, Gone Home is as true a game as you can hope for.… Expand
Aug 26, 2013Gone Home tells the stories of a troubled family by slowly feeding you little tidbits of information that are found throughout the house. You, the older sister who has just come home from a European adventure, are surprised to find no one home upon your arrival and you search for clues around the house as you attempt to find out more about your family's whereabouts. That pretty much sums up the game play there are some locked doors to get through but there isn't any real puzzle solving to speak of. The game is purely based on exploration and any hindrance that you encounter can be overcome simply by looking around more. But that's not the point of this title. The point here is to tell an endearing and emotional tale about a troubled family that often leads you down strange and unexpected paths. The game does an excellent job of building a creepy atmosphere but then ultimately delivers in a way that is totally unexpected but somehow still satisfying.
I really did enjoy this experience but I wouldn't recommend it to every gamer. This game isn't so much a game as it is an experience. With the short length and $19.99 launch price tag, it's a little bit difficult to defend the value of this game if you don't end up enjoying the story. That's the tricky part here, it's a very polarizing experience. Some people will love it and some people will be left wanting more. If you are more interested in gameplay than storytelling then this title probably isn't for you.… Expand
Oct 2, 2013I bought this game because the very good reviews all around the Internet, I was so hyped as I love this kind of games which are very story (and narrative driven). I got the game, and it is by far one of the worst games I've ever played. It does not worth my time and money.
Let's start with the good first. I loved the first 30 minutes of the game. It was very thrilling and well narrative. Reading documents and trying to analyze the mystery was fun at first. But here is the real problem, the game is just too short. When I say too short I mean really really short. It took me about two hours to go through everything on the game to finish it. Which is why this game does not worth the price tag 20$, not even half of the price. My second problem with the game is the story. I said I loved the atmosphere and the narrative, but when it comes to the story, I did not like it at all. I do not want to spoil anything, but the story simply bad.
At the end, I regret every second playing the game. I really thought I might have fun with it. I was so looking forward to spend a good night with the game, but it turns out the game does not worth my time … Expand
Nov 9, 2013I'm so happy I bought this at a steam sale with 50 percent off because this was quite frankly, very boring. A video game should always focus on what sets video games apart from other mediums, which is solid gameplay. This is the strong foundation of a good game, so it doesn't matter how good the story is or how many spot on 90's references there are if the game is not engrossing to play. It is NOT engrossing to go around and read notes for two hours.… Expand
Aug 30, 2013It was short, expensive but definitely more worth it than a movie ticket these days. I love the voice acting, the atmospheric tone of the whole house. Being 39, this was an awesome journey in the mind of teen that I once was. It reminded me of a lot of old memories. I've been a gamer for 30 years and I've shot way too many zombies, bad guys and collected way too many chests, spells, ammos and this movie really appealed to me as an older gamer. I am hopeful that there's going to be a lot more games like this (and better) for the aging gamer group.… Expand
Oct 23, 2013Gone Home is a difficult experience to describe, especially when it comes to recommending it to someone else. It's an interactive short story, and I do mean short. The script for the written notes and spoken dialog probably wouldn't amount to more than 10 pages. The characters are very broadly sketched with only the smallest hints of depth and complexity. The focus of the narrative is a really pretty mundane love story which presents little in the way of surprise.
What Gone Home does well though is provide a powerful injection of 100% pure, high grade nostalgia directly into the bloodstream. Nostalgia both for childhood and adolescence in general and the 1990s in particular. A story for the ages this is not. A story for people who were teenagers in 1995? Yes. Maybe.
The writing is good and the voice actor who played Sam did an excellent job. That, coupled with the introspective and tender mood, is enough to carry you through at least one playthrough (80 minutes for me). That said, there's certainly no reason to play again. In fact, when you start looking back over the experience you begin to resent the numerous red herrings whose sole purpose seemed to be to obscure the real focus of the story for as long as possible.
In the end I found Gone Home to be atmospheric and touching in a simplistic way, but also fundamentally shallow. The asking price of $19.99 on Steam is way, way too high. I'd recommend purchasing only when a big sale comes along, and then only if you're a fan of this genre of entertainment.… Expand
Oct 5, 2013Gone Home is primarily an exploration/discover game that features more interactivity than Dear Esther, and is shorter than To The Moon. Most of the puzzles relate to following the content to make sure locked areas of the map can be opened. The game is narrated through audio and visual clues, and pays a great deal of attention to small details which must be examined to understand the full story. I can guess that many negative reviews are due to players expecting something more of a "game" you must be advised that this is more of a story but a very well executed one.… Expand
Oct 30, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Well, Gone Home isn't the usual game you'd expect. It's mainly about exploration and even that part is fairly limited. The further you explore the house you will unfold the events that led to the "abandoned" house. But it still manages to give you a good ending where you rethink your playing experience and how the game was able to play with our expectations. I liked that and that's why it stayed in my mind. It also manages to deliver a strong statement because despite the media tolerance for gays and lesbians it is still a huge problem in a lot of families when your offspring isn't developing the way you expect them to be.… Expand
Sep 3, 2013First of all, this is a "reactive" review, and i'll explain what I mean shortly. After seeing so high praise for this game, I decided it was time to play it myself. Is 1 out of 10 justified..? No but giving this a 10 out of 10 is just as bad.
This game is very interesting and I think a lot of people hating it, are not admitting they actually liked playing it, because arguably this is a very enjoyable game if you like story-focused games. The problem however, is that when everything in Gone Home is said and done, you'll leave house of the Greenbriar family with a feeling of emptiness. It offers what ends up being a very cut and dry, completely ordinary and nowhere near thought-provoking story.
If someone spoiled the story for you, you've already heard what there is to experience in this game. It offers nothing more and for a 1-3 hour game I don't think the price-point it launched with was justified.
Don't let this game fool you. It's not deeper than it seems. There is nothing to learn from this game aside from observing the way it tells its story. That's the true meal of Gone Home. It has a lot of great ideas to tell its story, because it uses red herrings as a means to distract the player from the main story and in the middle of the game the player might be unsure of whether it's actually a tragic tale or just an ordinary day for the protagonist.
I think all the 2s out of 10s this game is getting by the user base is a reaction on all the praise it gets from the bigger video-game reviewers. There's nothing particularly special about the story in this game, and in the end it feels like you've been cheated.
I'm letting Fullbright off the hook with my review. It was interesting to play Gone Home, and I enjoyed it a lot. But when I finally pieced everything together I realised I might actually have been wasting my time. This is a definitive "hipster-game"… Expand
Aug 23, 2013As someone who honestly enjoys a good playable story, this hits relatively high. The gameplay is smooth, the sound is smooth, everything regarding the game is smooth. Unfortunately, the game is quite short and on top of that, the story is a bit lacking at points.
Aug 24, 2013The best way to describe this is as a virtual easter egg hunt. Instead of easter eggs you find story fragments, you assemble them together in your head to paint a picture, like putting together pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Sure, you don't need every jigsaw puzzle piece in order to understand what the big picture is but some are more vital than others.
What will determine how much you like this game is how much you like the stories. Two of the stories are delivered very well. You have to put the pieces together on your own which makes them very intriguing. The other story is the one the game dedicates itself to most. It is pretty heavy handed and is the most poorly delivered and the least interesting. This is where the game failed with me. If you are annoyed by teenage infatuation then this isn't for you. If you love the 90s and lifetime dramas then you'll be all over this.
6/10 for an interesting idea that could have communicated an interesting story but failed… Expand
Aug 30, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. As a game, or explorable, interactive environment if the word "game" doesn't quite fit, Gone Home seems to work hard to tell a story, use a voice, that is not commonly, if ever, heard in games. There are laudable intentions and good ideas here, but, for all the critical praise it has been given, even if you enjoy or appreciate some or all elements, it's not something that is without flaw or fault. No creative endeavour ever is.
So, under the hyperbole, what is Gone Home? It's an interesting and valid way to tell the story of a white teenager, Sam Greenbriar, in her own voice, expressing her experiences and sexual identity. The player as her older sister, Katie, gets to discover not just what has been happening in Sam's life during twelve months away in Europe, but also what has been happening in the lives of Terry and Jan, their parents.
It's a great premise; if you have the opportunity to find out about the details and secrets of the people closest to you, do you actually want to know what you discover about them? This is where Gone Home is at its strongest. It treats most of the characters as complex, realistic people and regardless of whether you like or empathise with them personally, you get to know them through the material aspects that surround them.
Unfortunately, it can also highlight the weakness of narrative technique. Sam's story and personality dominates with the voice over work (although the English-speaking voice actress is good) to the point that it leaves the other characters feeling a bit flatter and lacking in dimension by comparison. Although it is definitely Sam's story it doesn't have to be told to the detriment of an ensemble cast.
There's also story pacing problems and this is where the technical limitations, like re-use of assets, can become noticeable. It's an understandable problem, but when you're beginning to notice that there seem to be a lot of the same pizza boxes, piles of scrap paper and envelopes or that Jan seems to really, really love the same three types of house plant, it's rather like when your attention is on the over-acting extras in the background of a film than the scene that is happening with the actors in the foreground. The scene becomes broken.
One of my biggest issues with the game is the misdirection of the 'haunted house' themes that play out. There's a couple of jump scares and a consistently heightened atmosphere for the player, but if you're a fan of supernatural horror it's probably going to be a disappointment at the lack of pay-off you receive and that the game also consistently points out that the supernatural elements all have completely logical and in-game context reasons for happening.
If you're not a fan and don't buy into the sometimes creaky deployment (e.g the looping lightning storm that stays at the same exact intensity no matter how long you take to reach the end of the game or where you are in the house) then it can seem an unnecessary use of tropes. It doesn't add anything in particular to the story that couldn't have been included by different means. The worst part of its use has to be with how it factors into Terry Greenbriar's backstory.
This is the literal 'dark secret in the basement' which the player has to mentally piece together with evidence found elsewhere in the house. It's a piece of stereotypical genre writing that portrays something that absolutely doesn't need a re-telling for the nth time in this way, either through the imagery used or the basic awfulness of who it is that has the greater role in revealing it to the player. The Fullbright Company, in this case, you can do better, much better.
Overall, it's a take on the exploration and discovery experience that is very much needed and has some good ideas and execution, if bound by technical limitations. If it's going to come down to the handing out of laurels; I'd say this is a company to watch from this point on rather than piling fulsome praise on what is a first full game that has its own particular growing pains.… Expand
Nov 30, 2013I DON’T RECOMMEND THIS GAME AT FULL PRICE
BUY ONLY AT 75% OFF.
Gone home is a first person exploration game. Well maybe it’s not a game but more of an experience. There are no puzzles, no challenge and nothing to put your game skills to test here. This “game” is all about exploring a house, looking at items and basically learning more about the people who live in the house and their background. Without spoiling the story because this is the meat” of the game I will have to say that it tries to create an emotional connection with the user but the problem here is that THIS connection is hard to be established on all people who play the game and it depends on their own norms/values. That is also the reason that some people like the game and others dont. Furthermore this game is full of Easter eggs. If you were born in the 80’s just like me you will find a lot of references here. Some items will bring back memories from your childhood. The “game” is all about creating nostalgia but nonetheless it covers a very sensitive topic.
Personally the story for ME was not very touching and to tell the truth I enjoyed exploring the house and finding those 80’s and early 90’s easter eggs more. The main story was average and predictable to say the least.
Pros: beautiful environment that looks and feels like a real house, lots of Easter eggs, 80’s nostalgia is everywhere, good voice work, the soundtrack is excellent and the music fits with the tone of the game
Cons: main story it’s predictable and boring, there is no real gameplay here, no replayability, the game is only 2 hours long and it’s also very expensive for its duration.
FINAL SCORE: 6.5/10… Expand
Sep 22, 2013This "game" is hard to rate. Because although it fits the definition of a game, it isnt really. Its more of an interactive book played out through a house. Its only 2 hours but its meant to immerse you and learn the family only through look around the house. The problem is, it doesnt even do that very well. I like the story and the ending but it presence itself in a weird way. It reads you journal entries from absolutely nowhere, serious where did it come from? There a notes scattered which are pretty interesting but there just isnt enough of them and they are so easy to find. Not to mention they are place in very stupid locations. Such as Sam's private diary being in Kat's room on a bedside table. The story about the haunted house is totally underdeveloped and leads to nothing.
The house is very interesting and well designed for most of the time. I actually really enjoyed myself and the ending warmed my heart, but it was afterwards I realised the faults. Its fun just unfinished and underdone. Add more notes and make it longer and this would be with the absolutely ridiculous price. This game should not have been worth more than $5.… Expand
Sep 9, 2013It's just not my adventure. The love story was nice, and it looked fairly good, but it's lacking substance for the price. This should be a $10.00 USD game for the two hours it took to complete it. I liked it, yet it needs another year of making it into a full game.
Oct 28, 2013I picked up Gone Home cheap after seeing rave reviews of the game and despite such a respectable price; it is apparent that such write-ups are inflated. The game is incredibly bland despite an intriguing and engrossing story. The atmosphere is tense and the setting superb but the overlay gameplay is extremely linear and most exploration is meaningless or pointless. The lack of depth really shows as you steadily progress to the finish in just a couple of hours. The latter part of the game feels extremely rushed as the intrigue declines and the narrative speeds up to a mediocre conclusion.
It's a real shame as the potential here could've lead to a very broad and gripping story but many gamers will be disappointed that the final product is lacklustre at best. It's still a cheap indie game at best but I think the critics have been extremely generous in their scoring as Gone Home lacks in so many areas which could've been developed more in-depth to give a longer and more absorbing game. It's worth a fiver for a rainy weekend but don't expect too much in longevity or drama. A wasted opportunity of what was a promising concept.… Expand
Oct 26, 2013This story-telling game has an interesting story, and the theme is rarely seen in video-games. The tone, atmosphere and style are good and bring a new approach to this genre.
But for 20 dollars, I expected to play more than 2 hours, and the technical realization was not satisfactory (mostly because of lags). On top of that, the game system becomes repetitive at the end of the two hours of playing. The right price would be around 5 dollars.
Last thing, even if the subject of this game is interesting and challenging, it could have been developed more, and could have avoided some clichés. I hope that this game will encourage such "serious" subjects to be developed.… Expand
Feb 14, 2014"What is so great about it? Why'd you give it a 10, AVODESKORM."
Believe me, I wasn't approaching this with an open mind. With websites such as Destructoid praising this game. I wasn't impressed with all the good words people had to say about it. Hell even on a article previewing the game I commented that this game looks like absolute crap, if what I'm doing is just looking around at least give me graphics that impress the hell out of me.
How different do I feel now! This is a great-ass game, and I stand by it as one of the greatest games to come out in recent years. Spouting expostition is one thing that many games have too much up their asses. This game is going mostly show don't tell.
Remember when you were a child and you didn't know what was lurking around the next dark corner. I do. And this game brought back that feeling. And when all everything is lit and every door is wide open. You are no longer confused. I found myself intrigued all the way through and I think I might revisit this little adventure at a later date.
Probably the one of the best things to come out of gaming for years. All that is out today is EARLY ACCESS TRASH and your GTA'S. So when you have your decision to spend your money on the next DLC that's coming out. Skip it and Buy Gone Home. (Your games are probably all trash compared to this game anyways.)… Expand
Nov 1, 2013The game is well done from the voice acting to the graphics. It is very original and is able to keep you hooked until the very end. However, is it a very short game. I had 1.6 hours of game play. Personally I feel this is over priced for a game that is this short. I would give this game a better score if it was longer or cheaper.
I cannot say I was mislead when purchasing this game, because they did not really give any direction. However, it was not what I expected. Without giving away spoilers, they cannot do a better job describing this game.… Expand
Dec 28, 2013It pushes the boundaries of how stories can be told within video games and is totally immersive. Play it in the dark with headphones. You really do become the player character and become wholly emotionally invested in the stories being told within the house, both the main story and the stories you have to piece together yourself from clues around the house.
Nov 10, 2013Pretend yourself in a situation where you are left to be alone at your friend's house and they gave permission to "Do whatever you want, anything at all" and you thought of exploring the house. While you are at it, will you get disturbances like in horror movies? Find a secret passageway that leads you to new chain of adventures and secrets? Discover the mysteries of the family of your friends that can be life changing to yourself?
None whatsoever. and that is exactly what Gone Home is. a realistic own home exploration game that only focus on telling you family stories on top of putting nostalgic items from the 90 's for display.
For myself, the main story are not as interesting. In fact, it gets predictable the further you go so there's not much surprises. Game-wise, it's very casual which could easily bore you. If you care about the game play, and storyline means nothing much to you, I won't suggest this game.
I like the game as it is, but I'm not sure I enjoy it enough.… Expand
Nov 27, 2013I am not against games as an art form or turning the world into the narrative, for example I was a fan of Dear Esther but this game just isn't really worth it. It accomplishes what it set out to do but it's ambitions aren't all that high. It's difficult to criticize it for what it is and what it meant to be. To put it very simply, it is Dear Esther in an enclosed game world and essentially without any of the mystery or intrigue. I just didn't find the story to be that remarkable and the ending of the game just left me asking "So...?" The game seems like it's trying to imply that you will eventually find something really interesting or shocking or something but it just doesn't happen. But again, it is difficult to criticize it when it seems to clearly have achieved what it set out to do. But really, it's not that remarkable at all. I'd say save your money.… Expand
Dec 8, 2013Gone home has a very short story but it doesn't mean that the it isn't good, in the game you just have to go through the story without trouble there isn't guns or something like that, Gone Home is boring sometimes it hasn't amazing graphics, just some persons will like this game, but if story is just what you are looking for in a game you will enjoy it.
Mar 2, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Oh splendid, I pay 20 dollars to play an one hour gameplay time, with the easiest puzzles ever and with a terrible story. Ok, it's an indie game, I give lots of support for indie developers, but really, 20 dollars. The gameplay, it's boring and have nothing out of the ordinary, it's just you all the time collecting papers that reveal the story, and worst, there is no obstacle, nothing that prevent you from achieving to the end of the game. And the ending is just stupid, you play it all just to know that your sister is a lesbian, wow.… Expand
Dec 2, 2013I liked this game for the most part. It makes you piece together the story yourself, through searching your house and discovering clues as to where your sister and parents have gone. It's a form of storytelling that I think should be in more games. I thought the story was superb... until I got to the end. I left my ninety minute experience angry and disappointed, because this game tricks you into believing something interesting is going on... But it's not... seriously at the end it was a huge let down, and the game tricks you like this on purpose. It's also too expensive, don't pay more than a couple of dollars for this game it's way too short.… Expand
Dec 5, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I've been looking for a game to play in-between my regular Sims/Skyrim sessions, and this looked like a decent one. I'm a 90's kid (born late 80's actually) and a sucker for "exploration/mystery" type games, plus the 50% Cyber Monday sale didn't hurt either. I played for 2 or so hours first day, and finally got the chance to get back in on Thursday, only to realize I was literally 10 minutes away from completing the whole thing. What a bummer! Seriously, if this game cost 2£ then great. But it was a whopping 8£ with a 50% sale. I have never paid that much for any game that is completable in under 3 hours.. The story was ridiculously predictable as well, I could already predict what was going to the main narrator and her secret friend 20 minutes into playing. I also don't know if it's just me and my machine, but in most rooms I'd get annoying neon-coloured glitchy flashing patches on objects and walls. 4/10… Expand
Dec 12, 2013I agree with most of the people on here that say Gone Home is conceptually brilliant and essential, and I also agree with those that think the story is somewhat bland. I appreciate the unique perspective, and the game really drips with nostalgia for the 1990's Portland underground. It really does feel like it really understands time and place. However, there's actually little story, it's more of a short interactive fiction work.
It's also too expensive. If I had paid $20 for this like some on here, I'd be furious with the length and lack of interaction. At $10 it's still a bit pricey. I'm not sure if the high cost is due to a custom engine, but if that's the case, they should have likely got something off the shelf and made the game cheaper. Unless you can get this for $10 or less, I unfortunately cannot recommend it despite the fact that it's something everyone should play once.… Expand
Dec 16, 2013It’s refreshing to play a game like Gone Home, where the entire game is non-violent yet still intriguing, and draws attention from all types of gamers. The game plays like a movie that only focuses on character development, and the relationships between many of the characters. Being that I am not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination, the game still appealed to me because it really is different from many other games I have played in the past. This game appeals to a whole new gaming audience as well as the general gaming public.
Gone Home truly is an exploration game. It is different from the plethora of exploration games that have preceded it in the sense that it explores something that many people would consider not worth exploring. It’s the subtleness of everything in the house building up and slowly becoming apparent to you as a gamer that really makes this interesting. From the second the game starts you’re left wondering where you are, why you’re there, and where everyone else is. Once inside you have to do your best to piece together the mystery that is this house and your family. Each character in the game has their own completely unique storyline, and as a gamer you can follow certain storylines or all at once. It’s the different storylines that continuously become more and more interesting as you go on that keeps players wanting more.
There are many artifacts made by the game creators that help to reference and further establish a setting that I've never experienced before. The game is set in 1995. As you walk around the house you will find posters, video games, albums, and other historical references found in notes and letters. This too adds another dimension to the game. Whether it be the reference to a Pulp Fiction movie screening in a nearby theatre or the many references to the Riot Grrrl movement that was very prominent in that part of the U.S. at that time.
Overall, I would rate this game an 8 out of a possible 10. Having said that, it wouldn’t necessarily be a game I would play again and I think this is where the game experiences its major fault. It really is a one-time deal with this game, with only few players venturing on for a second go. I would recommend this game to many of my friends because it is very interesting.… Expand
Dec 22, 2013Story is not that bad and the (only) voice is good, but it's hard to even consider this as a "game". You do nothing else apart from picking up letters and books, and hear what happened. No puzzles, an empty house full of useless stuff that you can pick up for no reason. That's it. It lasts 1,5-2 hours max, so no-one should pay it more than $2-3.
The only reason this game is getting awarded is because of the "politically correct" theme of the story (that I won't spoil, but will be clear pretty soon), so the entire game it's just a slimy operation to gain easy consensus, thing proven by the fact that developers themselves tend to delete any thread on the Steam forum and ban users that dares to move even the slightiest complaint about their perfect game and don't treat it like a GOTY.… Expand
Dec 28, 2013Ignore the intellectual dwarfs giving Gone Home negative reviews because their reaction time wasn't tested and Kate didn't have any skill trees. These degenerates would have the world violently masturbating to military shooters while games showing any interest in developing an emotional narrative are brushed aside and deemed unworthy of even being called a game. The price to play time ratio is quite high, but when the quality of the time in game is factored in, I would rate this near (if not at the top) of this years' games. A beautifully somber piece of art that deserves a second chance by those who wrote it off.
The way the story is doled out through Kate's exploration of the house cannot be achieved in any other medium to the same effect, something ignored by the lobotomized swine who claim that this piece should have been a film or a short novella.… Expand
Dec 29, 2013Here's the thing, when I first watched a friend of mine play through Gone Home from start to finish, it hit me it a very tender spot. I adored it. I cried. But after purchasing it myself and playing through it again, I realized how shallow it is.
While it is debatable whether Gone Home is truly a "game", it is well know it is fully story based. I enjoy story games. I love more "artsy" games. However, I feel this one just is not as good as most make it out to be. Yes, it is very good with hitting one with nostalgia. Yes, it good with hitting you in the feels. Honestly though, that's it. And after the second time though it, I just couldn't connect as easily as I could before. I knew the entire story, I knew how it was executed, so there wasn't much left for me to do. There is little to no replay value. And for $20 as an original asking price for a 2 hour experience, it just truly isn't that worth it. I waited until it was on sale which I am grateful for.
Don't get me wrong. The story is really good for it only being told through notes and journal's left for you to find, but I just wish there was more to justify it.
I'm in a love/hate relationship with Gone Home. But in the end I just can't recommend it.… Expand
Jan 5, 2014If you are going to build a game that pushes the definition of the medium through the wholesale elimination of things like combat and problem solving, and focus entirely on atmosphere, exploration and story, you'd better do a damn good job of it. And Gone Home does a damn good job of it.
In Gone Home you are Kaitlin Greenbriar, 20-year-old white female, and you have come home from a year abroad, and no one is home. But you are greeted by a disconcerting note on the front door and so you find the key, enter the house, and explore, trying to find what, if anything, happened to your loved ones.
You will open cabinets and rummage through drawers and play cassette tapes full of rock and roll songs. You'll search upstairs and downstairs and behind hidden passageways. And in the process you'll learn more about your mother and your father and your long-dead great-uncle than you probably ever wanted to know. But most of all you'll learn about your sister, and the trials and tribulations of being a teenage girl in rural Oregon in the summer of 1995.
I know something about being a teenager in the summer of 1995 because I was one. Granted, I was a boy (still am) and I lived in Northern California, not Oregon, but let me say that this is one of the most pleasantly nostalgic experiences I've ever had. Everything from the cabinet full of pre-recorded X-files VHS tapes to the SNES cartridges to the late 80's holdover furniture to the handmade zines and concert posters is spot on. Nothing felt out of place or inaccurate at all, which goes to show the level of care and detail that went into crafting gone home.
That dedication to creating an authentic experience is also reflected in the voice acting, the writing and even the penmanship. Everything feels that it was written by a teenage girl or a well meaning parent and not just a writer trying to sound like one. At no point is your immersion broken at every point you feel like a young woman exploring her empty childhood home who just wants to make sure that everyone she cares about is okay. Maybe they will be. Maybe they won't be. You're never sure until the end.
The only flaw of the game that stands out and is worth mentioning is that there is a mild paranormal component hinted at during exploration that is completely unnecessary, adds nothing to the ambiance or the gameplay or the storytelling. Perhaps answering the "does the spirit of a long-dead relative haunt these halls?" question could have been another sidequest of sorts. As is, it feels tacked on and is distraction to the main story. It should have been played up or eliminated completely.
8/10. A good story well told in a complete if smallish world. Roughly 2 hours of gameplay with little to no replay value. Quality realistic art and graphics that lend to believability and immersion. Excellent voice acting and music completes the package. Great feels. Highly recommended.… Expand
Jan 3, 2014So, I'm 26 and with the exception of the odd iPhone one, I haven't played a video game in about 10 years.
I'm not a big book reader either and so the storyteller in my life is usually a TV screen, and so is why 'Gone Home' intrigued me, it was hailed as a story 'experience'. Not one I needed razor sharp reaction speeds to finish, but one with simple controls, simple graphics, and an incredible story.
It took me about two hours to complete, I think, I lost track of time to be honest thats just how captivating it was. Much like an brilliant movie or tv show I just want all my friends to finish it, not just so they can experience it's brilliance, but just so I have someone to talk about it with!
Next time you have a few hours free, instead of staring at a LED screen watching garbage stories, interact with one instead with 'Gone Home'. It's turned a total non-gamer into one craving more just like it.… Expand
Jan 9, 2014I have never reviewed a game before but this has been such a refreshing and awesome experience that I wanted to share my thoughts on this game. It is amazing and deep! Finally something different and truly engaging. Usually I find games of this type boring but not this one! I played it to the end in one setting. So very need and cool! Thanks Fullbright Company.
Jan 14, 2014A clear cut 10, and here's why:
I approached the game knowing nothing of it, aside that it had gotten good reviews from critics I respect. If anything that makes it harder for a game to fly by well for me. Well the moment the game started I was mostly curious to see where it would lead. I'd try go through every bit of content for clues...
The sound effects in this game makes out atleast 40% of why it scores so well with me, its a frightening lonesome experience at first, but as you grow used to your enviroment you are more at home.
The fact that the game never gives you your goal, but the fact that it lets you realize yourself as the game progresses makes it so much more believable in the kind of story-setting it provides.
I think the story in itself in this matter is irrellevant, it could just as easily have been a story about something completely different, but presented in a similar matter the game would still have been as good.
As a challenge to the production company, I'd like to see the complete opposite of this story for their next game.… Expand