Sep 11, 2013If you play games for an atmosphere, a setting, immersion, or most importantly a narrative, this will utterly blow you away. The amount of bad reviews is quite upsetting. The reason a lot of people are upset, and claim that the devs should have made a film not a game, is because this 'game' fits neither the former or latter demarcation. It stands on its own.
Sep 15, 2013You are Katie Greenbriar, an independent-minded 20 year old student who has just arrived home from a self-discovery trip through Europe. But where is everybody? Mom and Dad are gone, your younger sister Sam nowhere to be found and she left a note on the front door that gives the impression something worrisome has happened. A storm is raging outside, thunder rumbles, lights are flickering...an eerie atmosphere is created that immediately draws you in. It is now your job to find out what happened and to reconstruct the lives of the Greenbriar family via means of exploration. Opening drawers, cabinets, going through personal belongings, reading letters, documents, viewing photos and listening to their music. Soon you realize that the picture which is slowly forming is utterly mundane and every sense of menace a red herring. You will read about Mom's upwards career in the forestry department and her failed advances towards "Ranger Rick", some kind of idealized male object of sexual desire. The story of the previous inhabitant: the paedophile, remorseful Uncle, who has passed away and bequeathed the mansion to Katie's father. The fluctuating career of Dad who is a drunkard-loser-failed-sci-fi-writer. And of course the centerpiece story of Sam, a highly intelligent, creative and rebellious mind who is in a troubled friendship with another girl. Or is it more than just friendship?
Yet even though it becomes apparent relatively early what the story is all about, the game still managed to glue me to my seat until the very end. So captivating and effective are the voyeuristic means of telling this story through discovery, so compelling the atmosphere, so engaging the act of empathizing with the family members that it was impossible to stop playing.
Gone Home manages something no game has ever done before: To masterfully tell a story that is ultimately generic, contrived, cliché and anticlimactic.… Expand
Jun 27, 2014I really loved this game. It was a unique and personal experience and also a kind of sentimental / retro feeling to it for me because it is set in the 90s and remembered me of my childhood a lot. Play it while you are alone at home! It was intriguing and tense for me.
I found this truly to be a masterpiece.
If you are interested in life and intellect, you will love it. If not, go and masturbate to your favourite Call of Duty game.… Expand
Oct 11, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Gone home is one of the best story telling games that i have played since the walking dead, when i started playing this games i was very jumpy and i was moving slowly around the house waiting for something to jump out at me. When i got to the end of the game i instantly restarted the game just to find all the secrets and all the awesome tapes.
if you have £15 spare i suggest to buy gone home and play through the story twice. Thanks for reading my review… Expand
Dec 9, 2013This games is an example of how games truly can be art. I wouldn't go as far as to call it a masterpiece but the game creates a unique experience that transcends that of other games in the industry. There is no combat, there is no fighting, its just pure exploration as you try to uncover why Katie's family is not home to greet her, and why her sister Sam is not around either. The entire house begs to be explored. You pick up anything from a cup to one of the many letters and notes scattered around the house, each one adding on to the emotional and touching story. The story is also narrated though Katie's sister Sam using narrated Journal entries- as the player continues to find more notes and letters that tell Sam's story. The Journals outline Sam's relationship with a girl named Lonnie, and how close the two of them become. It's a touching relationship that continues to grow throughout the game. The house has a lot to say to you should you take the time to pay attention to every detail. It not only outlines the relationship between Sam and Lonnie but it also gives insight into Katie's Parents and what they are like along with their own story ark (particularly about the Father). There is also a very creepy and unsettling atmosphere that is generated around roaming around a big empty mansion in the middle of the night with a massive storm outside. I found myself looking up and towards the doorway while examining something whenever I heard a loud creaking in the floorboards. There is no danger but that doesn't make the game feel any less unsettling.
This game is not trying to be a game in the traditional sense. Its trying to be more than that. Its trying to tell a story and provide a unique and immersive experience that goes beyond complex gameplay mechanics. If you look at the game in this way and understand what this game is truly trying to be, then it can be a beautiful experience for you. That being said the game really isn't for everyone. If you want more out of the gameplay beyond simple exploration you may find yourself disappointed and among the masses of people who want to bash on a game that they don't appreciated for what it is trying to be.… Expand
Oct 18, 2013The story was captivating; I lost sense of time while playing. Music was a treat, art was great, voice acting was creepily believable. I wish there had been some puzzle features or replayability factors for the price, but overall worth playing and will probably play through again in a year or two.
Oct 26, 2013As you can probably see by the rather polarised reviews, you'll probably either love or hate this game. For me it was love wonderful moving story that at many times had me both dreading and longing for each new reveal. If you enjoy games that are more about the story than the mechanics, then pick this up.
Jul 6, 2014This game does something unique in the current gaming scene, it conveys the narrative from an almost second person perspective.
The story the game presents and the world it builds is very well done and nuanced with a lot of it up to the players interpretation
However the asking price for this game being 20 dollars for only two hours of content is questionable and the game may of suffered from some false advertising as its presented almost as a horror game
Overall though i thoroughly enjoyed is game and i can see why this game has such a low user score as it is defiantly not a game for everyone and the asking price is a bit steep… Expand
Nov 10, 2013I'm rather surprised by the number of people who claim that this isn't a game. By the simplest definition, this indeed can be called a video game. And to say that this shouldn't have been a game is equally as invalid. As many have mentioned, to try to develop the same experience in another medium is nearly impossible. Neither a book nor a movie could provide the same level of interaction and freedom that a game can, and to get as much from this experience as possible, such interaction and freedom is a necessity. Likewise, to call this a visual novel is to disregard the fact that the added interactivity of a 3d environment is an essential part of the experience. Also, looking through these user reviews, I understand why main stream gaming relies more heavily on melodrama and relentless sensory stimulation rather than subtle details, and meticulously crafted realistic emotional narratives. Not to say that there aren't some more standard games that I've enjoyed greatly, it's just that no other game has managed to be as poignant or emotionally engaging for me, and I never even had any experience in being an adolescent lesbian, nor have I ever went through a sexual awakening. But every player for himself/herself, I suppose. With all that said, the following is my review (warning: it's got some spoilers):
I began Gone Home expecting some sort of horror game, similar to amnesia perhaps, and for the most part, that's how I played the game. I cautiously crept from room to room, expecting at any moment for something supernatural to happen, or for some kind of intruder or ghost to show up and terrorize me. Being one familiar with the point and click genre, and noticing the amount of significance that was put into the small details of the house, I also made sure to scrutinize everything with care and constantly interpret what I found. That proved to be useful. Initially, I thought the written notes and voice journals were only added for flavor, but regardless, I found the friendly and pleasant tone of the voice journals to be a welcome (almost comforting) reprieve from the ominous aura of the house. As I progressed and pieced together more details about characters, I found myself getting more and more attached to them. The dad was turning out to be a rather quirky, but good-natured, author with deeply rooted emotional issues, going through a rough patch in his career. The mom seemed like something of a power woman who, unsatisfied with her husband's distractedness, is turning to others for support. And I couldn't help but admire Sam's intelligence, creativity, and genuineness of characterization, which was impressively fleshed out with the great voice performances. Just the way that Sam was developed, with all the little details about her personality learned from the environment, notes, and the voice journals, it was almost as if Sam was a real person, someone who I can care about.
It took me a while to realize that the characterization was the main part of the game, partly due to the lingering fear from that one popping light bulb, but I wasn't disappointed. On the contrary, the change was refreshing, and I was impressed the game had me going for so long. That fear, combined with the intimacy of the characterization, the impressive detail put into the house, the sound design, and the music (which I initially thought to be strange for a horror game, but ultimately found to be most fitting) served to create an immersive and rich atmosphere that I have never experienced to such an extent before in a game.
I finished the game deeply touched by almost every aspect of the experience. I admit, the narrative at times brought me close to tears. It was able to bring out some emotions that I haven't felt for a very long time. I was glad that everything turned out alright for the characters, the dad was able to get a break and overcome his past, he and the mom are in progress of fixing their marriage, and Sam finally found fulfillment and is able to be with the love of her life. The ability to learn everything at my own rate and piece together certain details myself made the experience more rewarding and, in my opinion, gave everything more emotional weight. Overall, I'd say Gone Home is an impressive feat of game development, and is an experience that is distinctly human. I only wish that I can forget everything about this game so I can play through it afresh and experience everything over again.
An absolute 10/10… Expand
Nov 10, 2013I really enjoyed this game for what it was. An "escape from the room" type game on a bigger scale with a decent story to follow. Not much replayability sadly which is what I was hoping/thinking it would have. I thought in places, at least, there was some potential for further explanation for certain parts of the story. Not bad though overall.
Dec 1, 2013It's hard to look at this as a game, since there is no aspect of winning or losing. There isn't even a dire need to complete the game, but I did. I wanted to read every slip of crumpled paper, turn on every light and learn everything there was to know about this family and the world that they live in. However, the story is primarily focused on one character in particular, which is fine because it helps build up the story to a fulfilling ending that I never saw coming. But the rest of the stories seem to lack closure. Don't get me wrong. I loved reading about everyone lives, but I think the focus on one story doesn't necessarily justify leaving others without proper endings. I won't go into details, because I would rather not spoil anything from this game and I'm not too full of myself to admit that I might have missed somethings during my play through. I'm just saying that the stories of the other characters seem to be less apparent and more difficult to find.
Could this story been told through a different medium? I don't think so. The way everything is set is so perfect that being told through chapters in a book or scenes in a movie would probably tarnish the story being told. I am grateful that I live in a world where I am not confined to read or listen to a story but sit down and experience it. And yes, I understand that the majority of the story IS found in pieces of paper and audible diary entries, but there's something to be said for discovering these items on your own and at your own pace.
I have to point out the mechanics of the game are a bit slow--literally. But I think this was intentional, because if I WERE to sprint through this game, I probably wouldn't be paying attention to the story at hand. There were times when I just wanted to run back to a room to see if I missed something or just get to the next room quickly, but the game forces you to take your time and walk. And you what? With any other game, that would piss me off, but not this one. Besides that particular issue and the occasional frame-rate issues (which speaks more about my laptop than anything else) the game actually looks pretty good. It's not going to blow you away with it's graphics or textures, but it's simple and reminds me of my parents house while I was still living at home.
Is the game worth $20.00? It's really up to you. Would you pay $20.00 for a good movie or a book? Do you like stories, rooted in an indie setting, that tries it's damn hardest to immerse you in it as much as possible? If you answered yes to both of those questions, then buy this great piece of entertainment. Find some time to sit down, get comfortable and enjoy the small world that is presented to you here. It'll only take a few hours and I assure you, you will not be disappointed.… Expand
Nov 17, 2013When I played this I was scared. I know there, well I don't think there is any ghosts but I was scared. Like really really scared. The games gameplay is scary/creepy and the graphics look cartoony. I only got to the boy or girls bedroom I was confused on who sleeps there but does it matter?
-Bit too dark
Dec 27, 2013I don't often write reviews, but this game asks for one due to the huge discrepency in scores between users and reviewers and I do not see one review so far that gives this game justice while being on the side of the consumers. First, to give you an idea of the kind of gamer I am, I will always applaud ingenuity, immersion and accessibility. Hence why my favourite games are the Batman and Bioshock games which blend a great story with dynamic gameplay while I feel games like The Last of Us and Witcher 2 have major gameplay issues that take away the enjoyment of the story creating dissonance. The Last of Us mixes in very frustrating combat and stealth sections with odd autosave points that hindered my experience and enjoyment of the story which is clear the dev team really cared for.
So knowing my taste and point of view, I hope you understand how I found Gone Home to be a geat game. You see, like the Last of Us, the developers were definitely more story focused, but where the Last of Us will throw a frustrating fighting or stealth sequence, there is none of that in Gone Home. There is no fighting, or running, or any kind of action in Gone Home, where all that happens is you uncovering what just happened in a house by rummaging around. Some people don't call that a game but in a world where The Walking Dead, The Stanley Parable and Journey exist as games, I find it safe to say that it is still very much a game, fitting in a similar category as those other ones. Very light on gameplay, but story focused.
Like all games, you are still the star of the show, you still control the character, and you still take part of a story. And this story is that of a woman returning to her family in a new house they settled into while you were away.
Now, as I said before, I like ingenuity in storytelling and when developers try to have as little dissonance between gameplay and story. The story is about exploring your family's house searching for the whereabouts of your sister when no one is home. BUT the game has a linear story which ends and must last at least an hour. I love how the developers solved any dissonance.
It's an old house, known for it's mysterious past, which your family recently moved into and which you have never seen before. This gives the reason for why both the character and the player would search all over the place and not know the layout right away. This also explains hidden compartments or pasageways you may find. Locked doors help the progression and the order the story is presented to you. And uncovering why you are all alone in this house is one of your main objectives.
So as a point and click game about exploring a house, and using this mechanic to tell a good story, it's perfectly fine. It even manages to be poingnant and I admit I was very very worried of what I would find up in the attic (I had not felt this kind of worry in a game in a while). You can also add the great sound design and atmosphere showing just how scary it may be to be alone in a house you have never been to. It's also a game both men and women would enjoy just as much. However, it being such a short game with litle gameplay, a 20$ price is asking a lot. And this is where the discrepancy between critic and user scores comes from. Critics did not have to spend this money, so all they see is the positive stuff I wrote above, if they did, you can bet this would not get the same scores. The reason it costs so much is because by having this be a PC game and not a downloadable title on XBLA, the developers where looking at Steam for distribution and were looking at how much it would sell for on a steam sale which is when most units are sold. Thus, the actual sale price is between 4.99-9.99 which makes far more sense. This is simply a business decision and knowing this, I would encourage you to do as the developers foresaw and buy this game only when it falls between that price point. Or you can wait for it to go on the humble bundle in a year, its up to you. Whatever you choose though, I encourage you to play this game. Especially if you grew up in the 90s.… Expand
Nov 28, 2013One could argue whether Gone home is a game or not, due to there being almost no meaningful interaction, but that is beside the point. It is a exploration into a rather "mundane" subject matter: love. If you like other interactive stories like Dear Esther, read no further and try the game. If you aren't sure, please continue.
The story: You just got home from a year long trip through Europe. From the start you understand that your sister has left the house on very short notice and for some reason your parents aren't home either. It is up to you to find out why. As you explore the house you get to look into the personal lives your family in the hopes of understanding what happened.
What I think: It is an on rails experience, but the story is told with so much nuance that it kept me going forward. All the while I was thinking: God I hope Sam (the sister) hasn't done anything really really stupid almost right until the end. There are a couple really easy puzzles that require to look for extra clues. The beauty of the game comes out of the attention to detail the house has received. It actually feels like a house (messy) people live in and the clues that are littered everywhere. If you take your time you can really piece together what kind of people your parents and sister are and start to empathize with them. I also feel the game shouldn't have lasted much longer than it did, because it might start getting boring if it did.
Although nothing revolutionary, I recommend gone home to everyone with some patience and a sense of wonder.… Expand
Nov 29, 2013Guess what? This is not a video game in the traditional sense. But why does that have to be a bad thing? There are so many 0 reviews because it's "not even a game". Personally, I judge "games" on they experience they provide. And Gone Home provided one of the best experiences I've ever had with a "game". The story is so well written and engrossing,t he art and music are just beautiful, and the interactive story in and of itself is just...phenomenal.
If you don't like this game because the story doesn't appeal to you, fine.
If you don't like it because interactive stories aren't your thing, fine.
But if you don't like it because it's not game, go back to call of duty. We don't want you here.… Expand
Nov 30, 2013Not a traditional game, but good atmosphere, and good story telling. If you're looking for action or difficult puzzles, don't pick this up. If you like exploring, piecing the story together, and enjoy personal stories, definitely pick it up. Took me around 2 hours to finish.
Dec 1, 2013This game was captivating. I sat down and started playing, and before I knew it, the game was over and it was two hours later. The story was so engaging, and the sheer amount of content was amazing. I loved that I just kept finding little things, and that every single part of the house held more clues to the mystery.
Dec 2, 2013A fresh and incredibly immersive experience.
From what began as a mod for Amnesia, Gone Home has achieved an honest identity of its own. Despite not being a fully rounded game, and at times reminding you that it is clearly still at the mod level, Gone Home manages to achieve what the majority of games can only dream of.
Set in 1995 you discover scraps of information through lone exploration in the form of notes, invoices and voice acted excerpts from a journal to piece together the lives of a family which feel altogether believable. The level of exploration, however, is up to you and although the story can be completed in around 90 minutes the more time you commit to experiencing this world the greater your reward.
The audio work is what really ensures Gone Home is comfortably seated in a league above where it would otherwise be. The quality of the voice acting is astounding. The performances create characters that you truly care for and, perhaps more importantly, believe, and at a production level which you would normally only expect from AAA titles (and not many).
Gone Home is a solid exploration experience nodding to a long buried genre which will pull you to the edge of your seat and let you fall into a pit of nostalgic bliss.… Expand
Dec 6, 2013I'll start out by saying that the steam price for this game IS too much. If you are strapped for cash, please wait for this to go on sale. If, however, you are swimming in cash, this game is well worth the money.
This game really excels in its story telling. There are several layers here, and some may be glossed over by players trying to get at the "meat" of the game. Players that do this will be disappointed. While there is a "main story", the supplemental details and subplots are vital to adding nuance and richness to the experience as a whole.
I will not spoil the game. My decision to purchase this game came with almost complete (albeit unwitting) ignorance to the subject matter, and I feel that my experience was all the better. Don't read any other reviews: just play the game.
Story: depth 8/10
memorable? Yes… Expand
Dec 6, 2013This is more than a game. This is a full-blown experience. In the beginning, it is difficult to discern the concept behind the game but you quickly become immersed and enthralled. The attention to detail is astounding. The score is emotional and marvelous. You begin to discover the parts of the game that you enjoy the most, for me it was the cassettes laying around. Pure 90s punk nostalgia filled my earholes. This is a work of art and not to spoil anything, the ending is beyond satisfying. Highly recommend.… Expand
Dec 11, 2013I can appreciate why the story of this game resonates with some people. Not just LBGT it's a story that can resonate with most any teenager.
That said, the game is terrible. The story is delivered almost exclusively through audio diaries and a couple souvenirs that reinforce what the diary entries were about. There is no game here. It's a static environment that the player navigates, poking around for diary entries. There are no puzzles. There are no enemies to defeat. No skill challenges. No choices to be made. It barely qualifies as an interactive fiction, since most entries into that genre involve the player in the story with dialog choices or action decisions.
It won game of the year based entirely on the social content it took on. That's laudable, but not worthy of a best game award.
Oh, and it's very short.… Expand
Dec 11, 2013If you're looking for a touching, memorable, intelligent story in which you make it unfold then play this.More a point and click novel than a game. Can't understand how there is so many negative reviews, I can only assume its COD fanboys annoyed that there wasn't any guns or explosions
Dec 16, 2013Gone Home is a first-person interactive story adventure game that is very original, unseen and groundbreaking in the video game world. Gone Home is the Fullbright Company’s first hit and follows the story of Kate Greenbriar, who after coming home from a European gap year finds her new family house abandoned. Kate is forced to search throughout the house for clues in the form of notes and other items in the hopes of finding out what happened to her estranged family. The game is so respectable for several reasons; it creates an unseen perspective in video games, it combines the experience of both a book and a video game and its graphics and content surpass those of any other comparable game. This unseen perspective is the perspective that of an adventure game, combined with the suspense and gameplay of a first person shooter. Secondly, during the playing of the game, the gamer experiences both feelings that are associated with reading, and others that are traditionally associated with gaming. The experience of reading is felt because Gone Home is the first game to go into the thought process of characters and delve into the relationship between characters. Lastly, the game is so successful because its graphics, gameplay, and commentary are very advanced and unorthodox in the world of adventure games. In my opinion, the game is very good, and I enjoyed it very much. I particularly enjoyed it because it provided me with a gaming experience that I had not felt before and opened my eyes to different genres of video games.… Expand
Dec 16, 2013Gone Home is an immersive mystery, simulation experience, requiring the player to learn about the personal lives of the characters and extend empathy to them. While Gone Home differs from the usual action-heavy, combat-focused games, it succeeds in its own genre due to elegant and meaningful writing, and an amazing story-driven structure of game architecture.
Gone Home begins with Katie Greenbriar, a young woman returning to her family’s home in 1995 after spending a year travelling in Europe. Upon arrival during a dark and stormy night, the house appears to be deserted, and requires the player to collect artifacts and clues hiding within the realistic environment to rebuild the broken puzzle of a story. By doing so, the player is rewarded with pieces of information that could never have been known or assumed when first entering the house.
Throughout the game, Katie’s younger sister Samantha, narrates a large number of journal entries as the player finds important artifacts that are relevant to the story. Other hints and critical information are unveiled as the player explores the house, finding notes, objects, and photos. Since recently moving into the brand new mansion, Katie finds herself in a very mysterious environment, and having to explore this new and interesting environment adds to the sense of unease that is sensed consistently throughout the game.
While Gone Home isn’t the most polished game in terms of graphics and visuals, there are other ways of compelling the player’s immersion throughout the story, through the use of perfected sound and environment design. It’s not often in a game that you find yourself just standing in the middle of a room, listening to the ambient soundtrack, or thinking about how much work was put into realistically routing cables from lamps and TVs to their corresponding outlets and the effect is truly captivating.
Steve Gaynor, Karla Zimbonja, Johnnemann Nordhagen, and Kate Craig are very experienced in game development, having worked on BioShock 2, BioShock Infinite, and XCOM: Declassified. What makes Gone Home a truly different experience is the elevated level of personality poured into this game from its developers. This is evident as the player listens to in-game commentary from all four developers. The commentary discusses what the developer had in mind when part of the level or story was created, and includes references to items that were randomly tossed into the game such as the BioShock Infinite cover mimicked on the salad dressing bottle hidden in the pantry. This unique level of detail is almost never delivered within bigger titles, as the personality of the developers is often hidden behind their numbers. That is what is truly revolutionary about this “new” exploration game, which could potentially change how video games are made going forward.
It is difficult to imagine what could have been improved in Gone Home, especially because so many things were done perfectly. However, there were a couple things I was disappointed about when I played through the game for the first time. I found that the story was a little bit too linear. The way the game subtly pushes the player in the right directions by finding codes to locked doors, or secret passageways strays from the exploration genre that this game attempted to mimic. I believe the player should be able to explore anywhere they want, perhaps having to revisit places to find missed clues about the story or having to wander about for minutes, just pondering what they should do next. Secondly, I found that the ending was rather lackluster. It was not on par with the amazing development throughout the game, and ended far too suddenly. While the ending does have a deeper meaning when studied closely, many players who are experiencing this unique game for the first time will often overlook that poignancy.
Overall, I would award Gone Home with a rating of 9 out of 10. Throughout the game, I felt myself being further drawn into the story, aided by the realistic setting, amazing soundtrack, and the addition of audio journals that arose when certain, important objects were found. Although the ending was not on-par with the rest of the story, and the mystery genre of the game was clouded by the linear direction, I would highly recommend this game to any avid game player, even if they have a history of playing “triple A” titles consistently, but especially if they have a true appreciation for uniquely styled games.… Expand
Dec 16, 2013Gone Home, a new release from The Fullbright Company, tells the mysterious tale of the Greenbriar family. Upon coming home from a long trip, Katie Greenbriar returns on a stormy night, to find her family’s new mansion abandoned. Amazing writing and progressive expansion of the story draw you in, despite the seeming monotony of the gameplay, which is completely void of any weapons or enemies.
The mystery and unease as you walk into the house is nearly palpable. Not sure what to expect, the crashing thunder and flashes of lightning set the mood for the first clue you find your sister has left home, telling you to not try to find out where she has gone. The entirety of Gone Home follows this premise, and is what pulls you in the most. The story feeds itself, and it’s clear that developer Steve Gaynor is a vastly experienced and professional writer. Every piece of information leads to new details, which lead you further into the world of the Greenbriars. The most strenuous part of Gone Home is trying to decide whether you want to sprint to the next clue, or take your time, savoring the story. Gone Home leads you through an incredible tale, using all of your senses to do so.
Whether it’s the first flash of lightning, followed up by a delayed crack of thunder, or the first Riot Grrrl cassette, the story is accompanied by phenomenal auditory and visual effects. The dim lighting as you enter a new room never fails to creep you out, especially after entering a dimly lit bathroom and finding a bathtub splattered with bright red stains, when the eeriness peaks until you learn that it’s simply hair dye. With just a few games under their belt, the ability to create such perfect scenes lead me to believe that this isn’t the last time we’ll see The Fullbright Company accepting awards at places such as the Spike VGX awards, winners of Best Independent Game, as well as Best PC Game.
These sorts of scenes are prominent throughout Gone Home, and slowly build up over time, and in all honesty; it’s the first game that has left a vivid imprint in my mind. Of course, I doubt you’ll hear people speak of the emotional rollercoaster that you’re led on throughout a game of Plants Vs. Zombies. The main reason for this is the personal connection you feel, as if truly a member of the Greenbriar family. Each character develops throughout the game, giving it a truly personal feeling.
Gone Home leads you on an adventure unlike any other game I’ve played, using impressive storytelling, vivid imagery, and brilliant auditory effects. The Fullbright Company sought to venture into uncharted territory, and did so with flying colors. Perfect for the hardcore gamer, or perhaps as a Steam gift to your Call of Duty obsessed sibling, Gone Home is the beginning of a new era of gaming, where stories come to life.… Expand
Dec 16, 2013In the end, its about the story. The best part of this game was the narrative, and the challenge to the player to consider the mode of storytelling. There has been a mass divide between players who want a big, bright and golden experience with epic action that can change the game at the drop of a hat, and those that are more interested in a different form of game. One that tells a story. For those who are more willing to forego the expectations of flashy animation and radical action, this game can be a rewarding experience.… Expand
Dec 16, 2013Gone Home Review
The date is June, 6, 1995 and Kate Greenbriar arrives at her families new home in in Pacific Northwest, after she had been traveling through Europe for a year. After putting her bags down she looks at the door to find a note from her younger sister Sam saying that she has left, and not to look for her. Once inside the house Kate starts a search for clues to help solve the mystery of her sisters disappearance.
Once you enter the house you become a Nancy Drew like protagonist, searching for clues and reading journals entries trying to solve the “case of the missing sister”. Coupled with the eerie household, a raging thunderstorm, and depressed voice overs the player originally feels the unnerving suspense that games such as Amnesia or Slender provide. Every corner you turn around, or room you walk into, there is the sense that a monster might jump out at your, or that you will find a body lying in a pool of blood. This, however is not the case. The game instead focuses on the sudden relationship between to young and reckless teenagers Lonny, and Sam, that is told through triggered sequences whenever a certain item is picked up.
The story is very well told and, the fact that the player needs to find certain items around the house to further develop the story, keeps the player interested. This is a gameplay mechanic that is not original to this title, yet this mechanic was used expertly, and was not at all revealing of how the story would unfold. The subplots were told in a very similar fashion as well. Though instead of picking up certain items and hearing a narration of a journal entry from Sam, there had to be much more research put into unearthing these plots. This could be done by reading letters, or newspaper clippings that could be found around the house. The game also boasted a complex yet not impossible set of mysteries, that included hidden house keys, and missing combinations. These problems were fun to solve, and were puzzling at times, but were not a hair pulling catastrophe that would have dragged the game on longer than its run time of roughly 2-3 hours. The era the game was selected very well as not only did the technology at the time provide many ways to create clues (i.e reading several notes between Lonny and Sam, as opposed to looking at one email account), but the 90’s gave the game many great cultural references such as, Nintendo 64, and the Riot Grrl movement.
However this game is far from perfect, it was very disappointing that the main plot was not as enticing as it could have been. What started off as a story of a runaway girl, that doesn’t fit in and lives in the “psycho house”, turns into a fantastical love story about two girls falling in love and talking about their sexual experiences. This love story makes the eerie aura originally felt while playing the game disappear, and the journal entries start to feel redundant and boring towards the end. In fact the best plot in the game is the subplot of the dad’s failed career as an author, and the constant date of November 22, 1963 appearing (a date that’s meaning can be found with a little extra research). This subplot helped keep the the scary feel of the game alive and made me question as to why the story had to go the way it did. The game also had several useless subplots, such as the subplot involving Daniel and the Nintendo, or Janice Greenbriar’s relationship with a park ranger known as Rick. The game also gave very little connection with the main character Kate Greenbriar, something that is not very common within games, and without the constant solving of mysteries, a serious disconnect with the game would have been inevitable.
This game boasts and very well told and interactive story, and one of the most interesting subplots ever in a game, yet has a very soft ending to the plot, and a strong disconnect to the protagonist. Though flaws in all Gone Home provides a refreshing playing experience that is definitely worth the 2-3 hours most players will spend on this game.
Score out of 10: 7.7/10… Expand
Dec 16, 2013Kate Greenbriar is returning home from a year abroad in 1995. She arrives to an empty house, with a note on the front door addressed to her from her sister Sam. The note says Sam is sorry that she cannot be there for Kate, but to not come looking for her. This note begins Kate’s journey to find out where Sam is, the focus of the game.
Kate’s journey consists of reading notes, letters and books, as well as listening to music and audio logs. At first, I did not find the plot to be as captivating as I hoped it would be. This was until I discovered the multitude of side stories that take place throughout the game. I was not only searching for Sam, but also learning about the history of the Greenbriar family. Although the main plot is fairly straightforward, the side stories present a challenge in the search for clues in Kate’s house, and provide a reason to play the game more than once. I thoroughly enjoyed this search, as I was constantly on edge about if I had missed clues, or what I was going to find in the next room. This mixture of adventure and story telling sets Gone Home apart from most games.
Unlike many games, Gone Home does not impress with its graphics or sound; however, this quickly became irrelevant to me. The graphics are simple and the sounds of the game (other than the audio logs, which are discussed below) do no more than set the mood of the game with a thunderstorm. It is clear that The Fullbright Company focused on the narrative of the game, and rightly so. One of the best features of the game is a series of audio logs from Sam, which tell the story from her perspective. These are arguably the most interesting feature of the game. The majority of the complaints about Gone Home come not from the narrative, but from the duration of the game.
Many complaints about Gone Home arise from the fact that it is currently priced at $20 and yet provides 2-3 hours of gameplay. While I can understand why one would be disappointed with an inadequate amount of gameplay, I believe Gone Home’s value comes from its high quality narrative, not its duration. Would you rather pay $15 for a great 30 minute movie, or a mediocre 2 hour movie? For this reason, I have no complaints about Gone Home.
If you are looking for an action packed, fast paced thriller, this game is not for you. The satisfaction from completing Gone Home is the result of a lethargic search, with a series of items that must be interpreted and can lead to misdirection. I found myself on the edge of my seat in the final stretch of the game. If you are one who enjoys searching for clues and piecing together the puzzle, similar to analyzing a novel, I highly recommend this game.… Expand
Dec 16, 2013Gone Home is an unusual game. Most of the currently popular games are action shooter games and sports games. These games tend to have clear-cut stories and objectives. Gone Home is not like this at all. When you first begin to play Gone Home you need to rely completely on your intuition and experiential learning. When a player begins the game they are given neither clear introductory explanations, nor any clear indication of the game’s purpose.
Gone Home is an exploration game. The player is playing as Kaitlin (Katie) Greenbriar who is returning home from a year-long trip to Europe. Katie is returning home to a house she has not been in before, and she quickly realizes that her family is in shambles. She decides to explore the house to determine what has happened to her family. Although discovering what happened to her family is one main objectives of the game, there are many sub-plots and other objectives for the player to discover. Two aspects of Gone Home that particularly intrigued and impressed me were the attention to detail in the game, and the self-discovery of clues by the player.
In my opinion the coolest part of Gone Home is the creator’s attention to detail, especially for such a low budget game. There were countless items in the game for the player to discover. These items have incredible detail, no matter how insignificant the item to the game’s plot. The level of illustration detail and the realism of the items in the game make exploring the rooms extremely interesting. I really applaud The Fullbright Company for this as it makes the game much more enjoyable.
The second aspect that really impressed me was the self-directed exploration the game. In Gone Home the player travels room to room, trying to find clues to unravel the many mysteries of the Greenbriar family. Although the creator’s control the player’s movement somewhat through their locking of certain rooms or forcing the player to find items that open the doors, for the most part a player’s exploration of the house is self-directed. This creates a game that is a very different experience for each player. I really enjoy this aspect of the game as it allows the game to evolve with the player, rather than force the player from level to level in the hierarchical approach of many other games.
I really enjoyed the Gone Home as it was a great balance of a highly detailed environment with a self-directed exploration. I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys mystery and exploration games.… Expand
Dec 17, 2013Gone Home is a first person interactive narrative that takes place in the Pacific Northwest in the year 1995. You play as Katie Greenbriar, who has been travelling abroad for almost a year and she comes to a home she has never been to before. Her entire family is gone and it is your job to find out what has happened while you were away.
Gone Home’s story is a compelling, well paced, and heartfelt. When you first start the game you have no idea what has happened and there is no cut scene giving you any background. Gone Home allows you discover what has happened at your own pace and it does not spoon-feed you the story. The only spoken narrative in the game is by Sam, which is voiceovers of her diaries and is triggered when you pick up certain artifacts throughout the house. These show how it has been hard for her since Katie left, how she feels alone and her budding romance with Lonnie, a girl who attends Sam’s school. The tones of diaries in which Sam’s diaries are written and spoken are so emotional that you believe that Sam is actually real. Sam’s voice actress, Sarah Grayson gives a performance that feels real and gives the character emotional depth, making it easier to feel empathetic towards Sam. This is one of Gone Home’s best qualities and it helps immerse you in the world that The Fullbright Company has created.
Gone Home’s gameplay is very simplistic, which serves the game and it’s narrative quite well. You play in the perspective of Katie Greenbriar and the first person perspective really helps you immerse yourself in the world, making you feel you are actually experiencing it. There are only a few gameplay mechanics: walking, crouching and interacting with objects. The Fullbright Company designed the gameplay so that more is less. Even though the controls seem limited, you do not feel limited and makes Katie seem real, unlike most videogame characters. These mechanics do not interfere with the story and actually enhance it, giving a sense of realism. When you pick up an object you can analyze it, allowing you to examine it in great detail. The interactivity with the artifacts and the amount of detail make the home seem real because each artifact has some reason for being there and has a backstory behind it. The simplistic nature of the gameplay allows you to focus on the narrative, which is Gone Home’s best quality.
Overall, I really enjoyed Gone Home. There have been few games where I have really connected with the characters and this caused me to keep playing and find out what happened. I also admire the simplistic nature of the gameplay and it allows almost anyone to pick it and play it, regardless of their experience with videogames. My only gripe is that the game has little replay value and the story does not have as big of an impact when you play is subsequent times. I really enjoyed myself when I played Gone Home, it has a great story, simple to use mechanics and I would recommend it to anyone.… Expand
Dec 17, 2013Gone Home is a first-person interactive story game that is full of mystery, suspense, and exploration. The game starts with you arriving at this huge mansion in the middle of Oregon as the main character, Kaitlin Greenbriar, who has just returned from a year in Europe. As you start to walk around the house you realize that her sister and her parents are gone and it is your job to try and piece together the puzzle of where they all went.
The game is seen through the eyes of Katie after she realizes that she is the only one in the family’s new house. As you explore the house you find more clues about the family’s life. Surprisingly, the game is not just about where the rest of the family disappeared to, there are many different stories with in the game. The overall story line has you thinking about what really happened to the family right until the end when you put all of the pieces together. The graphics are not what people would be expecting from a game that came out in 2013, however, the graphics being the way that they are, gave us a sense that we are actually in the house in 1995. The audio in the game really adds a great amount of realism from the thunder and creaking floors to the music. Having songs from that time period playing in certain parts of the house helped us learn more about the characters. While having the voice clips play after you look at an important object really adds to the game. As you walk around that house picking up every object you can to see if there is another clue to solve where the family went you realize that almost everything you find has a purpose to the story.
Although most of the objects in the game do have a purpose there are a lot of duplicate objects that are just fillers, such as random boxes in the basement. One of the things that I would have liked to have seen done differently would be to have the objects that you could not interact have the same quality graphics as the ones you could interact with. Another big change I would like to have seen would be that the house have better lighting, making it easier to find some of the documents such as documents that are in the corners of rooms.
Playing Gone Home has been an experience that I really enjoyed even though this is not the type of video game I would usually play. You would think that playing a video game for an English class would take all of the fun out of it but that is not true with Gone Home. I would recommend this game to everyone especially if it goes on sale because $20 for a game that is over in 3 hours might not please everyone. Gone Home hopefully represents a huge step forward in the gaming industry illustrating that every game does not have to be a first-person shooter.… Expand
Dec 17, 2013“Gone Home,” a game created by the Fullbright Company, which was formed by three ex staff from the Bioshock video game franchise, is a new type of narrative adventure in the gaming world. You start the game in a rainy, dimly lit atmosphere on the front porch of a mansion you have seen for the first time in your life. Your name is Katie Greenbriar and you are all alone after being away from home for a year in Europe. Your mission throughout the game is to find out what happened to your family, but along the way you also find out who they really are.
I studied and played this game in my grade 12 English class at Royal St. George’s College. I was assigned three characters to track, and to find out as much about them as possible. I found that tracking the characters enhanced my overall game experience by prompting me to look deeper into an already rich narrative.
The narrative involves many major and minor characters whose stories explain the family’s past and present. Although the graphics in “Gone Home” are not as advanced as they are in popular first person shooter games such as Call of Duty and Halo, this augmented the narrative even more. This is because, instead of being captivated by state of the art graphics, the player can focus much more on the narrative story, with fewer visual distractions. For example, the only thing visible through the windows is a pitch-black night sky.
“Gone Home” introduced me to a new type of gaming experience. Although I enjoyed the experience, I personally prefer the high intensity of sports video games or first person shooters. In these games, the objective is to overcome opponents, whether by killing them or scoring more points. This gets me more involved and focused on the game. In contrast, I found I got bored quickly with the few objectives presented to me in “Gone Home” finding codes for locks and a few secret doors. Although it’s great that “Gone Home” can be used in a classroom environment and it is a very innovative genre of gaming, it could be improved be making it a little more exciting. The demographic groups targeted by this game people in their late teens and early 20s generally want a livelier experience.
Overall, the positives of this game outweighed the negatives. I enjoyed the new gaming experience even without the fast-paced action and advanced graphics. In this day and age most people believe that a game needs the most action and the best graphics to be popular. The Fullbright Company proved everyone wrong with the success they are having in “Gone Home.” I recommend this game for people who want to try a whole new kind of gaming experience.… Expand
Dec 17, 2013Gone Home is a work by the Fullbright Company that perfectly encapsulates the elements of great story telling into one brilliant game. The Fullbright Company is composed of a few people who worked together on DLC for the Bioshock franchise called Minerva’s Den. They decided they wanted to play around with story telling in video games and so they packed up and moved into one of their houses in Oregon to begin work on Gone Home, a story about teenage love, the dynamic of a family, and coming together after terrible hardships.
The game plays almost like an interactive book, with the whole thing being about the story; there are no real collectables, mini-games, or alternate mechanics, and it is awesome. I personally live for amazing stories; tales like the Legend of Zelda and the Lord of The Rings are some of the things I love the most, and there is nothing better than a well-told video game story. Gone Home focuses on the idea of piecing together the story of your character’s family, the Greenbriers. You play as Katie, a twenty-something girl who has just come home after spending a year travelling in Europe to an empty house and an ominous note on the door telling you not to look around. Katie discovers the story by picking up and reading notes, pictures, letters, and books around the house and pieces the story together by herself (yourself). Aside from the sister Sam’s story, nothing is ever expressly said about the other stories, leaving you as the player with your own opinion about the family. This mechanic (while being used previously) is a welcome break from cinematic scenes and bland dialogue as the only way to tell a story in games. This way the story is in some ways left mostly up to interpretation, which a breath of fresh air that the gaming industry desperately needed. The only issue I had (fairly minor mind you) while playing was the convenience of some of the notes and their placement in the house, and the story felt at some points a bit too linear for it all to be taking place a family’s home. This was just a little bit of an annoyance in an otherwise almost perfect game, and you will soon forget the linear-ness of the story once you get sucked in.
Despite having some very minor believability issues, this game was a joy to play from start to finish, with the little intricacies of the atmosphere, to the plethora of gaming references and “easter eggs”, to the melancholy mood and tone of the house, to the heartwarming and uplifting finale. I personally would rank this game among the best and most enjoyable I have ever played.
Dec 17, 2013Gone Home is a game unlike any other, exploring the personal lives of a family in an intimate way. Katie has just arrived home after having traveled Europe. She arrives at a new house where she discovers no one is home to greet her. Katie is then set on a path of discovery all throughout the house with a goal of finding out what is happening with her family. Katie achieves this by uncovering cryptic messages left by her sister in the form of journal entries and letters.
The house is explored through the narrative of Samantha Greenbriar, Katie’s sister. Sam has left letters, maps, and journal entries scattered throughout the house that help Katie understand the events that have played out over the past year. The maps are quite often related to ghosts said to be roaming through the house, as a result Katie is lead into scary hidden rooms. The letters and journal entries are normally associated with Sam’s personal life, they help Katie understand the events that occurred in the house while she was gone, as well as adding a creepy effect to the game.
Gone Home’s sound and graphics are used in an incredible way to help enhance the gamer’s experience. The sound in Gone Home is creepy to say the least; there is a constant loop of scary noises like creaks in wood and thunder, which make you feel as though someone is following you throughout the entire game. The graphics are created not to blow the gamers mind but to help the player focus on the more important aspects of the game, specifically the story. The poor graphics set the game apart from today’s popular games because of the minimalistic detail used. Gone Home use of a first person adventure is unlike any other because no one is killed and there are no requirements that must be met, which results in the player having complete control of their experience in the game
Gone Home was a breath of fresh air in comparison to the popular games of today. Unlike the games of today, which tend to be based on killing or sports this game explores a story of love and relationships. Although the game is short, it is very meaningful, and I believe if people took the time to really analyze each room within the house they would enjoy not just the game but the story as well.… Expand
Dec 17, 2013Gone Home is a unique gaming experience that demonstrates how games can be an art form equal to literature and film. In Gone Home, you are Katie Greenbriar, a college-aged girl who returns home in 1995 after spending a year abroad to find the family residence abandoned. As the player, you explore this ghostly mansion searching for clues as to their whereabouts. The story is quite brilliant, due to the interactivity aspect of it. The player has to discover the story on their own, by finding journal entries, notes and the like. The game world is populated with many other items that help further the backstory, a picture with the face ripped out, shot glasses strewn around the music room, the condom in dad’s drawer, and many other seemingly insignificant objects allow you to come to your own conclusions about the inhabitants of the home, without the answer being explicit. The story is not very long, and to go into any detail would be to spoil it. This is a game best experienced with no knowledge of the plot since most of the fun is discovering the story yourself. Know that it is emotional and artfully done, without relying on cliché video game tropes. What is best about the story is that it can only work as a game. The way the player interacts with the house and develops empathy for the characters, despite not seeing them, could never work in any other medium. It is the perfect example of where a video game can surpass films or novels in the realm of narrative. The gameplay in Gone Home is fairly simplistic. You can walk around, open doors, open drawers, turn on lights, read notes, flush toilets, pick up toothbrushes and cups, and then throw those items around the house. The house feels lived in, empty pizza boxes, VHS tapes, books on the shelf, and homework in various rooms contribute to the authenticity of the world. The game is devoid of combat, puzzles, or any other elements generally found in games. This keeps the game grounded in reality. Despite not having the most realistic graphics, the designers at Fullbright Studios have managed to create a game world that feels astoundingly real. Gone Home is the video game equivalent of a short story, a two-hour experience that should be extremely palatable to hardcore gamers and noobs alike. It proves how games can be more than mindless violence and recycled storylines. It proves that games can be art. It is not for everyone, though. Those looking for a traditional heart pumping, competitive, exciting gaming experience should look elsewhere, but if you are looking for something different than the average first person shooter I completely recommend it.
Dec 17, 2013“Gone Home” by The Fullbright Company seeks to raise the bar on storytelling in videogames. The premise is simple, in 1995 you have been away from home traveling in Europe for a year and have just arrived home. You don’t know much of what has happened to your family in the last year other than they have moved to a new house. No one is home to great you when you arrive at 2am but through investigation of the house you uncover the events of the last 12 months.
Coming off the success of Bioshock 2 and specifically Minerva’s Den, which the founding developers of The Fullbright Company worked extensively on, they decided they wanted to try something new. In most current releases the focus is on new and exciting gameplay or amazing visuals. Gone Home takes a different approach. The main focus is the story and how it is told, not flashy graphics or bar raising gameplay elements. They push towards the intricacies of any novel while maintaining interactivity, which is unprecedented in current video game releases. As the company is relatively new and small it allows the game to take risks that would otherwise have been left on the cutting room floor. The relative prestige of the individual developers lets the game gain a player base.
Players can definitely see the influence that other games have had on this title. Some architecture and game elements feel almost copied from Bioshock and other similar releases. In the developer commentary that becomes available after finishing the game further explains the depth of links between Gone Home and previous titles. These references further the idea that the game tries to be like books, novels frequently reference other novels and literary works and including this in games is only a natural progression.
While the graphics and gameplay may not raise the bar compared with the latest Call of Duty or Battlefield it has it’s own place among current video games. Another complaint is the length of the game that averages around 3 hours that, for the $20 is not very long but when you take into account the story can be justified. Overall the game is the beginning of the next phase of the industry, not only should games be about the latest graphics but we should ask for better storylines in the future. Personally I grant The Fullbright Company’s “Gone Home” a 8/10 and can’t wait to see what they come out with in the future.… Expand
Dec 17, 2013Gone Home Review
Gone Home is a story centralized exploration game, released August 15, 2013 by The Fullbright Company. The gameplay takes place in a seemingly abandoned house and the game unfolds through an eerie yet heartwarming tale of an extremely dysfunctional family.
Gone Home was a game that went under the radar for most gamers, and was quickly shunned for its hefty price of $20.00 and only 2 hour of gameplay. However, for what the game lacked in replay value, it fully made up by delivering an immersive and engaging gameplay experience. The game is a masterpiece that welds together intricate webs of stories culminating in a smart and intriguing game. The story follows Kate, a university student, who takes a year off to study abroad. But when she returns to her family’s new house it is deserted. It is the game player's task as Kate to figure out the whereabouts of her family members. Through Kate's quest to put the pieces of her family's puzzle together, several story lines emerge. A lesbian love story involving Kate's sister Sam and Lonnie, an older high school student weaves romance, intimacy and sexual identity issues into the game. Kate stumbles into another story line involving a dark family secret that delves into the paranormal, betrayal and trauma.
The game does a great job of providing an engaging and realistic playing experience through the use of cartoon graphics and sound effects. The story of Kate’s family can be found in the artifacts around the house, including photos, notes and audio diaries. The sound effects enhance the eerie atmosphere and mood of the game. This game is a perfect example of how games do not need action elements in order to create an engaging and immersive gameplay experience.
Although Gone Home is an amazing game, it is not without its problems. The game, as stated before by many players, has little replay value. The only reason I found myself actually going back to the game was because I did not understand the full story at first, which can be another issue on its own. The game might require some preliminary research about the game before starting to play it in order to for players to fully understand the nuances of the narrative.
Gone Home is an all around amazing game. Gone Home proves that there does not have to be flashy graphics and action elements in order to create a captivating game. Gone Home delivers a hopeful look at the future of games which will be more story driven and intellectually engaging. Although a great game, Gone Home is not worth the full retail price of $20.00 and recommend that you wait until the price is lowered to buy this game.… Expand
Dec 17, 2013Gone Home is an exploration game that tells the story of a family. It is first person style, and it revolves around one house. The character you play is Katie, who is coming home to an unfamiliar house after a yearlong trip to Europe. No one is home when you arrive, and you have to explore the house to learn what Katie missed while she was gone.
Gone Home has a different game style compared to traditional games and it contains an unfamiliar story telling method, but it is just as intriguing. While playing you will often find yourself curious to find out more information about the family and excited to find the next clue. It allows the player to become more involved in the story compared to traditional video games where you are not bothered to read any text. When you are going from clue to clue, you find yourself completely immersed in the story and you cannot put the game down. The feeling it relates to is the way you feel when you are reading an enticing book. The story is very well thought out and believable. Through the mixture of old notes, letters and voice messages, the game gives you just the right amount of information to put the story together yourself. The simple graphics and sound, along with the limited character functions allows for a very smooth gameplay experience, where you are never thrown off task.
The main focus of the story is on Katie’s sister Sam who seems to have the most interesting story of all. However, curiosity for the story of the other family members is not satisfied. They even introduce Katie’s grandfather near the end of the game, but limit the information on him to a mere two artifacts. It would’ve benefitted the overall experience if there were more spin-off stories about other characters. Furthermore, the story seemed very short and you often learn information at a quick rate. If the story were spread out more and extra spin-off stories were added, the overall experience would be much more satisfying.
Overall, the game is a new way of telling a story, which proved to be very successful as I was interested during the whole game. I would definitely suggest that anyone who is interested in narrative check out this game, as it is a fresh compelling method of story telling. Also any gamer will want to check it out to get a different yet equally satisfying gaming experience.… Expand
Dec 17, 2013Gone Home is a groundbreaking game produced by The Fullbright Company. Gone Home is unique through its exploration of a deep narrative through simple, yet rewarding gameplay. As Katie returns from her year abroad in Europe, she finds an unfamiliar house in a state of dismay. While exploring the house, the player undercover clues to the family’s whereabouts and more specifically, the story of Katie’s sister, Sam.
Although Gone Home is a remarkable production, the game is lacking in some technical aspects. The most noticeable downfall are the graphics of the game, which are sub-par. Gone Home relies on its simplicity to convey its affecting story in the most effective manner, but the graphics of the game are too simplistic for a game of this era. The windows are blacked out to avoid having to detail an exterior world and objects that can be interacted with standout from the surroundings due to the increased graphical detail placed on these objects. The purpose of the game is to tell a meaningful story, placing less importance on graphics. Despite this, improved graphics would not distract the player from the game and would add a sense of validity to the game as a top-flight release in the current market. Another flaw is the lack of audio stimulation. Throughout the game, the only sound that is heard is constant pattering of rainfall outside. There are some sound effects, such as the buzz of a television or the sound of a running faucet, but aside from this, the only audio is Sam’s journal readings. When searching for the next clue, the lack of outside stimulation can cause the game to become temporarily mundane, discouraging the player. Gone Home is a well-done, focused game, but these technical deficiencies detract from the overall gameplay experience.
Overcoming the technical flaws within Gone Home, the exploratory storytelling aspect of the game is the factor that makes this production so outstanding. The game is focused chiefly on uncovering the story of the family in a way, which is pure and has no distractions from achievements or points. The story that Katie begins to uncover about her sister Sam is atypical and suspenseful. Although many video games have captivating stories, Gone Home is so successful due to the way the story is conveyed. The gameplay is guided; the player is kept within boundaries that will ensure the final story is uncovered. Despite this guided gameplay, the player can explore the house in a variety of different routes, uncovering pieces of the story in different orders. The developers cleverly allowed these different routes to all uncover the final story as an intact narrative, allowing a sense of freedom within a game that takes place within a single house. This unique method of storytelling in Gone Home propels the game to a level of profundity and richness that few other games have ever achieved.
The Fullbright Company has produced a remarkable game in Gone Home. This game has some technical shortcomings, but the unique depth of storytelling within the gameplay makes uncovering Sam’s story unlike any other video game available today. Overall, Gone Home is a story; hardcore gamers may not be as intrigued by what the game has to offer, but those with an affinity for rich literary works will be blown away.… Expand
Dec 18, 2013The game “Gone Home” follows the story of Sam Greenbriar’s disappearance, seen through the eyes of her sister, Katie Greenbriar. You come home after being over seas for a year, to a house you have never been to, seeing as your family moved while you were gone. Upon arrival at your new house, you find your house to be empty, with a note on the door from Sam saying goodbye, and to not go looking for her. Inside this old, gloomy house, you navigate your way through the maze of hallways, rooms, and secret passages, in the house, finding clues as to where your family has gone. Through examining scraps of paper, letters, posters, magazines, and other items, you uncover the secrets the house holds on your missing family.
The story focuses on your sister, Sam Greenbriar’s disappearance, but the sub plots of “Gone Home” is what makes the game for me. Your parents, Terrance Greenbriar, a struggling author with an obsession with JFK, and your mother who works at a distant forestry, Janice Greenbrair, both have dark backstories, uncovered in the dimly lit rooms filled with evidence of your parents’ disappearance. This narrative on your parents gives a lot of depth to the game, and gives an even clearer depiction of the strained relationship your family has.
You uncover your family’s stories through examining items such as letters or pamphlets found around the house. Finding these items leave much of the story to the imagination. Seeing as most of their stories are shown through one-way letters, or book reviews, you yourself can fill in the blanks of these plots. This aspect of finding the parts of their plots around the house, only to finish with a blurry outline of their past’s, adding a certain mystery to the game. I think that this works in favor of the tone set in this old, gloomy house. This is the first time Katie has ever been in her house, and no one is there. The mystery of the house gives an anxiety, which is felt at the flicker of every light, and at every dark corner. The tone and these unclear subplots tie in well with each other, and give a more dark and sinister mood to the game, which I think is really effective in delivering “Gone Home”.
“Gone Home” uses a different type of storytelling to get across the plot of the game. You have to go looking for answers, instead of things being laid out in front of you. This gives a very real sense to the game. Its anxious and mysterious tone is strengthened through this way of storytelling, and effectively intrigues the players. I found myself enthralled in “Gone Home’s” world, looking deeper into the stories of my family, and deeply analyzing the narrative and feel of this game. I really enjoyed playing it and have and will recommend it to others.… Expand
Dec 18, 2013Incredible. What a great game- so unique. Rare subject subject matter, such an intimate narrative. 10 out of 10, undoubtably. Sure, it's short, and the replay value is close to zilch, but that's the nature of the narrative. Completely worth it, seeing as I bought it for $5.
Dec 19, 2013I am so glad that I did not pay $20 for this game or I would have been pissed. If this was a $3 ios app, then Id think it is worth buying, otherwise save your money. The game starts off with a lot of potential and I was getting really into it. After a (short) while though that excitement wore off and I was waiting for something to actually happen in the game. Well right when I thought something was going to happen, the game ends! This is a super super short game. Set your expectations very low otherwise you will be disappointed.… Expand
Dec 19, 2013The only thing this game is actually selling is the story, and it is a highly predictable one. How could this be "the greatest video game love story"? Just because it has the homosexuality with a bit 90s nostalgia theme? Really? Maybe the story IS THAT GOOD and I simply couldn't understand, but the rest parts of the game is basically non-existent. There is minor exploration content, misleading atmosphere that doesn't fit the story properly and that's pretty much it. The voice acting is not bad, other than that, I can't see what makes the game great.
How this game was able to beat BF4, Papers please, The Stanley Parable in VGX is a true mystery for me.… Expand
Dec 21, 2013I thought that this game was fantastic. Everyone here complaining about the gameplay went in to the game with the wrong expectations. If you go into it expecting there to be ghosts and thrills, then you are mistaken. You clearly did not do your research on the game and find out what it was about nor did you look at the core game mechanics before you purchased it.If you had done so, you would have realized that this is a STORY DRIVEN GAME. Its like reading an animated mystery book. I, however, did my research and made an informed decision to purchase this game. It was one of the best purchases I've made. The story was compelling and I felt an emotional connection to the characters. The game is short, yes, (lasted a bit over 2 hours for me, and 4 for my girlfriend) but never once did I want to stop playing. When the game was over, it felt complete. It felt well executed. Many games fail to convey emotions to the player and fail to wrap up the story in a satisfying way. I feel that this game did exactly as advertised and I am immensely pleased with my purchase. The only other game that comes to my mind as having a similar emotional and "complete" feeling at the game's end was Bastion. Both of these games just had something special about them that I really connected with. So, take that for what it's worth, I suppose.
The game just felt complete, and nothing seemed to be an afterthought. Its not one of those games where you shoot stuff for 6 hours surrounded by a weak story with plot holes everywhere. Don't get my wrong, I love FPS games and play them constantly. But Gone Home was just a nicely needed change of pace and made you actually feel like a part of an evolving story for once. And for that, this game was worth every penny… Expand
Jan 1, 2014This is such a beautiful game; it literally took my breath away. It's heartbreaking, terrifying, and hopeful all at once, and it will surprise you at every turn. Don't buy into the BS negative reviews. From what I've seen, all those people were expecting Gone Home to be something it's not. It is exactly what it professes to be: a story exploration title. Not an adventure, not a survival horror, but an interactive storytelling experience. If that's not what you're looking for, then spend your money elsewhere.
However, if you want to be thrilled, touched, and even a little terrified without firing a gun or running from zombies, PLEASE play this game. I can't even remember how many times I teared up, even cried a bit. Even if you can't directly relate to the characters in this story, you can surely empathize with them. And I'll bet that by the end, you'll care more about them than you might want to admit. I sure do.… Expand
Jan 1, 2014this game touched me so much, that i actually just made my account on metacritic to defend it against many of these negative reviews. first, as others have said, it is true that this game is not for everyone. if you are the type of person that *only* enjoys fast paced fps with far more invested in explosions & bullets than in story-line, then you definitely should not bother with this game.
gone home is a truly original video game (although it could also be described as an immersive story/movie experience) that pays homage to many mid-late 90s dramas. definitely a must play for anyone who grew up in that time period, as the creators paid close attention to bring you back in to 90s culture & teenage angst,
the game is laid out in such a way that you are constantly asking yourself "is this a dramatic story? or is it horror? will a ghost jump out and scare me to death?" and each time you think you have the game pinned, you realize you were wrong...and don't truly figure it out until the very end. i cant stress enough that where other reviewers have stated this game to be boring, is actually very engaging, and each clue you find draws you in more & more.
on the topic of more, there needs to be more games made like "gone home". don't get me wrong, there will always be a place for fps, sports and racing games, but there really needs to be more games like gone home, where there is a truly beautiful story that draws you in & makes you more emotionally invested. so please, do yourself a favor and check this game out, if nothing else, you'll finish the game feeling refreshed for playing a unique game set at a truly different pace.… Expand
Jan 6, 2014I get the discussion whether this 'game' should be counted as game or not, but no matter what the outcome of that discussion is, this was the perfect story to me.
The whole setting and vibe were very clever to get the player to want to get more answers and get them searching the house. The details of the house were absolutely stunning and well thought through. The main story and the side stories are very well written en told (I absolutely loved the voice acting). Basically, I really loved whatever Gone Home was and I don't think it's fair that it gets rated down because of the whole 'is it a game or isn't it?'-discussion.… Expand
Jan 14, 2014Is it possible to be very excited and disappointed about a game at the same time? I guess it is.
"Gone home" is a refreshing approach to storytelling, leaves you on your own in the game, lets you explore your character's an her family's recent past at you own pace. The story is driven forward by searching for clues in the new family home, reading documents, notes, letters. And there are plenty items to examine. The setting includes numerous hints to the 90's pop culture that are a delight to discover.
The good: The game touched me in a way that usually only books or sometimes movies can. This is one of the biggest compliments I can give to storytelling for a video game so far. Many games are astonishing , fun and exciting but rarely the story of a games gets really through to me. This one did! The coming of age background is fun and dramatic, and even if the pace is your own, the story took me on an emotional roller-coaster ride at one point even worrying about another character.
The bad: Unfortunately the setting of the house does not fit. It is simply implausible and unbelievable that a house looks the way it does, regarding the characters described in the game. Some clues that you find, seem to be placed on the spots because of the timing of the story, because the time-line needs you to find them in that particular order. To me the look of the house does not fit the personalities involved which is a major turn-down. This might be a cultural thing related, architecture and mid-class social behaviour being different on different continents, but nevertheless I didn't buy it.
The ugly: The point that disappointed me the most is the fact that the game only uses a fifth of it's potential. Exploring the house, means exploring the life of your family and in this setting the history of the house. I do understand that the focus had to be put on one characters story, but in the end there are too many open ends. Too many questions remain unanswered. There is so much more I wanted to know about characters and my own characters past after finishing the game. It would be ok in a chapter based game with more DLC.
And for the price of 20€ I expected more depth and content.… Expand
Jan 15, 2014Gone Home is more then just a video game, it is more then a story, it is a revolutionary experience that has transformed the video game world. For each person, Gone Home is different. Taking the role of Kaitlyn Greenbriar, you arrive at your house in 1995 after being abroad for one year. Expecting a warm welcome by your family, you arrive to a deserted house, filled with mystery and secrets that contain the answers for the unknown. Unaware of what has occurred over the last year, Gone Home is a game that is filled with exploration mystery and discovery. You roam the house in search of answers, looking at artifact after artifact, piecing up the puzzle that is your own family.
Gone Home is a game that dominates in every category. It follows a great and incorporative story and the graphics, sound and gameplay all excel the overall game. Personally, I believe that the sound in the game immensely enhances the gameplay. The sound creates the tone and mood of the game. It generates a gloomy, nightmarish, tense and desolate sense to the game, which greatly adds to the plot. Furthermore, the use of the Riot Grrrl music scene also enhances the gameplay. The Riot Grrrl scene is parallel to Samantha Greenbriar. Samantha is a troubled girl who struggles with the decisions of teenage life. The Riot Grrrl movement is her escape, her answer to all of her problems: sexuality, woman’s rights, abuse, etc. Although the Game is rather a free roam, it follows the plot of Samantha’s journal entries, scattered around the house.
The gameplay is rather fluid and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It keeps you constantly engaged, in search of artifacts and clues. The game allows you to do whatever you desire. It is free for your exploration. The reason why I believe this game is so unique is because it simulates literature. There are many games on the market that keep you active through action and adventure, but this game keeps you active through mystery. Throughout the entirety of this game, you discover secrets about the Greenbriar family. What you do not notice however, is that you actually never encounter any family members at all. It is a piece of literature that takes the viewer and allows him to unravel the story.
I give this game a 10. It kept me intrigued, it made me think, it made me laugh, it accomplished everything that I expect to take away from a game, and it did it to a outstanding level. I recommend this game whole heartily, as it is a revolutionary game.… Expand
Jan 15, 2014Gone Home is among the pioneers of the story exploration game genre. Story exploration games focus gameplay on a story as opposed to other game mechanics such as puzzles. Gone Home is set in 1995, the player character is a girl named Katie Greenbrair who returns home to an old mansion her family inherited from her uncle while she spent a year abroad. It quickly becomes evident that the house is vacant. It is the player’s mission to rummage through miscellaneous artifacts littered throughout the mysterious house to piece together hints to discover the whereabouts of the rest of the Greenbrair family. The artifacts found around the house expose three major plot lines, which revolve around Terrence, Katie’s father, Janice, Katie’s mother and Sam, Katie’s younger sister.
The high points of the game are the visual realism of the house and the game’s sound effects. The well-designed rooms around the house containing various artifacts create a lived-in atmosphere. For example the kitchen is realistically disorganized and Sam’s bedroom feels like the bedroom of an angsty teenager. Not only are the rooms realistic, the artifacts within them are equally real. These artifacts include a variety of detailed notes, full length short stories, telephone messages, documents and diary entries. The voice acting and writing done for these artifacts has such attention to detail that it feels like you are actually reading a note written by a 17 year old girl or hearing about her private feelings in her diary. The ambient sounds of the game, such as the soothing yet chilling sound of a thunderstorm, along with the eerie sound of the house creaking accents the mysterious tone of exploring the so called haunted house. Furthermore the variety of Riot Grrrl hits (played by putting found cassettes into tape players) shows Sam’s “stick it to the man” attitude. For example in Sam’s room there is a cassette with the song “Cool Schmool” by Bratmobile which speaks to Sam’s situation with lyrics such as, “I don't wanna hear how many friends you have cause I don't have any.” These lyrics speak directly to Sam’s situation when she first moved into the house as she was having trouble making friends.
The negative aspects of the game are the price of the game, the game’s controls and repeated artifacts. Although exposing the game’s story line is rewarding, at a cost of $20 for 2-3 hours of gameplay is not great value as there are numerous other games you could get much more playtime out of for the same price. Secondly not being able to run in the game although not necessary was an inconvenience while trying to search for a specific artifact or travel across the house. Lastly there were many artifacts that were repeated throughout many rooms such as the same tissue box, the second edition of Terrence’s novel and inoperable three ring binders scattered around the house.
Having not remembered the 90’s due to my age I was not able to experience the nostalgia from the 90’s culture references. For this reason I would recommend this game to anyone who lived through the 90’s, as I do not believe it is worth the $20 for 2-3 hours of gameplay if you cannot fully relate to the culture of the atmosphere.… Expand
Jan 26, 2014I think that this game is an important step in the right direction, but in all fairness it is too expensive for what is offered. I have never felt this warm and intrigued by a game space. Exploring the house feels like an experience I had when I was younger, walking around the house that my family just moved into. A game has never really been able to draw me in like that before. I would love to see another game where you simply explore a space, but I feel like that space needs to be bigger if you are going to charge $20. If this game was $5, I would easily give it a 10 out of 10. I also found the story to be, while engaging, slightly underwhelming. I liked it but you feel like you are getting baited into something (with the Oscar subplot) only to be let down lightly at the end. I had an unforgettable experience exploring the house but it needs more content for the current price to be justified.… Expand
Mar 1, 2014How well do you really know the people closest to you? When Kaitlin Greenbriar returns home from a gap year in Europe to find her entire family gone, it’s up to her to uncover the secrets that didn’t make it into those long-distance letters.
Picking up the threads of her family’s lives, the player must explore the colossal house they have since moved into, examining letters, newspaper clippings and, if one so chooses, the hundred thousand other details that make up a life. If it’s the people, and not the house, that make a home, then this game shows how each individual has inhabited every room with their cares, uncertainties and basic humanity.
From hastily scrawled notes passed between friends during class, to adult magazines buried under work documents, Gone Home is teeming with meticulously authentic details of family life that the player is at liberty to snoop through, turning each find over to yield further hidden notes or features.
Read the full review at: http://inkysquiggles.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/gone-home-review-house-is-not-home.html… Expand
Aug 21, 2014This is more of an interactive novel than it is a game - and no matter how much I wanted to really like it (riot grrl?! hell yeah!), it just didn't have the game play to back up to $15 price tag.
I beat this game in about 80 minutes, which is saying something. I love to take my time, winding through a game and exploring all of its hidden secrets, but there wasn't a whole hell of a lot of that in this game. You're just walking around in half lit rooms, trying to figure which hallway you're in, trying to move the story forward. This is something that would have definitely worked better as a short story or even a short film.
Maybe the console update will see some improvements, here's to hoping! Not the best, but not the worst either. A solid 6.… Expand
Sep 15, 2014This is a master piece of storytelling. something like I've not experienced before.
The people who have given this a low score do so for a few valid reasons, one of which is that technically I would not call this a 'game'. At its core it is simply a well told story which you as the 'player' unravel as you explore the house and try to uncover the mystery as to where your family has gone to.
The main plot about your sister 'Sam' whilst at time it may feel cliched, is very accurate to life growing u up in the 90's, an example of which are the hand written notes passed between her and her school friend Lonnie scattered about the house, with silly drawings on them etc. These and other factors make the experience given by Sam to be memorable, believable, compelling and emotional.
There are several other sub-plots focusing at the core of each on a family member, your parents and your great Uncle all have their own stories to tell.
If you want action and adventure and car chases and guns, stay VERY far away from this as you will likely hate it. (see the negative comments/bad reviews of the game)
For me, 'Gone Home' did something I've not experienced in a long time from games, and that is the feeling of being truly immersed into the game, into the characters, and their story. I lost track of time, and found myself rummaging through cupboards and boxes looking to try and find out what had happened, and at several moments during the unfolding of the stories thinking to myself as the protagonist 'okay but where the hell is everyone?!?!" out of genuine concern. and that is an experience i have not gotten from a game in many years!… Expand