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Mixed or average reviews- based on 1554 Ratings

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  1. Aug 16, 2013
    I don't usually give games a 10. In fact, there are only 2 other games that I would consider to be perfect 10s: the original portal and pacman ce dx. Those aren't necessarily the best games I've played, but they are the most perfect, if that makes sense. And that is a word that I would use to describe Gone Home: perfect. It is a game purely comprised of exploration and discovery, with virtually no other gameplay components with the exception of some very simplistic puzzles. And yet, Gone Home manages to make seemingly mundane exploration into some of the most engaging and emotional storytelling I have ever seen. Gone Home will be remembered for its brilliant design and execution, but also as a game that bravely led the charge in addressing contemporary social issues that have not as of yet found much representation in the medium.
    This game is not for everyone. If all you play are shooters and fast paced action games, then Gone Home will bore you. However, if you like slower games or games with interesting ways of telling stories, such as Journey, Heavy Rain, Dear Esther, or even mods like The Stanley Parable, than Gone home is certain to grab you and not let go for its 3 hour duration.
  2. Aug 16, 2013
    I sat down and played through "Gone Home" and I was really impressed by it.

    The premise of Gone Home is that you're a girl named Kaitlin who has returned home from an extended trip around Europe. You arrive on a stormy night to find the house seemingly deserted. You explore the many unique, detailed rooms trying to find out where your family, most notably your sister Sam, has
    disappeared to.

    Now let me get one thing out of the way right now; this is NOT an action or horror game. There are no enemies to fight, you're never in any danger and there are no jump scares (well there is actually a tiny one that many are likely to miss and is a clever joke given the context for it). This is a game about exploration, moving from room to room picking up a wide variety of interactive objects. There are locked doors that block your primary path, but finding the keys to open them is not difficult in any way. As long as you keep and eye out and examine the environment carefully, you'll never get stuck.

    Gone Home is here to tell a story and the story it weaves is well told, personal, believable, touching and easy to relate to. The main focus is on your sister Sam, who provides voice over from her diary when certain objects are found. The delivery is perfect and it's impossible not to get attached to her. I was smiling as she talked about making her first real friend and getting her butt kicked at Street Fighter, and generally upset when she described obstacles in her life. I was strongly invested in Sam's story, hoping out loud numerous times that my predicted outcomes were incorrect. For a character only seen in pictures and heard in voice over, she is extremely well developed and easy to care for.

    While the focus is certainly on Sam, she's not the only character. As you explore the house, you learn about your parents and even alittle back story about the home's previous occupants. You'll get insight into the state of their marriage, obstacles in their careers and their interests solely from looking around. The game treats you like an adult, giving you the pieces and leaving you to draw your own conclusions without ramming it down your throat. It's possible to miss or ignore these details if you want, but they only immerse you further so I'd recommend reading everything you can.

    While this is not a horror game, the atmosphere is certainly eerie. The house is large and feels believably lived in so wandering it all alone is somewhat unsettling, especially as claps of thunder come from outside, lights flicker and walls creak. Even knowing that nothing in this house is out to get you (which has been stated by the developers), it's hard not to have this small unnerving feeling as you look around, especially since someone in your family is interested in the supernatural and has left books abut hauntings laying around, planting the idea of ghosts in your head as you walk down a dark hallway. Don't be surprised if you find yourself rushing for the nearest light source each time you enter a room just to calm your nerves a bit.

    I came away from Gone Home feeling refreshed and knowing that the experience will stick with me. It's currently $20 on Steam, which some may find steep for a 2-3 hour experience, but I think it's worth it for a game this special. If you're looking for action or scares then don't bother cause this isn't the place for either and you'll just be bored. It requires patience since, again, your sole activity is searching every nook and cranny of numerous rooms and taking in the story, but those that give it a chance are likely to find an experience they'll think back fondly on. And if you're on the fence and don't want to take the hit just yet, then make damn sure you pick it up should it ever go on sale.
  3. Aug 17, 2013
    Like many sources and reviews have already described, Gone Home is a game where you take on the role of a Girl coming home from a long vacation only to find the house empty. Your role is to go through the large house and look for letters and tapes to decipher what has happened to your family while you're gone. There is no action, and there is little puzzle solving. Nevertheless, as you can probably judge from my score, I really liked the game, and I will tell you the reasons in order for you to decide for yourself if you want to play the game or not.

    First, there are some glaring "flaws" to this game, if you could even call it that, which are the length and the price. The game takes less than 2 hours to finish, and cost me 18 dollars. For me personally it was definitely worth the price of admission, but for those who can only purchase one game once in a while, this might not be a very good investment even if you end up loving the game. Read what I will have to say in the following paragraphs and then decide.

    The controls are simple but responsive, you can walk and look around, click on things to pick them up, rotate things while observing them, and zoom in on objects and the environment. While reminiscent of a pixel hunt adventure game, objects that you can interact with are instantly recognizable due to the in-game effects and also because of the attention to detail that the makers put into the graphics. You will occasionally find some bland textures, but the sheer amount of objects you can interact with is tremendous, and you can pretty much read the fine labels on the smallest, most ordinary objects. The technical graphics might not win any awards, but the love put into the most mundane objects show a quality that few other games reach.

    The sound of the game reminded me of the ambient noises from the best horror games. There is technically no background music, but the creaks of the floor boards, the humming of the light bulbs, and the rumble of thunder outside comes clear and crisp through the headphones/speakers. The voice acting is also tremendous; you can feel each emotional passage uttered with true passion. All of the sounds and voices combine into a very immersive environment, and combined with the detailed graphics, it actually creates a very believable empty house for your to explore. I never knew an ordinary house could be so terrifying with just being... there without inhabitants.

    It might be obvious at this point that, without any action and puzzle solving, the game is about the ambiance and the story telling. And while I have laid praise to the former, the latter is where the game truly shines. The in-game story is mostly conveyed through the letters, notes, invoices, and tapes that you pick up and observe. Combined with that is an occasional narrative that extends and reveals a different angle to the story that complements the experience. And let me tell you, as mundane as reading letters are, it is a very emotional experience.

    It has been a very long time since I have felt unadulterated terror at the ambiance of a game. I expected things to show up at any moment, and with the opening of every single door, the fear of a child-dreamt booeyman leaping out from the closet was all too real. However, I have never felt a more genuine sense of dread, not fear nor terror, at what I -thought- I would find as I followed the story. What my imagination brought, it startled and then it ebbed, but what existed in the narrative world is what made me perspire and weep. Paired with that are well timed scenes of utmost joy and warmth that pulled at my heartstrings. These two opposing groups of feelings combined to form a emotional force that I was entirely unprepared for; this is a triumph in storytelling.

    It is fine for you to not know why or what made me feel what I felt from a simple point and click adventure game, but just know that this game is capable of delivering all these emotions if you let it. I cannot recommend this game enough, as it is up there along with other great indie storytellers such as To the Moon.
  4. Aug 18, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Words can almost not describe what this emotionally gripping story of a misunderstood teenage girl makes you feel. It gives you a feeling of happiness, sadness, fear, and even humor at points, but in the end it chooses a route that you at first believe you will dread that actually gives you a sense of hope and happiness that shows that love is a powerful force that can drive people to do things that some would call foolish, but I believe it to be extraordinary. Not since The Last of Us has a video game made me shed tears, but instead of tears of sadness I shed tears of happiness and joy for an ending that denied usual trend of dark, gloomy, or even uncertain endings and gave us the fantastic narrative that is Gone Home.

    Absolute 10 out of 10
  5. Aug 17, 2013
    This game is not for nonintellectuals and the unimaginative. This video game is masterfully crafted in all rights. This is the most connected I have felt to any characters in a single video game ever. Gone Home's ability to suspend belief is remarkable. This in fact is a video game, an amazing one. If you would love to take a personal high detail hand crafted journey into another life then play this video game. Just because a game is "short" means nothing. This is completely worth its price. I am proud that this video game exists. Expand
  6. Aug 17, 2013
    So... yeah, it was good.

    Got trough in good one hour and a half but there's probably double the length if you really digg into it. It wasnt bad since it made me go trough several emotions. Is it worth 20$? Well, i dunno. Think 10$ would be more appropiate but on the other hand the game actually is pretty unique.

    Short, if you liked Dear Esther you will probably love this one. If
    you're expect a real adventure, think it over twice. Expand
  7. Aug 17, 2013
    As these reviews here undoubtedly made clear, 'Gone Home' isn't a game that will appeal to everybody. It's definitely a difficult game to review or even describe. People will say that all you do is walk around a house and look at stuff. That is very much true. It's all you do in this game, but it seems to me like a lot of people fail to understand why that is or at least can be a good thing. Gone Home is in essence a story based exploration and puzzle game, but not quite in the way you might expect. Talking about puzzles in Gone Home means that the game challenges you to puzzle out its characters through the things you find in the house. You learn all these little details about the Greenbriar family by finding their belongings, investigating them and drawing your own conclusions as to what they might mean. Remember the Ratman hideouts in Portal and your thought process as you tried to figure out what might have happened there? Gone Home has a ton of these little moments of environmental storytelling, but instead of an abandoned sci-fi research facility, it takes place in a setting you know, that you can completely relate to. There was one moment in particular that involved the father of the house who we never see or hear but through several notes and clues I found I was able to understand his inner struggles and his character better than I would ever have any other way. It was a proper 'holy crap' moment and it was glorious. This is why Gone Home is very much a game. It doesn't have the traditional gamey challenges you might expect, but instead sets out to challenge you in very different and new ways and in my humble opinion brilliantly pulls it off. This kind of storytelling is simply impossible in any other medium.
    It is short at about 2 to 3 hours of playtime and it's understandable that at the current price point that may not be enough for a lot of people but I think it's well worth it. It's an experience unlike anything else and at least for that it should be appreciated even it isn't you cup of tea.
  8. Aug 17, 2013
    Really great game. Different than I though. Too short though or I would have given 10/10. However, the detail and story they put into it makes up for any other issues. They need to make more indie games like this.
  9. Aug 17, 2013
    Simply an AWESOME game. I was absolutely stricken with emotion upon completing it. I was borderline in tears at the end. This game contains strong, emotional writing. Although the main character may not be entirely relatable to some people, it still demands a huge amount of empathy and feeling for the protagonist as the game documents her struggle. Simply an amazing game that is perfect for these modern times where new social issues are brought into spectrum and we have to learn to be more accepting of others. Truly a great game, think of a tape hunting love story. It is, all-in-all a love story. So if that's not what you're into, you might as well not buy this game. Although it's so good, it might be worth considering.
    -Strong, emotionally driven narrative
    -Excellently done soundtrack that fits in perfectly
    -Great interface
    -Exploring the house is fun and rewarding
    -Perfect atmosphere
    -Great love :)
    -Could have been longer
    -Would love to have seen other supporting characters more fleshed out, less as side roles
    EXCELLENT GAME! Definitely put it somewhere on top of my list of favorites. If you're into romances, this is your game, otherwise, your 18$ may be best spent somewhere else.
  10. Aug 18, 2013
    A perfect example of a game of this genre. Story is strong, visuals are intensive and sounds are very atmospheric. Discovering hidden secrets is enjoyable as ever. 10 out of 10.
  11. Aug 17, 2013
    This game needed to be made. Video games have become trite, predictable. This game, I honestly had no clue how it was going to end until it ended. It was suspenseful and actually scary without all the boring repetitive killing sequences like in common games, it was emotional, it was well written and designed. And a game with not one, but actually two female protagonists? YES. WOW. You wouldn't think that would be so hard! This game needed to be made. And more need to me made that are like it. I played it once through by myself and then a second time with my partner. This game means a lot to us from a social justice standpoint and from a socially conscious video gaming standpoint. It needs to win all of the awards. All the sexist trolls can go back to playing "CoD 24: Shoot More Random Guys Isn't This Fun", if they don't like this game. Expand
  12. Aug 20, 2013
    It seems that a lot of people are missing the point of Gone Home. It's unfair to call this a game, it is truly a piece of interactive story telling. If Gone Home is anything, it's a glimpse into a future of entertainment where the task of thinking is given back to the viewer rather than the program maker. Gone Home tells a tail of familiar teenage development in a beautifully haunting way. Think of this in the same way as you would a thoughtful piece of television drama but with the magical twist that you're the director. Being able to dictate the pace and flow of the piece really does open up a whole new perspective in drama and I for one applaud the team behind Gone Home for being brave enough to complete this vision.
    Yes it has a step asking price, and frankly I think it's too high a price for most. However, ignoring the economics of the situation Gone Home gives me hope that 'gaming' can continue to become a medium more and more accessible but at the same time, more engaging and enlightening. Supporting this game (even with it's ridiculous asking price) gives hope to the medium.
  13. Aug 18, 2013
    I think there is some justification for people giving bad review, this isn't something for everyone which I'm sure the developer knew going in. HOWEVER Certain people saying the story was to simple really didn't get everything out of it. There are many subplots that you really have to explore the game all the way to see and they are honestly just as interesting. As well as how the main story is laid out is just great, finding things in the way you do (ex. listen to the answering machine right away and having no clue whats going on with it)

    The Graphics are pretty good for an Indie game, the lighting was pretty cool and there were so many objects to see it was great. However for some reason with alot of lights on sometimes performance plummeted on my laptop and I have a GTX 660M which is far above the requirements.

    All in all, I agree it might be more for a lower price tag but there were some really great production values in this and it was a game that a lot of people just won't forget. You got to kind of have more in touch with the main character and feel a bit more like you were there, not just watching.
  14. Aug 18, 2013
    I am simply shocked at the number of low user scores. Perhaps 'Gone Home's incredible writing, beautiful story, great use of lighting, mysterious house full of secrets, and wonderful interaction aren't for everybody. But I found this game, apart from its short length, to be nearly flawless. Discovering new things about the characters and the house itself through the power of exploration was a blast, and the story brought me to tears. A video game doesn't need explosions to be a wonderful demonstration of the medium. I would recommend this game to anybody, especially high school students and parents with teenage children. This game perfectly captured how it feels to be a teenager, how the 90's felt, and how awesome it feels to explore large houses during a thunderstorm. 9/10. If you don't like it, I believe steam is currently having a sale on Call of Duty (They aren't really, I was just being a clever douche). Expand
  15. Aug 16, 2013
    Gone Home is astonishing Great story telling and voice acting Whoever likes indie games like Dear Esther must play this one for sure 9/10 great game
  16. Aug 16, 2013
    Gone Home is a fantastic Interactive Story, and if you think of it as that then the $20 price is justified. However it is dreadfully short, I personally beat it in an hour.

    The story in this game is still fantastic enough for me to say that this is one of the games everyone will want to play. Newly released hardcover books are $15, movie tickets are anywhere from $10 to $20, and this
    fits in that price range.

    +Godly amazing environment and story.
  17. Aug 17, 2013
    This was a very touching story, and like Dear Esther will have a lasting effect on me. I'm not sure why people complain that this 'shouldn't be a game'; as if it shouldn't exist as anything more than written text. Why not give it an atmosphere you can play through? I felt completely immersed, which is what I expect the creator of Gone Home was aiming for. I really enjoyed the subject of the story it wasn't what I was expecting when I first began to explore, but I was quite relieved that this didn't turn out to be another ghost/stalker story. Expand
  18. Aug 18, 2013
    Gone Home is a game that wants to tell you a story and does so with such ease that you feel invested in it from the first journal entry till the last. In gone home you play as Kaitlin Greenbriar returning home after being abroad in Europe to find your house empty and your parents and sister Sam missing. Your goal is to solve the mystery of where your family has mysteriously disappeared to.

    The main and only objective of the game is to search the empty house for clues, and as you find them Sam will tell a story in the form of journals entries. The game is set in a house in the year 1995 and The Fullbright Company does the era justice from finding cassettes to VHS tapes littered around the house. What makes gone home so special though is the storytelling.

    In my two hour play through I felt so many different emotions that in any other form of entertainment would not have been possible. From scared, sad, nervous, and much more I can honestly say a game has never encouraged me to feel so much. If your looking for a game packed with action and fighting bad guys this game is most certainly not for you, but if your interested in one of the best stories I've experienced in recent memory this game is a must buy.
  19. Aug 18, 2013
    No one can write a proper review of Gone Home without spoiling everything, but I'll try. Every review you read should tell you that the narrative in this game is incredible and moving. But this is an example of a story that couldn't be told as well using any other medium. The year is 1995. The player plays as Katie, who comes home from a trip across Europe to discover that no one else is home. As Katie, you search your house in an attempt to discover where your sister Sam went. Sam left clues for you, scattered throughout the house. As I played, I really felt as if I had come home to my (creepy) house and was trying to solve a mystery that my sister had left for me. And as time went on, I got more comfortable with the house. As the story picked up, I found myself unable to stop playing. I'm so impressed that this was made by only a few people. I'll definitely pick up whatever they release next.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Well, as someone who's enjoyed games like Dear Esther, Heavy Rain, El Shaddai and Flower, I know I'm not alone. Some of us are pleased to see video game culture starting to grow up, and it's up to us all to show that it'll take more than nagging skeptics to keep gaming as a disposable-entertainment medium. Gone Home is a modest game that unfolds into a beautiful story, and it mustn't be marginalized because it didn't give you a score, put walls in your way, or attempt to hurt you. This is one of the rare games that rethinks what a game can do, and it shouldn't be struck down and called a freak for that.
  26. Aug 21, 2013
    Gone Home is what I imagine that William Faulkner would have created if he had made video games. You really should not be put off by the mediocre overall user score. This is an art house game, but it is truly incredible. The voice acting is superb and the aesthetics are spot on. The nostalgia made me feel like I was in my own house, growing up in the nineties. There were moments of suspense, and you spend a good part of the game afraid, but everything you do in the game ends up turning into this beautiful mosaic that will stay with you for a long time after you finish it. Games have potential that no other art form as, because of interactivity, and Gone Home is a game that capitalizes on this, and provides an incredible experience that helps you walk a mile in someone else's shoes. Expand
  27. Aug 21, 2013
    Just... Incredible. I started the game and thought it would be scary... Then, I got so enthralled into Sam´s story, that I´m just out of words. It´s not a game per se, it´s an experience and a beautiful story.
  28. Aug 19, 2013
    I really enjoyed this. It's not going to be interesting for everyone but I loved slowly combing through the empty house, piecing together the mystery of where the family had gone. The separate threads of each character were incredibly immersive even though I was just picking up receipts, letters, pizza boxes. I have never seen a game environment tell such an engaging story. The sister, Sam's, story is incredibly heartfelt and the voice-acted diaries are very high quality. It is a very short game, but I would compare it to a good novel. I felt quite satisfied after finishing it. There is also the novelty of such a well realised physical environment that is so familiar no caves or fantasy kingdoms or WWII bunkers, but the sort of home many of us might have grown up in (okay maybe the richer half). I found myself opening the dishwasher, pulling out the rack, and then stacking the cups in the kitchen cupboards because I can do that in a game now, and not to fill some sort of predestined game task, but because I wanted to see if I could. I can't wait to see where these sorts of games end up. Expand
  29. Aug 17, 2013
    More of a gorgeous and elegiac tone poem than a conventional video game, Gone Home clearly won't be for everyone. By now you'll likely be aware that the game's mechanics are light even by adventure game standards.

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

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

    The sort of game Gone Home is couldn't be more clearly advertised. It is a deeply ponderous, subtle experience. Some have heralded it as the next evolutionary step for gaming as a storytelling medium. I would contend that is false. Video games still offer a way to combine tremendous interactivity, emotional investment, and philosophical gravity to narrative that allow for games like Bioshock: Infinite and The Last of Us to be possible in only this medium. That will continue to be the mainstay of what we consider quality gaming, and rightly so. But Gone Home offers a radical alternative, a game without clear cut objectives, without targets and points. A game that allows you to just exist and enjoy and uncover and explore without the typical urgency or high stakes. That, to me, is something that is truly special and fantastically courageous. I can't wait to see what comes next.
  30. Aug 18, 2013
    In the last few years, games have taken to using exploration as a storytelling tool. Whether it be the audio diaries found in Bioshock or the various letters seen in The Last of Us, developers are realizing that oftentimes exploration and discovery can paint a better picture of the world than dialogue can. With Gone Home, The Fullbright Company takes this idea and runs with it.

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

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

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

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

    Gone Home is a game that makes us rethink the definition of a videogame. It's story is novelistic in nature, and its gameplay consists only of exploring a house void of people. Yet in the way that only the best art can, it does so much by doing so little. This is a game that will keep you thinking long after the credits roll, and one you won't forget anytime soon. Highly recommended, go buy this game now!
  31. Aug 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Gone Home is a video game that is triumphs in tapping into the one thing we all seem to share an imagination gone wild in the face of uncertainity. It's an experience all of us likely had at some point in our lives you're home, alone, with the sounds of a creaky house settling, maybe with or without a nasty storm outside. Any sound, any shadow evokes a response of fear when, in reality, the logical side of your brain knows there is nothing there. Gone Home takes all of that and wraps it up into one fantastic package.

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

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

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

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

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

    Gone Home takes some of our most base expectations of the world around us and the video game medium and shines a light on them in a way most of us have never experienced. Sometimes, the simplest answer is the correct answer. No, that creaky floorboard isn't a murderer who crawled through the window. Stop letting your imagination get the best of you.
  32. Aug 25, 2013

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

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

    Having said that, on to the game.

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

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

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

    I am fully behind this game and I hope that this game serves as a catalyst for change in gaming. It's possibly the beginning of a new genre!
  33. Aug 24, 2013
    I've only written one game review before this, but I had to since online love coming up with excuses to hide their intolerance. It is simply amazing. As a 90's kid, alot of nostalgia was brought back to me and the atmosphere is definitely the game's strongest trait. Most reasons I see for why the "core gaming kids" are hating on this is a) they feel the story is "immature and generic" and b) It's "not a real game, but a movie." For a) If you can find me just FIVE games that have a similar story to this (spoiler alert: you won't), then I'll consider your excuse for it being "generic." As for b) This isn't a "real game" worth a high user score, yet minimalist adventure games like Journey and Walking Dead are? Expand
  34. Aug 19, 2013
    One of the best games/stories I have ever played. Gameplay wise, it lies somewhere between Dear Esther and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but holds it own in strong artistic gameplay direction and incredible attention to detail in its visual and auditory design of the environment and even details such as its timing of text animation.

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

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

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

    It's a two hour game, almost devoid of challenge, and without replay incentives, but I think it's a mistake to divide a game's price by its length to determine its value. Gone Home offers something unique and tells the kind of story that most games never would. Stop reading, check your expectations at the door, and open your mind. This is not one to miss.
  39. Aug 22, 2013
    What is the most fun of playing adventure games? you'll have to put everything you knew away because GONE HOME is not a usual video game that my come every year. games like this- i you find of course- is what called "Art Game" and that's true because of the story. story of GONE HOME is not an excuse for gameplay or something like that. its the reason. the reason you should play GONE HOME is story and in the end; story give you an important better-than-jewelry gold reward. it's a story about love, and it's not the matter of ages and gender... it's about love. Expand
  40. Aug 22, 2013
    This is the best game I played for a very long time. Luckily I hadn't have any spoilers and I did not know what to expect. After I get used to the spooky atmosphere I was consumed by the story and couldn't stop to play it. I even caught myself turning around (ingame) as I heard a creaking noise... Beautiful!
  41. Aug 22, 2013
    A lot of user reviews of Gone Home can't accept Gone Home for what it is, which is perfectly okay. The game does feature well-developed female characters and uses a simple interface to tell a moving and personal story. I would argue it's a game with far more emotional complexity that shines through because the game allows you to simply experience its story instead of insulting your intelligence at every turn or demanding you experience a story through violence. It's beautiful, well-crafted, and a fresh of breath air against the backdrop of countless shooters and fantasy escapism. It's an adventure game where the adventure takes place in your own imagination instead of force fed in little chunks. Some people can't handle a truly great game when it comes around, which is perfectly okay. Expand
  42. Aug 24, 2013
    Gone Home has a very touching story which moved me close to tears a few times, and I think it manages to not tip over the edge of being too sentimental, although it's a close call in a few parts.
    I understand people bashing the game for not having actual gameplay, but you can't judge all games from the same criteria. Looking at what the game (or, more accurately, interactive story) tries
    to accomplish it does it very well. Expand
  43. Aug 25, 2013
    This is a game which, probably, you will either love, or hate.

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

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

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

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

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

    It was unique and fresh and I enjoyed the entire experience.
  45. Aug 27, 2013
    Gone Home is a great game. Full stop. Yes, it is a game. It's not a shooter, it's not an action game, it's not a survival horror game. But it IS a game. Saying it's not a game is like saying that a movie isn't a movie because it doesn't have explosions or car chases. It may not be your kind of game, or a game you are comfortable with... but it IS a game. And it does the things it is trying to do with grace and assurance.

    I am amazed at how negative the player response to the game has been... I think there are three reasons.

    1. The price. The game is going for $20 and it's a short game... between 90 minutes and 3 hours. That makes it shorter than most movies and for the first time we are being asked to pay more per hour for a game than a movie! Oh man the gall! How dare they! ...well they do dare and I think in this case it's on purpose. It's an ok thing to make an indie game that is revolutionary and then give it away because 'you know it's not a 'real' game... but to make a indie game that refuses to meet player expectations, to do it well with polish style and impact... and then to DEMAND that players acknowledge it's worth by asking them to pay a premium for it... it seems that that is not ok with a lot of players. I guess it's fair to want a longer game for your money. For me, well I say rock on, I got what I paid for.

    2. Presentation. The game presents like it's going to be a survival horror game. It plays with that expectation. Even new video game players feel it and say things like 'This is creepy, I think something is going to jump out at me!' The game wants you to feel that, but the game is not 'about' that, it's about atmosphere not monsters. Getting upset at that is like getting mad because your psychological drama didn't turn out to be a horror movie. I guess being upset at this is fair enough, if you don't like the games actual genera then I can see feeling tricked by it's atmosphere. That does not make it a bad game, it just means you don't like that kind of game.

    3. Subject matter. I won't spoil but a lot of the user reviews have a layer or discomfort or fear surrounding the subject matter of the game. I love it, and I love that it has gotten under these gamer's skins even if they would deny that. The gentle honest subtle presentation of the subject matter is the first time it has been addressed that way in games, and really one or the few times we see it addressed that way in media at all. You may not like the story, fair enough. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you don't like it. Despite what you may be telling yourself it's not because it's shallow, poorly told, or because (and one reviewing player actually said this) because 'the textures are bad'.

    In any case I hope you take the time to decide for yourself. I think in 20 years people will be looking back at this game as one of if not the moment games grew up.
  46. Oct 5, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's rare when I am completely surprised by a story in any medium. This a game that has been masterfully crafted to convey a powerfully emotional story, whilst throwing you completely off the scent on what you expect to happen. I loved the atmosphere this game creates with the most simple of storytelling aides: light, sound and the player's own mind.

    P.S. Soundtrack-wise, I loved the cassettes dotted around with its 90s punk on.
  47. Aug 24, 2013
    Personally I thought the story was lovely and enjoyed it from start to finish, wish it was longer! If it gets any sort of DLC to carry on I would love that.
  48. Aug 26, 2013
    A beautiful and emotional experience that is not worth more than $5 in the grand scheme of things. That's not to say it isn't worth owning, but I'd wait until enough angry FPS fanboys have sufficiently badmouthed this game into the bargain bin at Steam before checking it out.
  49. Aug 23, 2013
    I don't really write game reviews but seeing such negative feedback from the community for such a brilliantly developed game made me want to take the time for this.

    Here are my thoughts. Most reviewer took issue with things like game mechanics, lighting, textures, etc. Great, yes, this game is not Crysis 3 or Bioshock Infinite. Though, in all honesty, I was nowhere nearly as glued to my
    computer screen playing Bioshock or Crysis as I was with this game. While those games are novel and have a unique set of features that make them enjoyable to play, Gone Home has an unparalleled level of depth that most modern games can't compare to.
    Its mature. Its thought provoking. It's the most realistic (situation/story line) game I have ever played.

    I think what most people who reviewed this poorly missed out on was how the game makes you feel. They get too caught up in the details instead of looking at the bigger picture and just experiencing the game for what it is instead of judging it for not having realistic enough graphics. I don't blame them. The first time my buddy eagerly showed me Minecraft and his elaborately built (and highly time consuming) castles, I though "your sh%$ing me right?" Not until I sat down and played the game did I realize its brilliance (just think back to your first night spent in Minecraft and you'll understand). These sorts of games are different but not necessarily wrong. Too many "gamers" are just trapped in the "better graphics, bigger explosions better game" mindset. Which, of course, couldn't be further from the truth.

    So to any of you who can appreciate a storyline that goes beyond the standard "hero's journey" narrative and woven into a realistic atmosphere, you'll be glad you played.
  50. Aug 25, 2013
    Many of the other user reviews I've read are very clearly submitted by people who haven't played Gone Home, many of which are perversely proud of that fact. While Gone Home isn't a perfect game, the 3.5 hours I spent with it were immersive, nostalgic, and hit surprisingly close to home. I honestly wouldn't award it a perfect score, but I am doing so to offset the goons who are submitting a score without having experienced the product itself. Expand
  51. Aug 26, 2013
    Without a doubt, the best interactive story that has been produced.
    At the risk of stereotyping, this isn't your average young guys game. It doesn't have the latest high tech graphics or sound. There isn't much screaming and at least 10% of the cast survive. Hardly much fun then. Well no, it isn't, because "fun" isn't a word I would use to describe this game. If fun is what you want then
    buy something else. This game is a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, the story is so critically important to the game, if you even find out what genre of story it is, then you have started to spoil the experience. It's best played with no knowledge or expectations. If I have a criticism, it is that the game is very short for the money. But hey, in my opinion it's worth it. Can I recommend it? Yes. Completely. It's the Marmite of the gaming world. You will love it or hate it. Just on the off-chance you love it, it's worth the risk. Expand
  52. Aug 25, 2013
    If I had to pin a definition on Gone Home, I'd call it more of an experience than a game, and probably the closest game of its kind I could compare it to would be something along the lines of Myst. There are no jump scares, zombies, or physical horrors to run from. Instead, you're drawn into a fully realized and believable world of a family and their lives as you explore their empty house.

    It's difficult to write about Gone Home in-depth without saying more than I should; I certainly don't want to ruin the experience for others, and you should go into it as blindly as possible. I will say that it reveals a touching and complicated coming of age story set in the mid-90s, and as a man born in 1980, the atmosphere of re-creating 1994 was amazing, from the items in the house, to the music, to the references. None of it felt ham-handed or shoehorned it all just "fit." This isn't a game meant to be played by kids. There isn't anything graphic, but rather it's a game that would be difficult for someone to completely appreciate if they haven't gone through the slings and arrows of being a teenager.

    I'm very delighted to see Gone Home getting universal praise from professional reviewers, and I hope more developers will take a chance on original game development. Gone Home is currently on Steam for $19.95, and you should buy it.
  53. Aug 30, 2013
    What's $20 worth, these days? I find that people have a weird evaluation of worth, in that if something uses operant conditioning trickery as opposed to being fun and engaging, and then sets before you a game of endless padding and grind with repetitious content, then that's going to be worth more than a good story. What is the worth of a good story? You can pay upwards of $20 for an audio book, with one author. That's actually a common price, these days. Just to have someone read one of your favourite stories to you, because you might have poor sight. So it'd be fair to say that a good story is worth at least $20, wouldn't it? The question is: Are you willing to pay $20 for a good story?

    People are going to go into this with expectations. Jump scares aplenty, they'll expect, and find none. One might find cheap, schlocky horror in the vein of Slenderman, yet one would find none. One might expect puzzles to be forced in there, akin to Myst, just so that it can uphold a degree of gameness, and they'd find none. So, could one appreciate a good story contained not within a book, but presented as an interactive medium? Or would they just see the empty casing of where a game could be and complain?

    Sadly, many have done the latter, and it is a pity that the experience was lost on them. This isn't a Dear Esther style game, either. You don't merely hold W so that you may watch and listen. No, this game invites you to explore, learn, and unravel. You enter into a dark house, with an eerily cloying atmosphere, you progress through chapters of the story with each room you light up, with hints and clues dropped into your lap as the tale comes together in your head. No Slendermen jump out at you, no kitsch puzzles are jury-rigged into the experience either.

    It is what it is. It's a good story. And perhaps more suited for those who read, to experience a good story told in a different medium, rather than those who only game.

    Is a good story worth $20? I think so. I really think so. You can grind through a game that lasts 60 hours, cringing through cutscenes with some dialogue which varies between awkwardly written and just plain bad. Gone Home doesn't represent a good game, but it is a fantastic interactive experience, one that will linger in your mind for years to come. You won't be playing stabby-stabby with guards, you won't be trying to figure out what this peculiar jigsaw piece is for, you'll simply be experiencing. Living a story through the eyes of others. And it is a sublime experience.

    You've paid $60 for a bad story before. I know you have, because I know I have.

    Is a genuinely good story that you won't forget worth a portion of that?

    Everyone's going to have a different answer. Sometimes though it's nice to have an experience which sits apart from those same experiences you have every day. If you can keep an open mind and approach this as an interactive book, if you can put your intellect before your fear of the unfamiliar, if you can do that? Then I promise you, you'll have a good time.

    If anything, a good story is the measure of the quality of a person, as a good story will stay with you for the longest time. A good story will leave you pondering the unspoken but implied truths, it will have you read between the lines, and it will make you live in the Universe it's weaved for you.

    Some people just want stabby-stabby or shooty-shooty. This game isn't for them in the same way that Pan's Labyrinth wasn't meant for Michael Bay fans. It's not for raging homophobes either who see everything containing homosexuality as some kind of gay agenda, out to gayify their friends and children, which accounts for the vast majority of the negative reviewers.

    I've spent a lot of time picking apart the opinions of those who have such a passionate hatred for Gone Home and it ultimately comes down to 'this should have been a game about a straight romance.' It's all sexual insecurities, because a nontrivial amount of gaming men feel frightened, even terrified, by empowered women. I'm very much reminded of the "But I'm a nice guy!" video. (Google it if you haven't seen it.) Consider just how worryingly desperate some are to down-vote reviews pointing this out, it should tell you everything you need to know.

    I don't think a person's sexual insecurities should be used to score a game, and they should be able to recognise their own biases based upon them. If a game plays on their sexual insecurities, that means they need counselling. It's not a negative statement about the game. (To the contrary, honestly.) So it's not for them.

    Ultimately, I see Gone Home as a metric for the quality of a person as a whole, and it can be used as such. Gone Home will show whether a person is able to enjoy a good, emotionally mature story or not. And it will also tell you whether someone has sexual security issues. Some people won't measure up, some will. As such, maybe this game is for you, or maybe it isn't. It was definitely for me.
  54. Aug 21, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sure are a lot of haters on here. First of all, this is most definitely a game. It's a linear game for sure, but it's still a game, and a great one at that. What's the difference between this and most adventure games? You click on or interact with every object you can find until something fits your puzzle and you move on. This game is no different in that aspect. Where it obviously differs is its narrative method, where it succeeds in conveying a unique (for videogames, anyway) and engaging story. The game does a fantastic job of capturing what it would really feel like to come home to a large, empty house for the first time. I think about how I would adapt this game in another medium. The book, and now film, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" immediately comes to mind, as it is similarly a teenager's coming-of-age story set in the 90s, where the main story is told through letters (or journal entries in Gone Home). However, neither a film or a book would ever be able to capture the feeling of walking down an unlit hallway in search of a light switch, uncovering clues about how great of a student and athlete you were in high school compared to your sister, stumbling across details about your parents' strained marriage, or even just a walking through the greenhouse at night while the rain falls outside, punctuated by an occasional clap of thunder. This game was truly one of the most unique emotional experiences I have ever experienced in medium. The only thing I found a bit far-fetched was how everything was just strewn about the house like that, especially Sam's stuff. She had notes of paper in practically every single nook and cranny in that gigantic house. The mother also did poor job of hiding her affair. Also, the $20 price tag is a bit steep for this game. $10 bucks would've been the perfect price for this type of game. My suggestion for anyone wanting to play this game is to wait for a sale. Expand
  55. Aug 27, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. what's the matter with the player reviews?
    Are you guys serious? This is not a freaking a-dime-a-dozen-warfare-terrorist-attatck-shooter.
    It's a game that has the extremely rare ability to create feelings in the player. I took my time to explore every nook and cranny for 3hrs during a rainy summer evening. The mood this game creates is just unbelievable. Although I'm a heterosexual male, the love between those two girls is something that touches you you get to want the world to understand them.
    Anyways, enough with the spoilers. This is NOT a game for kids/people with low IQs or those who are just un-cult you guys can go shoot the pew-pew fps games of which there are thousands.
    For the others it's a sublime assault on the feelings. Too bad there are not many like it.
  56. Sep 13, 2013
    Gone Home is not a game in the strict sense, but rather it is art. It is nothing to play when you just want to relax and just shoot some anger off your soul, but it is the most fascinating, captivating game I've ever played. It is not just simple entertainment; it may even cause you to reflect on yourself. So if you are an apathetic hardcore gamer don't play this game.
    Although it lasts
    only for 3 hours, within this period of time the game won't let you go. And it maybe won't even some time after finishing it.

    PS. I hope that they release a collection of the tracks featured in the game so you could enjoy a bit of the great atmosphere in "gone home" also when you're not playing it.
  57. Sep 22, 2013
    I have to laugh about how people complain about how the game plays. It isn't really much of a game in that sense, it's basically just walking from point A to point B and clicking on something. No, what makes this game truly great is the storytelling. The way they explain the story, and play with the players expectations is brilliant. While it isn't perfect by any means, i personally think that it is much better than people seem to think it is, just if thought of in a different manner. If The Last of Us was presented in a similar way, would people be freaking out in the same way? I doubt it. Expand
  58. Koo
    Nov 3, 2013
    Like Dear Esther before it, Gone Home is a gaming experience more than it is a mere game. Gone Home lacks objectives, NPCs, enemies, and weapons. But what it does have is a beautifully realized world I felt a part of while I played the game. As you can tell from the other reviews, Gone Home is either a game you will love or one you won't. If you are looking for a relaxing gaming experience you can complete at your own pace (I completed the game in 2 hours) try Gone Home. If you are a curious type of person who enjoys a good story and likes to discover new things, try Gone Home. Gone Home isn't your typical adventure game. Like Dear Esther it is a journey and an experience. And also like Dear Esther, I enjoyed playing it immensely and will remember it. Expand
  59. Aug 27, 2013
    Not a single shot is fired, not a single blood is spilled and it over in 2 hours. just 2 hours the game tells far more story and creates much more compelling characters than most videogames in their 20 hour run.
    Gone Home was amazing experience.

    It illustrates how far we have come in the videogames industry. Once it was all about scoring the most points or reaching the finish
    line; now it is about experiencing the lives of individuals and see the world through their lens. The game shows the might of interactive story telling where other entertainment media falls short in delivering. Expand
  60. Sep 18, 2013
    Uh oh people there is no one to blow up or kill game must be horrible! And there aren't npc's to interact with? oh my god that's unbelievable?!?! Just reading most of the terrible reviews paints a picture of how pathetic most gamers are that can't see outside of their tunnel vision of what a game has to have in it to be enjoyable. This game is like a work of art, and it extremely engaging and interesting. The story is very unique and it tells a few other stories along with the main one. Very good game and I highly recommend Expand
  61. Sep 14, 2013
    Gone Home is a poignant interactive story with one main story line and a few subordinate story lines. Game play mechanics are simple enough, almost akin to a standard adventure point-and-click, and some would argue that's exactly what Gone Home is. They wouldn't be wrong for saying that. It's a bit more than that though. The entirety of the game (which lasts around four hours) takes place in a suburban home. The story unfolds as you walk around the home and find fraudulent artifacts which stitch the relevant story lines together.

    Mood is key in Gone Home. 90's kids will love this game as 90's ephemera is all over the place. Grunge rock, X-Files, a Twin Peaks-esque vibe is channeled with a Pacific northwest setting. VHS tapes and mix-tapes are laying around waiting to be viewed or listened too. A rainstorm rages outside. All of this could easily become cliche in the wrong hands, but is executed tactfully in Gone Home.

    Game play is almost non-existent. Think Dear Esther in terms of interaction with the game world. What it lacks in game play it more than makes up for with a compelling mystery and story. To say much more would be to spoil the game somewhat. Simply know that this is more an interactive story before committing to Gone Home. The story is satisfying and definitely worth your while.
  62. Sep 12, 2013
    People need to realize that this isn't a game in the traditional sense, but more so an experience. People that are complaining about there not being enough mechanics, or that it wasn't long enough, or that it was too easy, are all COMPLETELY missing the point. I thought the game was a fantastic way to show how you can tell a brilliant story without seeing another character. Not only that, but it instills that fear that everyone has felt when walking through a dark empty house when no one's there. I thought the game was wonderful, and it's a shame that people are bashing it so much. The ONLY complaint I have is that $20 is a little steep. The whole experience is about 2-4 hours tops with minimal replayability. Pick it up on a sale though. Expand
  63. Oct 17, 2013
    There's a group of people like me who have been yammering for years about the untapped narrative potential of games. These people will be delighted with Gone Home. Admittedly, it's more of a proof of concept than an actual game, and it's ugly, clunky, and overpriced. But it's very well-written, the voice acting is excellent, and if you're wired the right way, this small, ordinary story can be incredibly affecting. It lingered with me long after I finished playing. And, perhaps most importantly, Gone Home does prove something: that you can use games to deliver a narrative that would not work in any other medium. Watching a film about someone rummaging through an empty house would be a dreadful experience but doing it yourself makes all the difference. I sincerely hope that Gone Home will be an inspiration for other developers to pursue and expand this genre. Expand
  64. Sep 14, 2013
    Gone Home is a game created by The Fullbright Company which consists of some great developers which used to work for many interesting projects including Bioshock Infinite, XCOM and also Minerva’s Den. When I read about who is making this game, I knew the story telling is going to be amazing.

    You start off as a young girl named Kaitlin Greenbriar who comes back from the journey across
    the world. You also have a younger sister called Sam and of course parents. Personally, I didn’t know what to expect from this game, after seeing the trailer I was expecting a mix of Amnesia and Dear Esther.

    When I opened the door for the first time I felt scared, terrified I was presuming that something horrible have happened in this house and believe me, you will experience the same felling, trust me.

    Throughout the game you collect the pieces of the information(audio logs) to find out what happened in this house, you are trying to answer these questions, what happened, where is your family and why did they leave without letting you know. Personally, I love what developers did. The idea of collecting the information(audio logs) to find out what happened is just genius. When I was collecting these audio logs I felt attached to the family, I was feeling bad about my younger sister and her problems. This feeling kept me interested in the story as well as in trying to collect every single audio log. I also felt the need to explore every single bit of the room, trying to not miss anything.

    One of the biggest advantages that this game has to offer is its atmosphere, right after you enter the house you feel uncomfortable, scared and unsure of what is going on. I personally thing that this is the biggest strength of the game. Walking across the rooms, finding out the secret entrances and being scared because you don’t know what is in the house, is it a ghost, is the murderer still in the house, did someone got murdered? You simply don’t know. Even though there is no ghosts in this game I was still scared because the game created the developers have created this excellent atmosphere which are supported by great sound effects. There is no scripted events in this game…well maybe except for one, very good one I might add.

    I have completed this game in 3 hours, but then I have started playing it again. When you start the game you can either go right, left or upstairs, it’s your choice, there is no specific order of how you have to collect the information which is cool. The other thing that I liked about this game is that there was no arrows telling me about where I have to go or something like that, this is completely user driven experience, If you know what I mean.

    Lastly, Gone Home is a great game, personally one of the best games I have ever played. If you are a gamer you have to go through this experience. Believe me, You will not be disappointed. That’s why I love indie games, creative people that aren’t limited by the publishers. I would love to see this types of experiences more often.

    I give Gone Home: 10/10



    -Great story

    -Excellent atmosphere

    -Undoubtedly, perfect voice acting.


    - This is an exploration game which can turn off some casual gamers. (but I would still recommend it)

    - Length of the game I really understand that the developers wanted to keep this game short and to the point, but I loved this game so much that I want more… and more) I wouldn’t consider the length of the game a disadvantage though, I didn’t had a problem with the length of the game but again, It might be disappointing for the casual gamers who picked up this game.
  65. Sep 2, 2013
    I thought the game was beautiful and could not have been done any other way. For the most part the people harping on the game seem to complain about the lack of "gameplay" or something of that nature and honestly I just feel like their missing the point. Videogames are about an experience and I thought this game offered an incredibly unique one. Look at the reviews, its about 50 50 love or hate. So buy at your own risk, but if you can really immerse yourself in it and love it for what it is, theirs a lot of emotional depth. Expand
  66. Aug 31, 2013
    Gone Home is not action-packed, but it is gripping. The excellent voice acting and atmospheric design pull you in to the touching story and keep you wondering what happened to these people you've never met but feel like you know. The gameplay is not difficult, but neither is it mindless. The game gives you just enough guidance to keep you on track while giving you the freedom to feel like you're in control.

    I have one complaint that keeps this from being a 10. $20 is a lot to pay for a game that took me 4 hours, and I probably spent more time exploring than most would. There is no replay value. I will still give it a 9, though, because as much as I may have preferred to pay less, I definitely don't regret buying this game. It's a one-of-a-kind experience, and I'll probably remember it much longer than the last movie I paid for.
  67. Sep 1, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I think Gone Home is a fantastic game. First, the atmosphere, even with nothing actually in the house to jump out at me, I had moments where I nearly jumped out of my seat, because I thought I heard something. Despite the house being empty of any living(or dead) beings, the atmosphere of the home alone was enough to be unsettling, while at the same time familiar, with all the bits and pieces of 90's paraphernalia scattered about the house. The story was one I found to be heartwarming, and at times sad. I'll admit there were moments when I cried during a few parts, and was absolutely terrified when I got to the entry that said "I'll be waiting in the attic." Expand
  68. Sep 15, 2013
    This isn't a game. This isn't a movie. This is an experience. Taking the role of Kaitlyn Greenbriar you arrive at your home in April of 1995 after a whole year in Europe. During that past year many things have happened which may change all character's lives forever. You must read notes and listen to dialog as you attempt to piece together one of the most realistic and most heartwarming stories of our generation. The notes are beautifully written. The voice acting is top notch. The environment around you greatly reflects on the story revolving around it. Although the textures could have been worked on a bit more, there is no arguing that the game's style looks exactly how it would have during the year in 1995 and there are no reasons why the textures take away from the experience as a whole. This world is highly interactive which adds to the overall immersion, even if the interactions are just opening doors and panels or turning off lights, all of these interactions really add to the beautiful story telling that this game has. As the story grew deeper you found yourself really beginning to grow attachments for these characters and you want to know more about their very interesting lives. Although the game does come short to about 2 hours of total playtime during a first playthrough, there are still so many things around the house that you may have missed that you may want to go back and play it again. For a price of $20 this is without a doubt a game that is worth playing. Expand
  69. Sep 22, 2013
    If you are looking for a game purely based on gameplay, this is not the game for you. That doesn't stop this game from being amazing. This game is more of an interactive story than a game, but whatever the hell it is, it is brilliant. The focus of the game is to explore the house you've come home to, and find out why no one is home, which is a lot more interesting then it seems. This game tugs at your emotional chords like no other I have ever played, and by the end of it, you will not know whether to cry or just sit there with heart warmth. The downside to this game is it's replay value is nil, as by the end of it you know the story. That being said, on your first playthrough, explore EVERYTHING, and find as many of the bonus information as you can. I hope you enjoy the game, but just be aware that if you're not invested in story, it may not be the thing for you. Expand
  70. Oct 4, 2013
    I found this game to very moving and loved aspect of the narrative. My only complaint is that I wished it was longer. I would love to see more from this developer.
  71. Oct 17, 2013
    Extremely powerful game. It is a little overpriced given it's length, but I high recommend playing it. Gamers and non-gamers alike can appreciate its great story and themes.
  72. Oct 23, 2013
    I enjoyed the game from the first second, it really sucked me in and I played from beginning to end in one evening because I simply couldn't stop. I wouldn't call the game and adventure but I also can't think of another genre (without inventing one) that describes it better. This game isn't for you if you want to solve riddles or if you don't like to read because there are no riddles and there is a lot to read. (If you don't read the letters, notes, etc. that you'll find in the house, than you leave the game no choice than to be disappointing and boring for you.)

    You are "playing" a story that unfolds as you go and that's it... a story. For me the game lives from it's atmosphere and is ONLY driven by the players curiosity to find out what's going on. Are the parents murdered or simply gone shopping? Is your little sister kidnapped or at a friend's house? If you are not curious about what happened because you simply don't care... stop playing, this game is not for you then.

    Till the end of the game I didn't knew what the conclusion might be but when it finally came it left me very unsatisfied. I turned off the computer, went to bed and thought: "This is the end? Really?" For me it sucked... well, at first. Thinking about it I have to say... I was stupid. Because what I expected would probably have happened in every other game. The ending of the game just fits and it's good it ended the way it did.
  73. Oct 23, 2013
    One of the best experiences I've had from a game. When they say there is no fighting or puzzle solving they mean it and, in my opinion, adding any of that to this game would have ruined everything. Without distractions I was able to completely immerse myself in this game, feeling what the character may have felt at that moment. I was emotionally invested. This game is about story and immersion, period. If you are into those things check it out. Expand
  74. Feb 14, 2014
    "What is so great about it? Why'd you give it a 10, AVODESKORM."

    Believe me, I wasn't approaching this with an open mind. With websites such as Destructoid praising this game. I wasn't impressed with all the good words people had to say about it. Hell even on a article previewing the game I commented that this game looks like absolute crap, if what I'm doing is just looking around at
    least give me graphics that impress the hell out of me.

    How different do I feel now! This is a great-ass game, and I stand by it as one of the greatest games to come out in recent years. Spouting expostition is one thing that many games have too much up their asses. This game is going mostly show don't tell.

    Remember when you were a child and you didn't know what was lurking around the next dark corner. I do. And this game brought back that feeling. And when all everything is lit and every door is wide open. You are no longer confused. I found myself intrigued all the way through and I think I might revisit this little adventure at a later date.

    Probably the one of the best things to come out of gaming for years. All that is out today is EARLY ACCESS TRASH and your GTA'S. So when you have your decision to spend your money on the next DLC that's coming out. Skip it and Buy Gone Home. (Your games are probably all trash compared to this game anyways.)
  75. Dec 28, 2013
    Some games are about winning, most about killing. Ever so often one arrives that is about being a human and that is what Gone Home is at its core. I went in not knowing what to expect. I didn’t read the description; I just thought the game looked intriguing enough to give it a try. I am so very glad I did. In just over an hour I experienced the equivalent of a good book or a touching movie but in a fully interactive and nostalgic trip back to the 90's. This is a story about love, relationships and growing up. If you want an experience like no other game out there, Gone Home is worthwhile.

    A "Thank You" to the team that put this together, I appreciate what you did and look forward to your next effort. I wholeheartedly recommend this game.
  76. Feb 13, 2014
    This was amazing. It's a prime example of the evolution of games into art. It's a really simple, and personally story told through the exploration of your character's home. I loved it, glad I bought it, glad I played it.
  77. Jan 2, 2014
    Although it's very short I found this game to be fun to play and very touching in the end. It's also a great reminder that a fun and rewarding game doesn't have to involve killing stuff
  78. Sep 21, 2013
    I cannot believe the absolute wretchedness of the Metacritic user community, dishing out these horrendous scores for such a BRILLIANT and THOUGHT-PROVOKING experience. I left this game teary-eyed, absolutely floored by its amazingly realized characters and emotional story.

    I loved the voice acting, the music, the creepy atmosphere, and the immense mystery that slowly unfolds as you
    play, all effortlessly moving at a brilliant pace. Since it's set in the 90's, I felt a great sense of nostalgia as I rummaged through items I used to play with as a child. This game made me feel something completely different from anything else I've played, something completely BETTER than all the action-packed, ultra-violent and incredibly DUMB games I've gotten so used to over the years.

    I'm not awarding this game a 10 because I want to see its miserable and downright SHAMEFUL user score go up, I'm awarding it a 10 because it is damn near perfect and deserves it. It's an experience you'll want to revisit. It raises the bar for immersion and realistic story-telling. It grabs you and doesn't let you go until you're finished, with an ending that will make satisfied tingles shoot up down your spine.

    This is the kind of game the industry so desperately needs to pay attention to, and I personally thank The Fullbright Company for taking risks and making the game they wanted to make, not trying to appease the trigger-happy ADHD CoD generation of gamers that can't stand to sit still for an entire second without blowing something's head off. This game is not for them, and I couldn't be happier about that.

  79. Sep 4, 2013
    Gone Home transcends gaming into pure experience. It's only a few hours long and you'll never forget it. It's really not worth worrying about whether it's a "game" or not: it's wonderful, innovative and completely enthralling. This is a quintessential example of why gaming is rapidly becoming the dominant form of entertainment. Gone Home is the highest form of interactive art. If you like stories or want to see the possibilities of gaming, I promise you will not regret the few hours it takes to play through this. Expand
  80. May 24, 2014
    This game isn't for everyone as you can tell by the polarizing 'User score distribution'; you'll either love it or hate it.

    With that being said, this is imo, what Dear Esther should have been. A story focused game that had a appropriate level of interactivity withing the world you reside in - not just walking around in a linear path.

    The story itself was sweet and enjoyable and I
    found myself internally cheering for 'Sam' often while uncovering the story.

    The only real critique I can give this game, outside of it just not being in the taste of most mainstream gamers, is the price of twenty dollars USD. However you want to look at it, that is a steep price for a game that should last you one and a half to two hours in playtime.

    With that being said, if you really like story driven games and like to break away from the norm with your gaming It may just be worth a purchase,or in my case, play a friend's copy through Steam's Family sharing.
  81. Sep 3, 2013
    This IS a game and it's fantastic. Probably the best of 2013 about as good as "The Last of Us" in completely different ways (although both use environmental storytelling). We learn so much about these characters without necessarily interacting with them directly and the way it uses subversion is masterful. Easily worth $20.
  82. Sep 6, 2013
    This game scared the crap out of me, it has no reason to be afraid of it but you always doubt, there is a beautiful story to be discovered, just play it.
  83. Dec 9, 2013
    This was a game experience that was unlike anything I've ever had. It has a very human story that haunted me afterwards. I couldn't stop thinking about the game when I'd finished it. This game is a work of art.

    I recommend you read as little as possible about this game before playing it. It's very easy to read something that would spoil the experience of the game.

    After playing it,
    though, I recommend reading some of the analyses of the game that various bloggers have posted. This game has an emotional depth that's just unheard of, and it's difficult to understand the whole thing on one play-through. So, save your reading about the game until after you've played it. Expand
  84. Sep 20, 2013
    I am a pretty picky person when it comes to media. If I have a favorite, its really something amazing, and this game is one of those pieces of media. The story is a great one which will make you feel something if you take your time with it and discover what the house has in store for you. The price may seem steep for a two hour game, but it is totally worth the price and I would even pay more now that I have played it. You will not die, this is not a hard to challenging game, but it is a meaningful game. And it sucks that so many do not see that games do not have to be about action and killing people, they can be stories that you can participate in. Im glad the designer is not offended by the low user scores because he knows that what he made was what he wanted, and fans have told him the impact it had on them. Expand
  85. May 5, 2014
    The first game since "The Cat Lady" that has hit me this hard emotionally. I personally loved it and thought it was a great little story that many of us can relate to. When we were younger, more innocent, many of us have had a love that seemed eternal. This is before we realize all the responsibilities and things that change with adulthood. As such, many cases of "young love" are tried and unfortunately do not last. I spent the entire game hoping for a happy ending, that maybe for once, love can prevail above all. Expand
  86. Oct 20, 2013
    Every now and again, a game is released that stands out above the rest. What makes these games so special is that they each bring something new, exciting and different to the player. Gone Home is one of these games. The game itself requires little skill, It requires no fast paced trigger action nor does it involve any jumping/ducking your way through enemy territory or vast foreign lands. It is merely an exploration/story telling game set in a single (yet somewhat huge) house. I personally admit that the plot so far sounds painfully boring and unworthy of a single review. It's also worth noting that the screenshots of the game and the actual game play footage reminded me of some old, slow and overly frustrating point and click game. But this led me to question "Why would a game that looks so dull, slow and old gain so much attention and admiration", and so I played it. After a good 3.5 hours of 'Playing' the game (I use the term 'playing' lightly), I was completely fulfilled with one of the greatest stories I've ever witnessed within a game. The fact that you (Katie Greenbriar) get to unravel the story at your own pace and do it your own way is proof that a gripping, emotional and heartfelt story can be told through a video game. In a book or video however, you're told the story, and the experience is usually linear and controlled, but in Gone Home, you are part of the story, you make your own discoveries and decisions and piece them all together. It is solid proof yet again that a game does not need to exceed 10gb+ of HDD space or require the latest hardware for it to be considered worthy of today's gaming. This game proves that human emotion, empathy and a great storyline can make any game spectacular. This game is definitely not for everyone, especially the trigger hungry, button mashing and adrenaline filled individuals out there (Hence the mixed reviews). But if you admire a deep narrative, involving intensely detailed and interesting characters, enjoy exploring every nook and cranny, and can understand and empathise with a characters emotional/personal troubles and triumphs, then this game is sure to be a treasure. Please take your time with this game and be sure to soak it all in, it is a one of a kind. Expand
  87. Oct 24, 2013
    This is a great game. It doesn't have the feel of any game I've played since 11th Hour, though less about solving puzzles and more about exploring a family's problems and relationships.

    I beat it in about 2.5 hours, and I wouldn't say it has much replay value, but it was going for 10bux, and I felt it was a phenomenal value.
  88. Oct 25, 2013
    Definitely worth the time and effort the hype proved to be true and succinct; as I played Gone Home I was reminded of a familiar experience with Silent Hill Shattered Memories on the Wii, where the experience was more of a real-life sim but was nonetheless fully engaging.
    I feel wrong saying "I love this GAME" when expressing the joy brought on from this experience, because it is indeed
    more of an interactive experience. This marks one in a select few that begin a new trend in hyper-reality, gameplay narrative games. Although there is nothing to shoot, no one to buddy-up with or blow up, there are keys to collect, doors to open and switches to activate and in a sense. The joy in "playing" Gone Home is in immersing oneself into an emotional, investigative and nostalgic journey through a girl's house finding out about her family members; what they were each going through around the time your character was on holiday. In searching through the rooms, you find more letters, diary entries, and other miscellanea which implies or explicates elements of the family members' character; the trials and quandaries which face(d) them.
    In the end, you are emotionally engaged in the characters and their stories, and feel inclined to take another step further to see just what more this rainy night has in store for Kaitlin.
    Gone home is a story about desires and dreams, about being true to the self and integral. It is about the past, nostalgic emotions, family ties, and above all love.
  89. Oct 25, 2013
    OK...To review a game like Gone Home is like reviewing strange modern art. Where your principles of good and bad don't really apply. More specifically your principles of "enjoyment."
    IS GONE HOME FUN? NO. Is it enjoyable? YES.
    Gone Home I finished with a friend and we both cried man tears. I was amazed that a game that was everything I hated and yet impacted me so much. It was short,
    but concentrated. It was easy, but I didn't care. It told a story we all heard. But still kept you guessing till the very end. It has no replay value, but playing it once will touch you deeper than some movies and even a few books.
    Video games were created to be just that, GAMES! However there is this debate going around about video games potential to become 'art.' And that is why there is this split between the critics and the user reviews. Critics are evaluating Gone Home as a piece of art. While, the games are trying to find the game in Gone Home, and that's the problem. Gone Home isn't a game, it is work of art.
  90. Nov 4, 2013
    I really liked this because it is so different from the usual shoot-em-ups which seem to be prevalent. I wonder if game-makers think there is no audience for anything else?

    The game has an absorbing storyline and the information found during the game creates characters with depth, which is also not apparent in most games.

    I took a little over five hours to complete this, taking my
    time. That does seem short for the price, which is the reason I gave it a score of 9 instead of 10. I would love to see more games like this. I'd also like more games with puzzles and mysteries to solve. Expand
  91. Dec 28, 2013
    It pushes the boundaries of how stories can be told within video games and is totally immersive. Play it in the dark with headphones. You really do become the player character and become wholly emotionally invested in the stories being told within the house, both the main story and the stories you have to piece together yourself from clues around the house.
  92. Nov 8, 2013
    People seem to forget that in the ancient times of video games industry, games were just like books. They were telling a story and delivering something emotional to the players. Gone Home is a beautiful example of a video game book where the main role is the story itself and not any kind of action. If there's a question about games being art, Gone Home is a beautiful proof that even gaming industry can deliver realistic and emotional stories. This game reminds me the old times when I was playing to see and live through characters' story. Expand
  93. Dec 15, 2013
    Gone Home is a game about careful exploration and discovery. The main character is Katie Greenbriar, who’s recently returned from a year abroad. She arrives to a new house filled with artifacts about her sister and parents who have disappeared and are not at the house. Katie’s goal is to determine where her family is and what happened in the last year.

    The narrative of the game is
    through the eyes of Katie trying to figure out what happened to her sister after reading the note on the front door from her sister. Although, despite its initial setup, Gone Home actually tells several different stories. As you search through the dark and gloomy house, you uncover details not only about Sam's situation, but also about what has been going on with Katie's parents, and the home’s previous occupants, too. You'll get insight into the state of their marriage, obstacles in their careers and their interests solely from looking around. The many artifacts in the game allow the gamer to miss or ignore some details, which draws each gamer to their own conclusions. Therefore it is important to examine and read every object you can in the house.

    The graphics of the game are ok. The house is well rendered and lit in a way for you to feel the house is eerie and creepy. Although I wish there was more details with some objects I did not find graphics to be an issue. The music in the game is fantastic. The sounds of thunder, the creaky floorboards and doors keep you on the edge of your seat. As well the cassette tapes featuring bands such as Heavens to Betsy and Bratmobile give the real sense of the game's '90s Riot Grrrl setting. Lastly, the controls are simple, and it is easy to navigate with either mouse or trackpad and keyboard. The Fullbright Company made sure that the controls do not get in the way of the game and the unfolding of the story.

    Playing Gone Home was a new experience that I really enjoyed. Gone Home felt as if I was “playing” a novel. I would recommend this game to someone who would like to try a different type of game, and who enjoys adventures and stories.
  94. Dec 16, 2013
    Gone Home is a 1st person video game created by The Fullbright Company that is based around a young woman coming home to an empty house. She has to go through the house, looking at different artifacts to solve the mystery of her missing family.
    I was impressed with how such a simple game kept me on my toes until the very end. I constantly found myself looking at irrelevant objects,
    believing it had something to do with the plot line. Being able to pick up everything possible, added a reality factor to the game, making the player feel like he/she is deciding what and what not to do. It felt like you were in the game. Yes, I know its an over used line to try and state a point, but it’s true. This game is very open. There weren’t a lot of hints so the player has to use their brains to get to the end of the game.
    What added onto the story is that it is an effortless game to play. The controls are easy, the sounds around the house are pragmatic and most of all, the graphics are good enough to examine specific artifacts. Each of these elements plays a huge role in this game. Without simple controls, players will get frustrated and demotivate themselves to play. With this day in age, everything has the best graphics and sound, so in order for Gone Home to compete with Call of Duty or The Last of Us, they had to “get to their level.” Each room is completely different and custom to specific characters. For example, the teenager’s room looks like a teenagers room.
    As the game progresses, the protagonist, Katie, begins to learn more and more about her younger sister, Sam. Through Sam’s journal entries, she is able to narrate her story. We are entered into Sam’s world through the eyes of the older sibling’s. Sam’s journal entries are what Katie follows to find out where Sam and her parents are.
    In conclusion, I would give The Fulbright Company’s Gone Home a 9 out of 10. The game was perfect in every way. It was one of the most realistic games I've ever played. The one part I disagreed about was the way it ended. I don't want to spoil it, but I felt that it could've ended with an explosion instead of a lit candle.
  95. Dec 17, 2013
    From the creators of the famous RPG game, BioShock comes Gone Home, an intriguing and suspenseful, first-person game played from the point of view of Katie Greenbriar. When Katie arrives home from Europe, she realizes that her entire family has deserted the house. As our heroine begins to search for clues about their disappearance, terrible secrets and an intricate plot line emerge to capture the player’s imagination.

    Gone Home is a unique style of game, as it is exploration based, and the player merely roams around the house finding clues, unlike most games, which involve violence and conquering levels. The subtlety of the game is also a rare quality, since the plot is not obvious at first, although the plot later shows the complexity of characters, and their history, once scrutinized. Without giving too much away, the story involves unusual and complex relationships between characters. Although the graphics are not modern, their lack of sophistication reflects the 1995 setting effectively. In fact, the game has been praised for its realistic depiction of the 1990s and, indeed, items such as tube television sets, auto stereograms, and 90s board games frame the time period convincingly.

    The realism, however, is at times bothersome because the game is too darkly lit. It is often overly time consuming for the player to wander around finding light switches, which feels like an odd use of the player’s time. Another negative aspect of this game is its length, as it only takes a few hours to complete from start to finish. Also, in terms of gameplay, the replay value is diminished since there is a static narrative, which limits the gaming experience.

    Overall, Gone Home is an enjoyable for the person who likes story-based games rather than brutality. In other words, fans of GTA and Call of Duty may not appreciate the nuanced mood and activities, where Katie collects personal notes, family secrets, and discovers underground passageways and keys to the past. Readers may enjoy this game as most of the game’s strength lies in the layered narrative structure. As mentioned above, the game length is not comparable to popular games as the cost per hour of gameplay is significantly higher, although it may provide the same satisfaction for the more thoughtful player.
  96. Dec 22, 2013
    Gone Home is an excellent game that proves that games don't need to just be about killing. The game has actual depth, emotion, and a unique narrative method. I can understand why many would be upset with this game. the game is roughly two hours long, so the full price is a bit much. Thankfully, Steam is known for its sales. It is best to wait until it is marked down. Otherwise, it is a very simple and engrossing game that I found myself completely absorbed in. Once I started it, I could not get up. I had to finish it. I had to find out what happened. I had to experience it. Many take this game as an actual game. Gone Home is more of an experience than a game. It is an experience in atmosphere, character development, and (most importantly) emotion. This is a game of patience that requires attention. If you feel that video games truly are a form of art, Gone Home should be near the top of your list. Expand
  97. Dec 28, 2013
    Ignore the intellectual dwarfs giving Gone Home negative reviews because their reaction time wasn't tested and Kate didn't have any skill trees. These degenerates would have the world violently masturbating to military shooters while games showing any interest in developing an emotional narrative are brushed aside and deemed unworthy of even being called a game. The price to play time ratio is quite high, but when the quality of the time in game is factored in, I would rate this near (if not at the top) of this years' games. A beautifully somber piece of art that deserves a second chance by those who wrote it off.
    The way the story is doled out through Kate's exploration of the house cannot be achieved in any other medium to the same effect, something ignored by the lobotomized swine who claim that this piece should have been a film or a short novella.
  98. Jan 3, 2014
    So, I'm 26 and with the exception of the odd iPhone one, I haven't played a video game in about 10 years.
    I'm not a big book reader either and so the storyteller in my life is usually a TV screen, and so is why 'Gone Home' intrigued me, it was hailed as a story 'experience'. Not one I needed razor sharp reaction speeds to finish, but one with simple controls, simple graphics, and an
    incredible story.

    It took me about two hours to complete, I think, I lost track of time to be honest thats just how captivating it was. Much like an brilliant movie or tv show I just want all my friends to finish it, not just so they can experience it's brilliance, but just so I have someone to talk about it with!

    Next time you have a few hours free, instead of staring at a LED screen watching garbage stories, interact with one instead with 'Gone Home'. It's turned a total non-gamer into one craving more just like it.
  99. Jan 9, 2014
    I have never reviewed a game before but this has been such a refreshing and awesome experience that I wanted to share my thoughts on this game. It is amazing and deep! Finally something different and truly engaging. Usually I find games of this type boring but not this one! I played it to the end in one setting. So very need and cool! Thanks Fullbright Company.
  100. Jan 14, 2014
    A clear cut 10, and here's why:

    I approached the game knowing nothing of it, aside that it had gotten good reviews from critics I respect. If anything that makes it harder for a game to fly by well for me. Well the moment the game started I was mostly curious to see where it would lead. I'd try go through every bit of content for clues...

    The sound effects in this game makes out
    atleast 40% of why it scores so well with me, its a frightening lonesome experience at first, but as you grow used to your enviroment you are more at home.

    The fact that the game never gives you your goal, but the fact that it lets you realize yourself as the game progresses makes it so much more believable in the kind of story-setting it provides.

    I think the story in itself in this matter is irrellevant, it could just as easily have been a story about something completely different, but presented in a similar matter the game would still have been as good.

    As a challenge to the production company, I'd like to see the complete opposite of this story for their next game.
  101. Aug 18, 2013
    Gone Home is a game that wants to tell you a story and does so with such ease that you feel invested in it from the first journal entry till the last. In gone home you play as Kaitlin Greenbriar returning home after being abroad in Europe to find your house empty and your parents and sister Sam missing. Your goal is to solve the mystery of where your family has mysteriously disappeared to.

    The main and only objective of the game is to search the empty house for clues, and as you find them Sam will tell a story in the form of journals entries. The game is set in a house in the year 1995 and The Fullbright Company does the era justice from finding cassettes to VHS tapes littered around the house. What makes gone home so special though is the storytelling.

    In my two hour play through I felt so many different emotions that in any other form of entertainment would not have been possible. From scared, sad, nervous, and much more I can honestly say a game has never encouraged me to feel so much. If your looking for a game packed with action and fighting bad guys this game is most certainly not for you, but if your interested in one of the best stories I've experienced in recent memory this game is a must buy.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. Jan 5, 2014
    A beautiful, emotionally engaging, artfully crafted game, completely centered around exploration and telling a mature story through interaction.
  2. Dec 2, 2013
    A story that will move some and alienate others.
  3. Nov 10, 2013
    Gone home is a beautiful story told with talent. The total immersion and storytelling brings a sense of renewal in the world of video games. Unfortunately, lifespan is too short: 2 hours are enough to see the end.