Aug 16, 2013Gone Home is the perfect example of a game that shouldn't be game. It has a really good story and some interesting characters but that alone won't make a good game.
Normally I would appreciate a game with a good narrative, I believe that the industry needs this kind of game, but a game is not a mere narrative it has to be the combination of sounds, images, story and interaction and Gone Home manages to fail in every aspect except for the story.
Poor graphics combined with very bad textures and a terrible light effect makes the environment a lousy place to navigate through and that is a pretty important thing here since walking around the scenario 50% the game mechanic.
The sound is average there really isn't much to complain but there is nothing to praise either.
The gameplay, if you can call it that way, consists basically on walking around reading messages and notes.
Gone Home is a pretty good narrative born in the wrong medium it would be a much better choice to release it as short film.… Expand
Aug 16, 2013I 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.… Expand
Aug 17, 2013Walkin' around a house, lookin' at scraps of papers. Openin' drawers, turnin' lights on, the end. Not quite my cup of tea for a video game. Sure, it's an interesting way to deliver a story, but that's all it is, I didn't find it to be the masterpiece the critic's seem to be praising, perhaps they're just far too jaded by conventional games.
I found the story itself and ending really underwhelming considering that was the focal point of the game; it just felt like a playable, albeit forgettable and predictable, Lifetime movie. So I just can't get on board this hype train. By the end of it, I felt like having no gameplay was more a gimmick than anything else. What happens when more "games" likes this with similarly decent stories come out? Are we still praising it with perfect 10's? It's different, I get it, but that doesn't make it a good game.… Expand
Aug 17, 2013It has extremely simplistic gameplay and a narrative that is entirely forgettable because of the lack of any people to interact with. Who ever thought trying to experience someone else's memories by rummaging through their stuff would be a good idea clearly doesn't understand simple psychology, let alone what makes a good video game.
Aug 17, 2013A very short lived, exploratory, quasi adventure game for PC. Take on the role of a character that has just come home, wander around a house, rummage through people's belongings and uncover some very minor story details along the way.
Game play length is roughly 90 minutes long, that includes finding everything. No game play mechanics besides walking around a house and digging through stuff, it's less entertaining then a "search and find" adventure game and costs twice as much.
The developers would have been better off writing a 'choose your own adventure' book then programming a game. Avoid at all costs.… Expand
Aug 17, 2013Gone Home is, well, not a game. It's a $20 "experience" that puts you in a house and tells you to rummage through your sister's things. Not much happens. In fact, nothing happens. It's on the level of other "interactive stories" such as Dear Esther. If you were into that kind of stuff, then by all means purchase this... thing. If you were looking for a game then you're in the wrong place, brother.
Probably the worst part is that, for all its emphasis on story, Gone Home doesn't say much. It provides limited commentary on a social issue, but nothing that hasn't been said before.… Expand
Aug 18, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Warning: This review also spoils Iron Man 3 if you haven't seen it. This review is also long.
I am feeling mixed emotions at the moment. I literally just finished the game about twenty minutes ago. I downloaded it about five hours ago, but my Steam in-game timer says I have only played it for three hours.
First things first: I barely read any reviews at all. I think I skimmed either Joystiq's or IGN's or something, I cannot recall. I saw some of the screenshots, and then I checked the game out on Steam.
Missing family members? Check.
Resident Evil-like mansion? Check.
1995 spooky period setting? Check.
Detective emphasis where you pick up items and look for clues? Check.
So this game is obviously about either a murder, a haunted house, or some sort of missing family detective game, judging by the screen shots and Steam profile, right?
I boot the game up. Title screen is pretty spooky and ominous. I bet my family's bodies are in that second floor left window because it's illuminated on the title screen!
The game opens with a "Hey don't mind me, I'll find my own way home" phone call. I have an inventory system and a map. I'm digging it. It's dark, stormy, the lightning and creaking noises are scary and ominous. This giant Resident Evil house is deserted and abandoned. I decide that I'm going to hug the left wall the entire game, and check every nook and cranny. And I do.
I learn about my "father's" failed book sales, I learn about the creepy voice message on the phone, read about my great uncle's will. I enjoyed the X-Files references, and the Street Fighter stuff was great. All right, every thing is pretty cool for now. I bet my family is dead upstairs or something. The atmosphere is awesome. I get genuinely creeped out the dark hallways and the thundering and lightning. I keep thinking there is going to be a dead body or a zombie or something every time I enter a new room.
After a great first hour or two of scary lightning and ominous noises, things start to get a little weird once you get to the second floor. The first girl punk rock cassette was okay I guess, but now these other ones are annoying me. Oh, here's a story about a pirate captain uh cool? I'm not really feeling it, though.
And then "it" happens. The moment that makes me say "Uh what just happened?" Remember the trailers for Iron Man 3? Remember how it seemed so dark and ominous? How Tony was all alone? How the Mandarin was such a powerful and evil guy? And you see it and like it at first, but then the Mandarin reveal happens? And following that scene, the movie just loses all appeal. You are no longer invested. What you thought and expected is completely replaced with confusion. That moment happened to me in this game.
"Dear diary I like Lonnie." Uh okay. That's cool, I guess? Seems a little unrelated to the dark and ominous feel of the game. My family is still totally dead and murdered, right?
Nope, all the ominous darkness and set-up is basically for naught. After that reveal, it turns into a high schooler's interactive "Dear Diary, me and Lonnie let's be pirate punks blah blah blah." The game attempts to return to the "dark and ominous" setting with cryptic clues about your deceased great uncle and stuff.
A little further, I get a little more hope when I find out there's a pagan ritual going on and some Ouija board talk. I thought to myself, "Awesome. She's totally killed herself in the attic, right?"
Nope. Your parents are away at a couple's retreat because your mom is probably cheating on your dad, and your sister at the ripe age of 17 with all of her wisdom runs off with a now AWOL Lonnie and the game ends.
I'm terribly confused as to why they marketed it the way they did if the main story line (your sister is gay and ran off) has nothing to do with the dark and ominous setting.
Did I enjoy it? That first hour or so going about the house was great. Scouring corners for clues, attempting to find out what happened to my family, old creaky noises, Resident Evil flashbacks, etc. But then after the "Dear diary" event, I just stop caring. It got to the point where the game mentions a Kate/Kaitlin, and I honestly forgot that it was my character's name. Other than a few postcards, I am just a boring uninteresting protagonist going on a easter egg hunt for my sister who is apparently a master at setting up cryptic notes and secret passages.
Does it matter if Sam was gay or not? Not at all. Even if Lonnie became Lenny, I don't care for a high school girl's 3 hour version of Dear Diary.
The game is misleading in its tone and advertising. Do I regret my purchase? I don't know. $18 is a bit much for a 3 hour game I will never play again. All the hype and great reviews are a little misleading. This game could have been a great spooky detective murder mystery. You could have been a protagonist that mattered. But nope. You are just a boring older sister that no one cares about it seems.… Expand
Aug 17, 2013Whatever the critics are smoking, let me have some. With all the X-Files references and ghost stuff, I was expecting a ghost story or something interesting. Visually very interesting looking, but just walking around reading gets boring really fast. I couldnt get into the story of it, the thing, meh. Save your money and your time, unless your like these critics and find like this deep or something.… Expand
Aug 17, 2013I would like to say that this is a horrible game. But if I'm going to be honest, I can't say that, since "Gone Home" really is not a game at all. It is remarkably short (around 2 hours) and yet still boasts repetitive gameplay. All you do in this game is explore a house and examine the notes, pictures, documents, and artefacts contained therein. The house is big, and is well done by the developers, but to make a good game in today's video game industry, you're gonna have to make a bit more than a house. The story is very uninteresting and uninspired. It is also very predictable, as you can probably predict the ending around 10 minutes into the game. That is not to say that Gone Home's story is generic. Actually, this game is actually quite original. But at the end of the day, originality is overrated if you can't produce good gameplay, story, or atmosphere. It also doesn't help that this short, excuse-for-a-game, costs $18 on steam. So, if you are looking for a cost-effective game to purchase, stay away from "Gone Home" like the plague. Perhaps this game's only redeeming feature is that the voice acting of the ONLY character that speaks is done well (Yes well, not amazingly, but well nonetheless).… Expand
Aug 18, 2013A terrible non-game. I've got dear esther for free and played it, but this, I wouldn't even take it if I were paid for it. It has no gameplay, simple as that. Dear esther looked good at least, but this, this is just bad. If you're going to do nothing with the interactive medium, just go ahead and make it a movie ffs. I hope we won't see more of these awful "cinematic experiences", they're just not games, and in this case it's especially laughable.… Expand
Aug 17, 2013Gone Home isn't really a game, but a rather interesting yet unorganized story. You will spend at least 2 hours digging through drawers and cabinets to find mostly useless scraps of paper, most not even relevant to the main plot of the story line. While this game does have a good story it is simply not worth the twenty bucks, or the time it takes you to dig through the game.
Aug 19, 2013OK, I feel compelled to write about this game. Why has it got a score of 90? Normally I trust metacritic's scores but not for this. Many games get marked down for poor singleplayer, interaction, lack of multiplayer, length, re-playability etc. Why hasn't this? You can walk around, open things, pick up stuff, look at/read stuff and that is it, that's the whole game. At first I thought "Hey, this could really go somewhere, it's building up" but it really isn't. At one point, the game mentions occult poltergeists and has secret passages, but these have nothing to do with the story whatsoever.
Very disappointed.… Expand
Aug 21, 2013I wanted to like this game, I really did: a combatless detective mystery solving the mysterious disappearance of your family. But what it essentially boils down to is an hour and a half or two of reading notes. The plot amounts to the same vapid 90210-level writing that the game itself mocks multiple times, with several cringe-worthy lines that carry a rather clichéd story to a forced, unrealistic end. The roughly three dozen pages of notes could easily be read in ten or twenty minutes on their own, and amount to something you can already find all over on Deviantart.
But you can't charge money for that, can you? The slow plod of having a player-character who must trudge around the mansion picking up these scraps simply serves as a vehicle to slow down the pace of this reading. The graphics and atmosphere are initially enticing, but they quickly become irrelevant, comprised of empty rooms that requiring you to poke at something before the next bit of storyline text appears.
The game looks nice. The premise is intriguing. But unfortunately, it amounts to an hour or two of unnecessary trudging around and clicking around for the next bit of text, mere padding that allows them to charge $20 for a few pages of generic drama.… Expand
Aug 17, 2013It just wasn't for me. For a game that is $20, its far to short (2 hours); the design/architecture of the house is oddly in-normal and amateur, and the story just didn't do anything for me. I guess this one just fly's over my head as I cannot understand the critics answers for a 100%. I give it a 3 for its creepy atmosphere.
Aug 17, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Negatives points: extremely slow paced (give sprint for revisiting rooms!). Unneeded/useless crouch function. Unneeded right-click and object rotate function. Besides Sam's notes, all other notes added nothing but bore. No puzzle solving or anything, game is about reading paper notes. Denying access to the most interesting (dirty) note was NOT a good idea. 99% of objects were useless and did not need a pickup function, they were not even interesting (pens, magazines, toilet papers). Game was promising a twisted ending but delivered nothing at all (yes... you are so smart and unique!). 2 hours later, conclusion was my sis has gone gay and has fled, but not a single foke was given by me, at least if it was Terry I could have laughed about it.
Positive points: Game keeps you interested from start to finish, because it promises you with lies! Sam's story unfolds well and her voice journals are good, pretty shame it's rather basic. The bit in the first secret room, I picked up the cross and as i was reading it, and the light bulb went out, that bit sh!t me up real good, if only there was a lot more of that in the game.
/Overhyped, basic game at best...… Expand
Aug 19, 2013This is, to put it bluntly, not a video game. I don't mean that in a snarky way. You have people who go "Metal Gear Solid is a movie because it has too many cutscenes" or "Planescape Torment is a novel because it has too much text", but Gone Home is, even in the very loosest sense of the word, not a video game. Arguably, a book has more interactivity and skill involved, since you need to possess the motor skills necessary to turn the pages.… Expand
Aug 19, 2013Do you rate this as a game, or as a visual novel?
As a game, it's terrible. There is barely any gameplay, and what little there is is nothing to write home about. You walk around a house, looking at stuff. That's about it.
As a visual novel, it's more of a thing. Gameplay doesn't matter in visual novels, so let's talk about a story. It's nothing to write home about either, and the ridiculous reviews given to it by "critics" are most likely due to the hip agenda the game addresses.
As a game, it's a 0/10. As a story, it's 3/10 at best. That amounts to 1.5 average, but I'll just give it 0 to balance out all the 10/10 reviews that COMPLETELY ignore how terrible a game it is.. If it can be called a game to begin with.… Expand
Aug 20, 2013I downloaded Gone Home expecting a deep story told in a unique way. The concept was sound enough, walk around a house mashing your use key on everything that glows white and looking at it from all directions to piece together a story. It would be great if they actually ran with that. For most of the game you aren't really piecing together a story as much as reading some notes and looking at a convenient book on the floor and reading a teenage girl's diary. I expected that I would have to actually think about what happened without having a definite answer, but no it's basically throwing the story at you like a book or a movie. This leads me to my main problem with this "game". There is no challenge. This is not the holy savior of video games, this is not someone redefining a medium, and this is definitely not a game. At best this is an interactive story and the story part of it feels uninspired and lazy. You can guess the ending 20 minutes into the game and there are no curve balls in the main story. Some of the side stories are interesting but not enough to carry it. Maybe with proper execution it could have become something great but unfortunately all we have is this little tech demo that squanders what great potential this concept has.… Expand
Aug 19, 2013Gone Home has a big twist,, well no, not really, think of the first halo, now imagine that instead of having aliens on the box and in the reviews they kept that secret.
Gone Home "twist comes less than 10 minutes into the games so if you want to know why this games such a big deal you might just want read a spoiler and see the rather shallow reason for a lot of this games positive reception.
There are no real puzzles, sometimes you collect a key and the game tells you were to go on the map to use it.
The rest of the time you just walk from room to room and pick up highlighted objects to unlock audio diary's,
Sometimes your need to place a tape in a tape player but that's about as complex as it gets, there little to it passed that.
The games story is of course it's big selling point and since the game is being sold as something you have to come into with no knowledge of, I can't talk about it without it being seen as a spoiler.
What I will say is if this story were told in any other medium it would be a total non event.
There's little to it and you can guess most of it before your halfway done.
Overall I can't recommend Gone Home to anyone but the most hardcore fans of the quirky, the story while rare in games is uninspired and shallow and there's hardly any gameplay to it.… Expand
Aug 19, 2013Unbelievable. If only games journalism was a licensed field of work, then we could strip it from everyone who rated this game higher than a 3 out of 10. This is not a game, and is an "interactive story" in only the loosest sense of both words. Yet another high watermark in a long-standing tradition of prominent games journalists broadly failing to do their jobs properly.
Aug 16, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was very excited after reading the reviews to play this game, but equally disappointed after finishing it in 2 hours. You arrive back home after a year abroad in Europe learning in the first few minutes that your house is known throughout the small Oregon town setting as the "Psycho House," and that it might be haunted by your dead uncle. The house is big, the lights flicker, the noises are offsetting, and there are secret panels and passage ways. However, all of that is a big red herring. About 30 minutes into the game, you learn that you kid sister is probably a lesbian, and that's the big reveal at the end of the game you learn your sister ran off to be with her female lover, Lonnie, to the chagrin of your dysfunctional parents. Throughout the obvious but slow "coming out" of your sister through reading her diary entries and listening to her very Sleater-Kinney-esque mix tapes, you learn that your mom is probably having an affair with a park ranger and that your father is a failed aloof scifi writer who enjoys his whiskey. I did enjoy all the 90s indie music, x-files, twin peaks, videogame, and movie references, but really the whole game came off as an interactive version of Tracie Chapman's song, "Fast Car."… Expand
Aug 19, 2013The only semblance of gameplay Gone Home has to offer is ~90 minutes' worth of pitiful, painfully easy exploration. Exploration that can be further simplified with in-game options. Couple that with a hamfisted narrative that exudes pretentiousness and you're left with a $20 interactive novel. To call this a video game is insulting. If you want to tell a story or make a statement, go write a book or a screenplay or something. Videogames are not about narrative exposition. Absolutely disgusting.… Expand
Aug 19, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It amazes me what passes as a "game" these days. This "game" is the perfect example of what should not be a video game. you can literally beat the game in under 1 min, the story is bland and predictable but is considered "the best story in video game history" because its about a homosexual child. This "game" is a whopping 20$ which is way to much for a pile of garbage like this. This "game" is the embodiment of hipster indie developer bull**** that is the cancer to the video game industry… Expand
Aug 20, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. After picking up a tissue box for the tenth time and realizing that there was no point in clicking on anything except notes and postcards, I realized I was simply being lead through an Oprah Book of the Month. Every time the story made me believe something amazing was going to happen, it turned out it was just a typical story of an angsty teenage girl who was mad at her rich daddy and mommy. Typically people don't buy "games" to experience something they could otherwise do by breaking into the house of an upper class high school girl and pilfering through her drawers. If you step back for a moment and think about it. this interactive story is creepy as all get out.… Expand
Aug 18, 2013I'll tell what good in this game. Sound designs along with nice house makes the game very atmospheric. Unfolding the story by reading hand-written notes and letters is a nice feature, and many objects in the house is detailed.
But this "game" doesn't have anything else than walking through a house, listening to your sister and finding your way to the end of the house. This takes maybe 1-2 hours and in the end story is nothing special. $20 for a short walking simulator is too much. I don't recommend this to anyone.… Expand
Aug 22, 20139/10 for a game that is not a game in first place. Sure you can move around and click on things, I guess the developers thought my morning routine deserves a 20 dollar price tag on it, for it takes me an hour, feels completely rushed and there is not a real story to it.
See, here is the real twist, were I a lesbian, my morning routine would be deemed as "IMPRESSIVE", "OUTSTANDING", "GRANDIOSE", or any other adjective truly devoid of meaning when it comes to modern gaming.
Almost no game-play, a so-so story which is only viewed in high regards for the feminist inquisition takes no prisoners and we would hate to be labelled as a chauvinistic people, and a length that makes angry birds seem as long as a first play-through of Skyrim.
I would suggest avoiding this one, or waiting for a Steam sale of under a buck; 20 dollars for a movie ticket is excessive, then why is it not for a game which provides with little more?… Expand