Sep 5, 2013This game was EXTREMELY disappointing, the story is just dumb, and this type of game is all about story. I don't care for gameplay, i don't care for enemies or puzzles, i LOVE a good -story only- game (To the Moon being one of my favorite games of all time) But the story of "Gone Home" is flat, the ending is terrible and inconsequential. You don't care what happens to this stupid sister of yours, I was expecting a great shocking revelation or something and what we got at the end is just DUMB. DON'T BUY THIS.… Expand
Aug 25, 2013This visual novel gets this score from me because of 2 things: the price and the length (also probably because they don't state its a visual novel, which it is.) $20 for 20 minutes of audio clips and the screaming female punk music of the 90's scattered across an hour of walking around a house. The story is probably the only thing that gives this any points in my book, and you can see why there are some very positive and very negative reviews. But even with what the story is about, the length to price is unforgivable.… Expand
Sep 13, 2013Story-telling games are met with hesitation by many, personally I found it a tad contrived. As a game it should be judged in the usual video-game manner; things like game-play, re-playablitly and difficulty are non-existent.
It has some good thoughts put into it, yet the over hyped media leap really misses the point of video-games as a storytelling medium.
Testing the waters with the avant-garde is always a difficult task, sadly, Gone Home misses the mark and becomes quickly unmemorable. Many points could have been rethought and delivered to the audience in another manner, rather than shoving it down their throats. Video-games give the creators the option to make wonder and subtle story telling. Where what is told is only a small part, and only upon digging deeper into the world, characters, protagonists is is told.
Gome Home just reads you a story, and whether you like it or not, it's going to tell it AT you.
o Focus on writing
- Lack of re-playability
- Lack of game-play… Expand
Aug 21, 2013It's a good idea that does not pan out. They could have done so much more with this story and blew it on a sappy plot that still leaves a bunch of guess work. You can analyze every 3d detail of every 3d object in the game but you will end up pretty disappointed.
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 24, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Wow. Game.
Your sister is a lesbian and your mother is cheating on your father...whoopdeedoo.
I do like how it played with my expectations but besides that it was very bland. I think people are really getting onboard with this game because of the sister-is-a-lesbian-who-runs-off-with-her-military-lover story-arc. This may be enlightening, endearing, or perhaps even shocking to some people. However as a person who is already comfortable with same-sex relationships this game loses its impetus. It merely becomes a rather ordinary (and ultimately boring) experience.
I do believe that there is a need for games like this to be played, especially by the ignorant. But for someone that lives in a place like, oh, PORTLAND OREGON, this game is a hideous waste of time. I felt like it was trying to teach me something that I already knew, to impart some piece of its marvelous 'wisdom' upon me and help me be a better person. Too late. That's ultimately what this game is, it's late to the party. Not just hours late, but decades.… Expand
Dec 26, 2013I'm not going to say this "isn't a game" like lots of other people here. Art/mood/atmospheric stories are just as worthy as "games" as the shooter kill-em-all games they churn out near endlessly. In fact, most of my favourite gaming experiences are games with a similar emotional and atmospheric tone to them. But this game in particular, in my opinion, was poorly executed.
Let me explain. The game begins in a foreboding way, entering an empty old house in the middle of a storm, one of the first clues involving a young girl crying over an answering machine. As you go on, the mood continues its intriguing pull, taking you through a father obsessed with conspiracy theories, the brief story of the "ghost" of the house, and other dark family secrets that could really go anywhere. As you follow the clues you gradually discover the sister's lesbian relationship and the trials they go through until you reach the very end, an attic surrounded by red lights with a note saying "Do not enter when lights are on". What horrible thing awaits you here? With all the buildup it's bound to be something intriguing.
Nope. All that you find in the attic is a saccharine "twist" ending where the sister's girlfriend realizes she wants to be together more than any of her other life aspirations and they run away together. None of the foreboding atmosphere, the unsettling clues, any of it, pays off whatsoever. All of the families problems are resolved in a sugary sweet success and everyone goes home (yuk yuk) happy.
Now, I feel I should clarify that I am very much pro-gay relationships. But basically, I felt betrayed by this game. It's like following an engaging abduction mystery only to find out that the victim wasn't kidnapped at all and was simply off visiting her mum in the next town. You shouldn't have to hijack another genre and pretend your game is one thing and then shift towards something else at the last minute in order to make it seem more compelling a story than it actually is. All of the red herrings just really made the ending feel cheap and essentially made all of the buildup and excitement I'd been feeling disappear in a disappointing huff. The story was not deep or profound. It relied on faking an atmosphere in order to get a point across that, these days, I don't really think needs to be snuck in under the radar anymore.
The disappointment alone means I cannot in good faith recommend this to anyone else.… 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 25, 2013Well, i played this game because of the wild over-the-top reviews and because I like good stories. And yes, this "game" has a good story. But that's all there is at the positive side. All the high reviews seem to be just based on the "special" story. I can't tell you the big secret (you stumble upon about 10.15 minutes in the game) without spoiler but it's a sad fact that this is the reason why this "game" is so hyped.
The length if the game, with each and every stone turned, everything read, every cassette heard was exact 2 hours. The graphics are bearable, but not very good. The atmosphere is a little bit spooky, but otherwise it's just an old house with tons of cups, pens and rooms. While every review tells you it is not a puzzle game, it is: search for the next key to unlock the next door. A key might be a special year as a lock combination or just a key.
So: nice story, super short, old graphics, absolut not replayable (except hearing the message machine again). For 5$ I would have said: yes, it's an interactive (very) short story. Let's give it 7/10. But for 20$ on Steam this is a joke. Compare it to true storytelling treasures like the Walking Dead episode game. And then PLEASE tell me why you would rate this game more than 4.… Expand
Nov 9, 2013I'm so happy I bought this at a steam sale with 50 percent off because this was quite frankly, very boring. A video game should always focus on what sets video games apart from other mediums, which is solid gameplay. This is the strong foundation of a good game, so it doesn't matter how good the story is or how many spot on 90's references there are if the game is not engrossing to play. It is NOT engrossing to go around and read notes for two hours.… Expand
Aug 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 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 19, 2013The game is quite decent if you look at it from a "proof of concept" kind of standpoint. It shows you that games with a huge focus on story can be made and that they have potential.
Is this game worth $20, though? Absolutely not.
The graphics are alright for this type of game. Nothing spectacular to be sure, but adequate. More attention given to the lighting would have really helped the atmosphere, though.
The sound design is passable as well. Sound and music are used sparingly but appropriately. Nothing that will wow you, but fitting for the game.
The two major problems, then, are the story and the "gameplay".
I applaud their effort to completely focus on the exploration and ditch enemies and puzzles altogether. It's just a shame that the exploration really isn't all that fun. You can walk around, pick up objects and examine them. That's it. A bit of variety would have really helped. How about a flashlight to let you explore dark, long abandoned rooms inside the house? How about some semblance of interactivity between items? ANYTHING to break the monotony of slowly walking from room to room.
I realize that the exclusion of typical gameplay elements was a conscious choice, but it wasn't a good one in my opinion. A game focused completely on exploration should make exploration fun.
Then we have the story. I have to admit it's well written and indeed somewhat interesting, but it's just out of place and not fitting.
The tried and true (but nevertheless interesting) setting of the old, spooky mansion at night with a storm blowing outside would have lent itself much better to a real mystery story. I'm not going to spoil anything, but in my opinion they should have stuck with a tried and true (but interestingly told) story to go along with their tried and true setting instead for going with a story that simply feels out of place.
The fact that the "big reveal" is obvious 20 minutes into the game doesn't help, either.… Expand
Aug 22, 2013In short: get this game if its less than 5 bucks or part of a bundle. It feels like a longer demo. The setting and sound are nice, but characters, story (in a story centered game) are very bland and way too short. The only interaction is the pacing. You can influence nothing else.
Gone home... does not really do anything wrong. It does not anger me as many games did in the last time... And I do enjoy games that tend to be very calm and with a minimum of interaction (Myst) or narrated movies (Walking Dead). I also identified with the main character (who has such few characteristics that this is not hard.) and enjoyed the fact that 2 girls are the center of attention here.
Myst has a compelling world and culture, the Walking Dead tells a gripping story of multi-faceted characters (yeah, stereotypical some). Gone home is also story centered and the story in my view is utterly standard and told in a very boring way. So does this just boil down to my taste?
In the beginning i was very intrigued: I had not read anything and expected suspense, maybe horror (x-file tapes lying around, the name "Steven King" popping up). I hoped that this was the way the story would go. Or if not, that i would be cleverly cheated out of my sheepish reasoning.
The 90 points on meta critic also did their fair share. I have to think carefully if I can afford buying a game the screenshots, trailer, soundtrack and meta critic score convinced me. Also I love supporting a genre that really needs more good publishers.
Now i really, really regret having spent 20 Euro on this game. I still would have liked to play it but not for 20 Euro. I would recommend it to people who like interactive stories (not really interactive... the story does not react to you you cannot influence anything but the pacing), the sound is nice, the voice acting as well. I especially liked the effort put into the handwriting. But this is simply... not enough for a game. Where Journey captures you with mood and also some essential game-play and difficulty here, there is absolutely no difficulty at all. I could have picked up the (well written) diary of a 15 year old girl instead. I have no reason of "playing" this a second time or watching somebody else playing it. I could not even talk about the game with friends. I actually feel cheated... There does not have to be a shocking twist or compelling tragedy in every story, but the whole set up, the premise is so intriguing, that the very banal 1000times heard many times told better story with 0 interaction disappointed me a lot. Maybe I would have liked that story more, if i was 14 or 15. But then the time period the game is set in might not have been so interesting to me.… Expand
Aug 23, 2013As a storytelling experimentation, Gone Home hits the spot and hits it hard. The game feels interesting enough to drive you to go forward and learn what's been going on in your new house while you left. And every piece fits right into place. The 90's atmosphere is incredibly well rendered, and anybody who grew up in these times will smile at the VHS, audio tapes, old TVs, and overall looks of the house. The attention to detail is there, and is part of what compels the player to hear the whole story.
But let's face it As a game in the strict sense of the term... Well, Gone Home is simply not a game. It's a VERY SHORT interactive story, that might be of interest to 15 years old girls.
Video games are at a turning point, the indie market has grown, huge and mature, and I am the first one to rejoice at that fact. But Gone Home falls flat on his face when it comes to telling an interesting story. The ending is nothing more than pure disappointment, leaving me behind my screen, thinking "What That is all Am I supposed to feel something right now I had absolutely no sense of accomplishment when I got to the end of the story. No last minute twist, nothing sad, nothing happy. Just a big nothing.
This game represents everything that is both good and bad about experimental storytelling. Its puzzle-driven narrative and great atmosphere makes you want to go deeper into the story... But it's shortcomings and lack of interactivity makes you wonder why is this a game and not an audio book. As part of a bigger game, it would have been incredible. Imagine that instead of having a cutscene that just unfoils the story to you, you would have to explore, read, listen, solve (easy) puzzles and just be attentive to what's going on around you.
What I don't understand is how can a serious reviewer give this "game" a 9/10 or 10/10 The 7th Guest, the 11th Hour, Beneath a Steel Sky, Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max... There are so many great adventure/puzzle games that manage to deliver a good story, and that actually make you feel like you accomplished something at the end, that I don't understand why Gone Home is apparently deserving of such high scores from the "professional" critics. Ironically, all these games are from... The 90's.
Gone Home is simply an experiment in storytelling. Like many games are trying to do nowadays: Convincing people that the video game can be a great media to tell a good story. But Gone Home is very far from being the most interesting one.… Expand
Aug 26, 2013I went into this game completely blind, having no idea what it is. When I started, I immediately recognized the similarities between this and Dear Esther. As I progressed through the story, I realized that there's no real puzzles. All the items you need to find are hidden, which makes it similar to Dear Esther in that it shouldn't really be classified as a game as It's more of an interactive story, which I'd be okay with if it wasn't so simple. The length is another thing I find an issue. Upon completing the game for the first time, I went back and beat it again in literally 30 seconds, which is a problem. Games should never allow me to beat them in less than a minute if they're supposedly based on an emotional narrative. Overall, I enjoyed Gone Home. Those who watch it being played get the exact same effect as those who play it themselves, and I would not recommend it unless you're some civil rights person who's all about sexual equality.… Expand
Sep 16, 2013It's an interesting improvement on the "Dear Esther" Formula, you walk through very linear path without any challenge or exact goal set, other than getting the game over with. The game has a sort of mediocre plot, all the characters are extremely flat except the pink haired (who I've already forgotten the name of due to the game barely keeping my attention) I'm actually pretty sure all the hype around this 2 hour piece of that feels more like a tech demo, is because the game thinks it's being controversial with the lesbian but honestly it isn't. The biggest drawback is there isn't a sprint button so I had to drag myself slowly around this mansion house listening to drawn out monologues about a teenager experiencing hormone changes. I kept on thinking I might encounter another character or something throughout the game with the lightning and empty house building up suspense, but no the entire game is you walking around a dumb house for 2 hours. The Shrek Gameboy game tops this … Expand
Sep 20, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Gave it a four but only after looking around on the internet and finding and explanation to the story regarding the Dad and the Uncle. Look it up for a detailed explanation but essentially the gist is that the Dad was abused by the Uncle and his book about a time traveler going back in time to save JFK was a cover for his own personal tragedy as both events happen in 1963.
I thought this a very intriguing story but only found out about it because I read about it on the internet. Why didn't I work this out when playing? Because the game doesn't seem to care much about it. All the focus is on the sister's story and the rest of the family's stories don't get resolved. What happened with the Mom's affair? What was the deal with the Uncle haunting the place? Was Kathryn at all interesting? (I guess no)... so an unresolved story around the Dad and Uncle was not surprising and I had no incentive to work the abuse story out on my own. That and I'm from Australia so had no idea what year JFK was assassinated so couldn't piece the events together.
I echo the complaints that others had: the main story just wasn't that interesting, the ending was disappointing, 2 hours of rifling through drawers and reading notes is boring, and $20 for a game you only play once is a joke.
Get it for free or don't bother.… Expand
Oct 8, 2013I tried. I genuinely tried to find meaning in this game but it just isn't there. A girl at home with a dot on her forehead...or her eyes? bad graphics, they should have at least shown her body. In a gaming world where everyone is trying something new it isn't unheard of to make a game like this. but the graphics and the boring aura of the game made it BAD
Oct 7, 2013While this game excels in storytelling and is in general a very interesting experience it lacks any real gameplay, it's more an interactive story with a little exploration and puzzle solving.
I must give it a low score due to the price point being so high for few hours of slow entertainment with absolutely no replayability.
I would pay no more than 5 bucks for this game.
Oct 10, 2013I am very disappointed with the critics on this one. Gone Home was misrepresented every step of the way. All of the advertizing implied this was a horror game. It's not. You will find yourself liking this game at the start but that's about it. The story is well done and well executed "until the end" but nothing we haven't seen before "in movies not video games anyway". Anyone who has played this game knows full well its fatal flaws and I don't want to spoil anything about the story. Critic have given this game overwhelmingly positive reviews and that's just scary. The New York Times "people who probably have never played a video game" called this the greatest love story in a video game...SIGH. All I will say is that if this game was made in the mid 90s "when this game was set" the love story would have been edgy but this is 2013! Just setting the game in the 90s doesn't make you "edgy" or "progressive" just boring yes BORING the main problem with this game is just how dull it is. Please don"t wast $20 on this 4 hour long movie with no payoff at the end.… Expand
Oct 28, 2013I picked up Gone Home cheap after seeing rave reviews of the game and despite such a respectable price; it is apparent that such write-ups are inflated. The game is incredibly bland despite an intriguing and engrossing story. The atmosphere is tense and the setting superb but the overlay gameplay is extremely linear and most exploration is meaningless or pointless. The lack of depth really shows as you steadily progress to the finish in just a couple of hours. The latter part of the game feels extremely rushed as the intrigue declines and the narrative speeds up to a mediocre conclusion.
It's a real shame as the potential here could've lead to a very broad and gripping story but many gamers will be disappointed that the final product is lacklustre at best. It's still a cheap indie game at best but I think the critics have been extremely generous in their scoring as Gone Home lacks in so many areas which could've been developed more in-depth to give a longer and more absorbing game. It's worth a fiver for a rainy weekend but don't expect too much in longevity or drama. A wasted opportunity of what was a promising concept.… Expand
Dec 26, 2013Gone Home is a disappointing experience. While the throwbacks to the 90s are nice, and the house itself is nice to look round, the game's core is its story, and it's here where it fails to impress. Without revealing too much, the story is very pedestrian, and you'll find yourself becoming quite bored; you'll either stop playing about two thirds in or just get it over with as quickly as possible. Not to mention the whole thing takes a few hours to get through and has no replay value whatsoever.
For a game that has nothing else going for it other than its plot, this is a fatal flaw. There's nothing to really recommend here. Avoid.… Expand
Nov 27, 2013Slow-paced, exploration-heavy adventure games are among my absolute favorite, so I was positively thrilled during the first half or so of Gone Home. It sports decent graphics, terrific atmosphere, great voice acting, and a sleek, totally immersive interface that lets you examine almost every object. Add a deserted old house that you're free to explore at your leisure, a creepy subplot involving the previous owner, and we're all set for great adventure!
If only. After an hour or so, I noticed that not much had happened in the way of actual gameplay. Reading notes and documents had been so entertaining, I didn't mind much. But then I started getting the sinking feeling that the game had no intention of delivering on its promises. It wasn't developing into a fully fledged adventure (the inclusion of a limited inventory with completely useless "items" notwithstanding) as I had hoped. Instead, it was morphing into something else.
In a nutshell, the game is an ambush. It is arguably not a game at all. It is, shockingly, a political piece, as carefully and deliberately conceived as it is blatant and ultimately inept. I cannot offer more details without spoiling things, so let's just say that the game's "story" starts veering into "young adult" fantasy territory and it just doesn't let up, right up to the laughable and cringe-worthy finale. Look for no twist, redemption or arc here this is as stereotypical as it gets. In spite of the short length and the overused "lost journal" device, the game even finds the time to take a couple of potshots against a few organizations and institutions; I'll let you guess what its predictable targets are. It's simply hard to believe. Frustratingly, the aspects that COULD have worked beautifully are quickly tossed aside so as not to distract from the main payload.
This is the game's death knell: I'm all for sacrificing gameplay in favor of a compelling story. But Gone Home has neither. You keep waiting for the game to start, and by the time you realize where this is going you've long grown tired of checking every item and opening every panel in search of the next scrap of paper.
As for the story, the designers' agenda permeates the proceedings so thoroughly that you'll likely to be pinned as something or other if you find any fault with it. I may applaud the designers for trying, and for having their heart in the right place, but this is clearly not the way to go. The proof is in the pudding: replace the (non) novelty aspect of the story (i.e., its main gimmick, the one that keeps hitting you over the head) by a more "classical" take, and I have little doubt that you'd be seeing very different ratings from most critics. The last image after the credits is actually enlightening; it tells you that the designers really believe all the trite pap their characters are forced to spout, write and do, with nary a hint of humor or self awareness.
Bottom line: Gone Home feels like a prototype of an adventure/horror game, temporarily populated with a token teenage story and little more. It is, in fact, a very nice prototype. I enjoyed its best bits, but the overall package is a huge disappointment, and in many ways an outright cheat.… Expand
Nov 28, 2013First of all, this is not a game. Just a beautiful love story about blah-blah-blah... There are some things that make a game playable. Not a single one in that story, i prefer to call it "a story". If you're looking for something to spend a few hours without any challenges for your brain, this is a perfect choice. They told us there are many mysteries and things to investigate and explore. Well, the only one secret still remains unsolved, why did i buy that?… Expand
Dec 5, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I've been looking for a game to play in-between my regular Sims/Skyrim sessions, and this looked like a decent one. I'm a 90's kid (born late 80's actually) and a sucker for "exploration/mystery" type games, plus the 50% Cyber Monday sale didn't hurt either. I played for 2 or so hours first day, and finally got the chance to get back in on Thursday, only to realize I was literally 10 minutes away from completing the whole thing. What a bummer! Seriously, if this game cost 2£ then great. But it was a whopping 8£ with a 50% sale. I have never paid that much for any game that is completable in under 3 hours.. The story was ridiculously predictable as well, I could already predict what was going to the main narrator and her secret friend 20 minutes into playing. I also don't know if it's just me and my machine, but in most rooms I'd get annoying neon-coloured glitchy flashing patches on objects and walls. 4/10… Expand
Dec 22, 2013Story is not that bad and the (only) voice is good, but it's hard to even consider this as a "game". You do nothing else apart from picking up letters and books, and hear what happened. No puzzles, an empty house full of useless stuff that you can pick up for no reason. That's it. It lasts 1,5-2 hours max, so no-one should pay it more than $2-3.
The only reason this game is getting awarded is because of the "politically correct" theme of the story (that I won't spoil, but will be clear pretty soon), so the entire game it's just a slimy operation to gain easy consensus, thing proven by the fact that developers themselves tend to delete any thread on the Steam forum and ban users that dares to move even the slightiest complaint about their perfect game and don't treat it like a GOTY.… Expand
Dec 23, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The year 1995 was a very special year in my life, one that I, as a teenager, remember quite fondly. Among my memories of that time, I spent several days at my uncle's large house during the final week of October. His house has always been a place that has stimulated my imagination due to its size, design, and atmosphere a house not unlike the one featured in "Gone Home". From the moment I first heard of the nostalgic setting and period for "Gone Home," I knew I just had to have it.
First, the positives. Although some have taken issue with the graphics, I actually thought they greatly contributed to the game's overall sense of isolation and eeriness. I almost believed I was back in my uncle's house. The game's sound effects are equally beneficial to setting the mood. Playing the game with headphones on, I found myself wondering "What was that?" when I thought I heard someone in another room. And the control, though very basic, is pretty much all you need for a game like this, though I would've liked a "run" feature to help me get around faster.
Now, the negatives. The game is incredibly short. Three hours, done. Once you beat the game, you could replay it, but probably only once. Really, I don't see any point to replaying it even one time. The game's storyline was also very disappointing. I went into this game spoiler-free, so I was really let down that what seemed to be a thriller-mystery quickly revealed itself as a sappy love story that I had zero interest in. At first, I was thinking that maybe Samantha and Lonnie, two outcasts in their school, were going to form a suicide pact and were already dead, but revelations from Sam's diary gradually reveal that the two are lesbians who want to run away together. It's obvious that the game's makers are making a social commentary on homosexual relationships, but it just seems really weird to have that subject matter in a setting that feels more like "Resident Evil" than an after-school special. I also had a major problem with the inclusion of an actual Ouija board in the game. Though you never actually use it, it's there, hidden behind a wall panel. For those who, like me, are very sensitive about such things, this factor alone prevents me from recommending the game to anyone.
For over twenty years, "Battletoads," for NES, was the most overrated game I ever played. Within a few short hours, a new dubious champion was crowned. I really, really wanted to like this game. But, due to its length, story, and mediocre gameplay, I cannot agree with the critics who are singing its praises. In a year full of great independent games, "Gone Home" is not even in the same league as "The Stanley Parable" or "Papers, Please," two games that are not only worthy of their acclaim, but are already modern classics in my eyes. Is this the worst game I've ever played? No, not even close. I wouldn't say it's a bad game, but it's not even good enough for me to call it "just good". It's average. That's all "Gone Home" is, a critically acclaimed, average game. Way to kill my 1995 nostalgia trip, Fullbright.… Expand
Dec 27, 2013This game makes for mixed feelings. From an artistic standpoint and the way the game goes about telling the story I may be hard pressed to not give it a 9 or 10. That being said from a video game standpoint, I settled on a 4. It's short, expensive, and at the end of the day is better suited as a youtube video than a game by itself. Interesting story, not what I expected but at the end of the day, this is worth it for $5 or so. $20 and you'll be left feeling robbed.… Expand
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.
Dec 1, 2013What a mystery! I don't mean the story, I mean why some reviewers have given this game a high score.
It's too basic, lacking action, not scary at all, very short, and the story will likely only strike a chord with teenage girls going through sexual identity issues. Perhaps this is the reason why some reviewers have been kind, because it gives you a kind of "creepy house game" with some "notes on young lesbian lovers". It's a strange mix, seemingly forced together, but is awkward as a result.
There's some enjoyment to be had with exploring, but soon it becomes apparent that there's nothing much happening with this "game" and that it's basically just a boring story told via a simple "pick up this key"... "walk upstairs"...."open door"... the end.
Anyone who describes this game as "art", either doesn't get out enough, or doesn't know what games are capable of, or has an agenda to push this game for whatever reason. This game could have been a lot more. It feels like level one. Now, where's the rest?… Expand
Aug 19, 2013I'm someone who defends The Last of Us as a "game." I'm someone who defends "Little Inferno, The Walking Dead, and Thirty Flights of Lovin." There is no defending "Gone Home." There is no gameplay. There is no game.
The much lauded story (the ONLY thing this game is dependent upon) is nothing more than someone's Live Journal or probably a Fictionpress short-story that I read 10-15 years ago. Story has nothing to do with the gameplay. You aren't even part of the story that's being told. You are told someone else's linear and melodramatic story while you pick up a random object and spin it around just so you can trigger the next voice over.
Voice Acting is good and I did like the creepy ambiance (even though its a complete lie), but nothing in this "game" is worth the $20 price tag. I bought "The Graveyard" and I didn't feel as ripped off about it than I am right now.… Expand
Aug 22, 2013This game is a big disappointment, it starts out mysteriously and gets exciting and creepy sometimes and gets your hope up for a mindblowing ending but it's just not what you expect. I only give 3 score because the voice acting is good, but this story, i can't tell how disappointed i am.
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, 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, 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 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 19, 2013This is not really a game, you don't play it so much as sit through it. Its comparable to a lot of flash games, or short duration creative things you can find on the internet such as last rose in a desert garden or those scp games. The difference here is those games don't try to pretend to be serious games, but little things to mess around with, and they are free.
There is no game-play really, you just explore around. Exploration is not bad but comparing it to old point and click adventure games they have puzzles as well thrown in. There is no re-playability, once you uncover the story that's it. The 'game', if you try to stretch it out, will last maybe an hour or two, and if you try to rush through it, is beatable in literally 2 minutes(look for it on youtube).
This is the sort of thing that should have been embedded in a web page, given an appropriate url, and virald itself around the internet. Not something claiming to be a game that people are tricked into paying for. As a sort of artistic thing like that it would have been quite good. But as a game, the only positive thing about it is its atmosphere, which is why i gave it a 3.… Expand
Aug 20, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I gave this 3 stars instead of zero, because it was an innovative way to tell a story and I love stories. I was tempted to give this a zero for the same reason I love stories. And this one sucked.
Gone Home is a literary bait and switch that promises a spooky mystery, a haunted mansion with secret passageways, misguided teens who dabble in the occult, and a family gone missing. It has a dark and stormy night, creaky floorboards, and mysterious pentagrams and candles. And while all of this sounds good, it's not what this game delivers.
And where are the missing parents? They went away for the weekend presumably to add a little spark to their marriage. And where is my lost little sister? She ran off with her girlfriend. That's it. No ghosts. No mystery. No plot twists. Nothing.
Those are two hours I'll never get back.… Expand
Aug 20, 2013"If something is different does not automatically make it good." This is a phrase that game makers and game creators need to get rammed into their head. Yes, this game is "different" but in the end, is it really even a game? It's an interactive experience, no doubt, but calling it a game is just wrong.
Presentation: Everything looks well enough and you can interact with almost everything. Rummaging through your house and searching for clues. However this is also one of the biggest detractors from Gone Home. Just because you can mess with everything, doesn't add depth to the game. It clutters everything up. And on top of that, everything you find, only a select number of things have any use, making it a tedious task to go through everything to find the random key or mcguffin to continue on... but I'll get to that in the gameplay section.
Sound: Sound is nice, nothing too special though. The music isn't bad, but it's a bit bland. I ended up listening to the songs a few times before I decided to turn it off.
Theme: This is probably the main drawling point of this game, and damn if it doesn't screw that up in some way. I love the idea of "Gone Home". The idea that a home is never without secrets. The idea that a familiar place is no longer familiar to you and even has a sinister tone. That everything is off and nothing is as it seems even though it's only your paranoia... and that's the problem. While nothing is as it seems, and everything "might" be a bit off, nothing really is. The tension that builds up, the teasing the trailers give you, showing that "something is up in this house" all in all, is an empty promise within an empty house. All you are doing is going through the old house finding out about the main character and her family and how everything just feels off to her.
However that is also a big flaw. It does feel off to her, but at no point do I feel like I am in her shoes. Sure, the protagonist feels odd in this place that was once her home, but what's the point? I can't get drawn in. I distinctively felt like it was her life, not mine that I was looking at. This negated almost all of the tension created. "I" wasn't going home. She was going home and I was just watching her do it.
Gameplay: This is the final nail in the coffin for me. Gameplay is virtually nonexistent. The game prides itself on it's story, but that doesn't give an excuse for making the gameplay poor. I can respect what they are doing though, trying to make an interactive experience. However this feels more like an experiment than an experience. It's not polished, it doesn't draw in the player. It just shows them things and expects them to react as if they were the protagonist. And even then, there is no way to lose, no way to fail your goal. You just keep plugging away until you find the secrets of the house... which in the end is a huge anticlimax. It also has zero replayability, considering you can beat the game in less than 2 minutes if you know what you are doing.
Summary: While the game as a lot of good ideas, very few of them are executed well. A majority of them fall flat on their face. I can't feel connected to the protagonist, the gameplay is nonexistant and short, the experience doesn't draw me in, and it's an expensive game for what it is. Right now it's going for around $20. Don't waste your money. Wait for a humble indie bundle and try it for yourself. It might be worth a playthrough if you get it for 2 bucks, but not 20.… Expand
Aug 25, 2013I literally created an account just now so I could warn against dropping $20 on this game. And I'm going to leave it spoiler-less so people won't be inclined to skip it.
I'm seeing a lot of hemming and hawing in this review thread about why "professional" reviewers were going nutso over this game. I think I can boil it down to two things: Nostalgia and Originality. These are great qualities in a game, but this game relies almost entirely on them.
I'm also seeing a lot of talk on here about the gameplay being "non-gameplay". It's an adventure game they don't traditionally rely greatly on twitch or other tired game types. And it clearly doesn't want to be a game like that. In fact, the game does a pretty good job at being simply an adventure game, in that it unfolds in front of you and gives you plenty to interact with.
Where that falls short is that there are no interesting puzzles in the game at all. No head scratchers, nothing you even have to figure out on your own. It's not Myst, not even close. It had plenty of opportunity to be that kind of game, but I think the developers were more interested in telling their story.
Of course, I'd even be fine with that (a la Heavy Rain), but it fails miserably at being an interesting story. It's true that it's not a story you often see depicted in video games, but it's been done to in Hollywood and literature for decades. The climax itself is so trite and overdone it's almost laughable. The game tries to look at you with this wry smile like, "Aren't we bold and interesting? Look how progressive we are!" to which I just shake my head in confusion.
And the length? When I finished the game, Steam smirkingly showed that I had done so in 99 minutes. By my math, that's about $0.20/min. Parking in San Francisco is cheaper than that, and at least I'd see more interesting things wandering around the city for an hour and a half than I did wandering around this game.
I promise you're not missing anything here. Wait for a Steam sale if you must, but I promise your money is better spent on just about anything else.… Expand
Aug 27, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was super-excited for this game, after seeing the many rapturous reviews and being intrigued by the concept. I've always been a fan of adventure games, right back to when that meant walls of text and N, S, E. I don't think there's any doubt that Gone Home's web site presents it as a mystery adventure, and the game's opening certainly sets up that atmosphere and expectation.
So I was somewhat disappointed when there turned out to be no puzzles in the course of gameplay, other than a couple of very obvious 'find the combination lock' obstacles, and I was bitterly disappointed when I was trammelled into an ending after about two hours. By that point, I'd realised that the 'game' was on rails anyway. Despite the illusion of being able to explore the house sand-box style, all you're really doing is triggering Sam's journal entries in linear sequence. And though you can pick up any object, it doesn't take long to realise that if it's not a piece of paper, you may as well not bother.
The graphics aren't even that great. They serve to establish an atmosphere, but there are just too many reused textures and objects for an environment that sells itself on realism and interesting mundanity.
The story unfolds interestingly enough, with some appealing voice acting. But nothing happens that you couldn't see coming a mile off, really. If Lonnie had turned psycho and buried Sam in the back garden (not that you have access to the back garden), that would have been cheesy but at least it would have been unexpected. In the end the end which comes so abruptly it feels like we're being asked to cheer for a 17 year old schoolgirl abandoning a college programme, and running off with an AWOL troublemaker. I can't help feeling that if the said troublemaker were male, this is not something an audience would be asked to feel warm and fuzzy about. We'd share Sam's parents quite reasonable concerns.
That aside, my overriding reaction was to feel soundly cheated out of £14.99. My entertainment budget is not huge and I have to think carefully before spending money on video games. Usually, they're a cost effective form of entertainment. This 'game' certainly is not. There's no way I would have spent that money if I'd known how short it was, I would go as far as to say that the promotion of the game is actually misleading and false advertising, and like many commentators, I'm baffled by the professional critics' idolatry of it. People should be warned.… Expand
Aug 27, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. You can beat this game way too fast. When the credits rolled, I was stunned. I really thought this was going to be some kind of horror game, but it turned out to be about a lesbian romance. Wish I would have bought something else.… Expand
Aug 30, 2013This is a short game firstly. At most 3 hours of gameplay. Its barely a game considiring it has no mechanics. Its simply a story that you have to navigate through and that is not a game to me. It looks good though and introductary its interesting. The story is ok but that is all. 18 bucks is a very steep price for this "arty tale". BUT! As a shortfilm/interactive book whatever it is quite good. Its just not a game.… Expand
Aug 30, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Let me save you $20.
Your mom cheated on your dad and they're at a couples retreat to improve their relationship. Your sister is gay and skipped town with her lover.
Nothing special here folks.… Expand
Sep 1, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Meh,
I don't have a problem with this being a "interactive story" instead of a game. But I do have a problem with the story creating lots of situations that doesn't solve.
Why is the house called the psycho house? What happened with the morphine addict uncle, why was he in that situation? What about the Grandfather, why was his painting defaced? Is the father an alcoholic? Does the mother have an affair with a co-worker?
The sister is lesbian, great, I already understood that before I entered the basement, but what about the rest of the family? The conclusion was sooo disapointing. … Expand
Sep 3, 2013My review in two words: Hipster ****
I have no problem with games that are nothing more than interactive stories. The Walking Dead game by Telltale Games is phenomenal and does the genre the correct way. Gone Home falls flat because there is no reason to play the game more than once and it does an awful job of getting the player to care about the people that are NEVER seen in the game. It's intriguing at first, but the story is hackneyed and presented poorly. Without posting any spoilers, I can say that the "build-up" in the story is completely wasted by the ending. It's a shame too, because with better writing, this game could have been terrific. As it is, there is no reason to care about the characters.
My other beef with Gone Home is the $20 price tag: Massive ripoff. The Walking Dead games were $5 per episode and a single episode is longer than Gone Home. I explored the game carefully and still finished in 2 hours. I could go back and look for the hidden doors, but I have NO motivation to do so, as it doesn't change the story.
Instead of wasting money on this story, try one of the better done interactive stories, such as The Walking Dead or Dear Ester. Even the point and click adventures of the late 90's (like King's Quest series) had better storytelling and re-playability than Gone Home.… Expand
Sep 11, 2013sorry i this is a short review but its really hard to give an in depth review without spoiling it
Ok the game isn't a bad game, but can i really call it a game. it is really hard to talk about this game with spoiling it but in short words. this is an interactive story were you come home from a European holiday and no one is in the house and you try and find out were everyone is. that is pretty much it .
It tries to do something new by giving you a well written story, and a very good voice actor, and a house to explore. it tries to but you in to the players shoes,but the bad point its how many houses have letters hanging around the house because I know in my house we have none, Locked doors in wired places which try and drag out the game. and hidden passages how many houses have hidden passages.
i see what its trying to do and it is a ok story but its no enough to make me play it over and over again. I know it was made be a Indie company but they had experience in gaming companies, i expect this kind of game from a student or free to play game but not something you pay for.
ok to talk about the graphics this game was made in the unity Engine, models were poorly sized and textured for a game that is asking for a money. models take time to make and the look of things this looks very rushed.
I really wish i could score this game higher I really do but i have to put a price on this game and this game shockingly game priced of 14.99 GBP. I give it 2 GPB, as much as its a great story and the voice actor is very good but and its a big but, I'v played better free indie games and all it is really is, is a atmospheric story. and that is also why I had to score it a 3… Expand
Sep 23, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Let me tell you my experience from start to finish, and why I gave the score I did.
I bought this for $20, expecting an ambient psychological horror story, as the game presented itself in the trailers as eerie but not filled with jump-scares, so I obviously expected creepy rather than scary. The moment I went in, I got chills down my spine at the sound design. Every little sound and movement sounded fantastic.
Ten minutes in, and I'm enjoying the references, I feel the build-up coming towards me and I wonder if I'll walk into a room of a ghost, maybe a hastily closed door. But as I drag on, I realize the new initiative of the game: a girl who, as she ages, begins to show sexual confusion and melodrama. It's become a girl's cryfest. Fun.
An hour in, and the only thing roping me in now is the detail they put in everything and the side stories, hoping they will lead to new tunnels. Nope, it's like introducing side characters that get used once and are never talked about ever again. At this point I'm pretty sure I know what's going to happen.
Two hours in, I'm staring at my screen, thinking, "That's it?" There was no twist, no increased conflict, no actual ending. The girl just up and went with her lover, there is no chase, there is no panic enunciating from HER OWN SISTER, who would rather keep rummaging through her missing sister's junk. Then I think, "Come to think, what the hell about her sister?" The sister doesn't do anything, other than being a reason to walk around the house. No input from her was disappointing, definitely a letdown.
Three hours in, and I'm uninstalling the game. Uninteresting, scatterbrained story and the budget was put into all the wrong things. I don't care about the price of this pen, or how your lesbian lover is in the army.
Verdict: The game had an interesting idea, top-notch voice acting and sound design, but these points are null when you poorly execute a story. It's like trying to immerse yourself in a multi-million roller coaster ride that goes 3 miles an hour. The way to pick up stuff and move them is interesting, but certainly nothing innovative. The only way you'll enjoy and relate to this story is if you are a teenage adolescent, have never picked up a book in 3 years, and enjoy generic, predictable outcome melodrama. I do not recommend thisgame.… Expand
Sep 27, 2013I like to think of myself as an adventure game aficionado, having played most games in the genre from Zork to Amnesia. This "game" is a supreme disappointment. Like a lot of indie titles, it has great promise at the start: interesting and novel storyline, realistic characters...that quickly dissolves into the player wishing that a larger game company would have come along and taken over the game so it could live up to it's potential.
- Great voice acting and interesting characters.
- A big, empty house to explore with lots of attention paid to the design of the objects you can pick up
- A storyline that starts out with promise and fizzles quickly into a dull, anticlimactic ending that seems rushed and devoid of any real tension.
- Character stories that go nowhere and have zero closure.
- No real scariness or tension, even though there was plenty of potential for it.
- Overly simplistic gameplay. Actually, you can't call it gameplay. It's more like you are walking through a storyline picking up pieces of the narrative as you go. You can look at objects but rarely do they serve any additional purpose.
- A VERY SHORT GAME THAT IS OVERPRICED FOR WHAT IT IS!
You should buy this for $5 max. Seriously, you will be done with it in 2 hours and kick yourself for having paid any more for it.
P.S. I loathed Dear Esther, and this is just a couple steps above.… Expand
Nov 6, 2013Originally I played mostly adventure games...I have found them to be more attractive due to the fact they are story driven...And a good story is always has been a winning factor while considering to play game... With that in mind I picked this game looking for a story that would drive me into the the ending without stopping for coffee...But reality kicked in and I wasn't able to finish more than one room exploring each day...Exploring the house was quite a tedious job not different from any real job you need to do on a daily basis... The game offered me one more tedious job to do...Well,finally after a month or so I made it into the final conclusion of the game & all I had to say was good riddance....one less tedious job to do....And with that I turned Gone Home to Gone forever with the wind... One of the weakest stories I have ever encountered...… Expand
Oct 23, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. DO NOT BOTHER SPENDING YOUR MONEY. This game may seem interesting and for the first five minutes it is.
But then the realisation descends that it is some humdrum love story about a lesbian and her girlfriend. There is NO mystery, nothing going on whatsoever. Even a subplot about the house's past owner that is far more interesting is not developed.… Expand
Dec 19, 2013The only thing this game is actually selling is the story, and it is a highly predictable one. How could this be "the greatest video game love story"? Just because it has the homosexuality with a bit 90s nostalgia theme? Really? Maybe the story IS THAT GOOD and I simply couldn't understand, but the rest parts of the game is basically non-existent. There is minor exploration content, misleading atmosphere that doesn't fit the story properly and that's pretty much it. The voice acting is not bad, other than that, I can't see what makes the game great.
How this game was able to beat BF4, Papers please, The Stanley Parable in VGX is a true mystery for me.… Expand
Dec 29, 2013Do not play this game expecting a gripping story or a complex plot. The gameplay is the only thing that this game had going for it, and the gameplay consisted of walking, reading, and moving small objects. The best parts was the ability to pick up most objects, and the navigation of the map. On the other hand, the downsides dominated this small list of good things. The plot was ok, but not exciting, really. There was nothing surprising and it was stereotypical of the time and setting. Some of the mysteries are unsolved, and there is not a satisfying closure. The game is extremely short, which actually does it justice because if you paused playing, you might think there is something exciting to be seen next time you play. That is not the case. I finished this game in just under 2 hours. I do not recommend it and I am glad it was no more than 10 dollars.… Expand
Dec 29, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game was horribly misrepresented by what I saw on steam. I expected a neat mystery with revelations and real discovery.. yet what i am met with is some stupid (albeit well told) little story about a lesbian girl and her aspirations or whatever. The exploration was somewhat cool and interesting until i found out what it was about. Then i just felt disgusted and betrayed.… Expand
Dec 31, 2013This is the result of the Femnazi Movement and will go down in history as such. It serves only as an indie glorified walking simulator. The developers could have made something worthwhile, like a new "myst-esque" type game. But decided to go down the political hipster route. The game has been bolstered unjustly in the media and has been shunned by actual gamers. This is a shining example of what is wrong with gaming.… Expand
Jan 26, 2014Ok graphics. Almost spooky. interesting. Open another drawer. Storyline shock. Offended. Bored. Still Bored. Offended Again. To Plot, or not to Plot..., Wait, that's the end? No, really that's it? Check for passing time... 2.5 hrs. Should have went bowling.
Jan 15, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm usually VERY forgiving and interested in new game experiences. Reviews mention two key points: the interesting story, and the "freakiness" of exploring the house.
First, the story. Over half of the things you'll find or read are totally extraneous and do nothing to further any sort of interesting plot (or sub-plot). I don't want to spoil anything in case you get this on sale (DO NOT PAY FULL PRICE), but the story is a massive letdown with each plot thread that it opens up.
As for the the empty house situation, it could have been extremely freaky. Instead, they throw in some really obtuse references to some of the "creepy" things that happened and give you just the SLIGHTEST glimpse of problems in the house. A few diaries from the mom, or perhaps some really depressed letters from the dad would have made the experience A LOT freakier. I'd constantly have been worried that someone had gone nuts and done something horrible around the next corner.
I can not believe this game got so many 8s, 9s, and 10s. Had the story of any of these characters been told in a traditional format (movie, book, even someone speaking over a campfire) you would be bored to tears.
P.S. The contents of those locked containers were so bland. If I'm hunting for secrets, you better make it worth it.… Expand
Aug 23, 2013It's a nice thought, but it wasn't worth $20. It wasn't that great a story. It seemed like something a sexually confused high school girl would write in her diary. Roger Ebert is laughing in his grave.
If you want to play an interactive visual novel that has a truly gripping emotional story, check out Katawa Shoujo or Analogue: A Hate Story. And Katawa Shoujo is freeware!
Aug 25, 2013You go around a house to read and check things out and unfold a poorly written story. Like a shallow interactive book, 95% of stuff you explore will add up to NOTHING. That load of stuff you just learned about the family? It means nothing, the game never puts it to a test or challenge. There is not even a challenge to this game. That whole time you wasted reading useless information about useless characters WILL BE IRREVOCABLY THROWN INTO THE VOID.
You'd expect like a more serious back story as to "why the hell is nobody home after I arrive from a long ass trip to another continent" other than a bunch of sweet love stories and meaninglessness. Don't listen to people blindly praising this for "being different" (which is not an excuse to be crap). You'll even notice that some people are praising this for homosexual relationships. Truly the end of times this is.… Expand
Aug 20, 2013Bland and insipid, are the word I'd pick to describe Gone Home. It's seems to be another game from people who apparently have no interest in making games, there are no puzzles or enemies just exploring a deserted house, it is the bare minimum of interactivity to technically be called a game. The story, what there is of it, is presented in the most circuitous way possible and it's not all that interesting or compelling. I really do not understand what the critics love about this "game". This should be called suburban exploration simulator cause it really does seem the creators stumbled on an urban exploration blog somewhere and though it would make a good game.… Expand
Oct 28, 2013I love indie games, I love games that allow me to explore, I love good stories. What I don't love is wasting my money on a "exploration/story" game that I figure out all the interesting stuff about the family in like the first 30 mins of exploring. I was so excited to play this because it had my interests all sparked, how the hell this game got such good reviews I don't know, like I said any good information I found while exploring was found so fast that it made the game seem pointless. I could make a damn game about a troubled family, hide in a house and play some decent hipster music too... LOL but for real everyone, if you're super interested fine buy it but atleast wait for a big steam sale and for the love of god don't expect much. Havent been this disappointed in a game in a long time … Expand
Aug 21, 2013A “video game” about walking around an abandoned house, reading letters and whatnot, while a narration explains everything to you, doesn't sound all that remarkable. The plot seems to be getting a lot of praise, but I found it utterly vapid and a complete waste when compared to the game's atmosphere. It astounds me as to how this “game” is receiving perfect scores. I think a lot of the approbation being dumped on Gone Home is merely because of the homosexual subject matter.… Expand
Aug 25, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Gone Home is one of those game that tries to be different. Instead of focusing on gameplay, one of the main pillars of video games, it focuses on story. There is nothing wrong with that and many games did this successfully. Gone Home however, doesn't. You find yourself returning from a road trip and arrive at your home. Nobody is there, but a note on the door explains your sister Sam has left and cant welcome you back home. The gameplay consists of a maximum of 2 hours of you picking up and examining your family's private possessions. Maybe the story has peaked your interest somehow up until this point, but prepare to be disapoint. Your sister has left home because she found out she was a lesbian and your parents didn't approve. Why she was unable to write this on the note on the door is completely left out. Also, the reason your parents aren't home is because they are on an anniversary trip. Incredible anti-climax. The rest of the story seems to contain loose fragments of information.
My recommendation? Either buy a game that has actual gameplay value with or without a good story. Otherwise, read a book. If you actually want to play a video game that acts more as an interactive book, maybe try "Dear Esther". Gone Home however, fails to produce an interesting or good story.… Expand
Aug 25, 2013"It's a two hour game, almost devoid of challenge, and without replay incentives"
This is a quote from a review that game this game a 10/10. I fail to see how you can give a "game" without any gameplay characteristics a 10/10. This thing would be no different if it were a movie or visual novel. You may or may not enjoy the story, but a good story isnt a game, it's a book. If you want to play a great story centric game, play Planetscape Torment, The Longest Journey, Myst, even Penumbra.
It's a crime that this game is being fawned over, I hope capable developers don't try and emulate the success that this thing has received instead of developing real games because at that point Gone Home actually begins to have a negative impact on gaming.… Expand
Oct 4, 2013This is one of the good sample of "ridiculously overrated short story types" which shouldn't be released to cruel and very elective PC platform. Especially for 20 dollars. Really?! You can buy bundles by that money. PC gamers expect much more than this however just because of it's an emotional story-even though it's a bad and very very histrionic one, so that i would almost puke- players want to experience it.
Actually producers of this game can tell us what they want to in 2 paragraphs instead of making 1 hour game. Besides it is short, it is so boring, overly histrionic, average graphics but nothing.
Oct 17, 2013Where do you start with this game or so called game.
It's nice enough looking I suppose but I can't help feeling it's riding on a PC wave because of it's subject matter which is fair enough but the critics have gone way way overboard on this work because of that.
The truth is it's a poor example of digital media that is so over hyped that you feel like the little boy who screams the emperor has no clothes. This game will be important to some and that's fair enough but not to point out the games many flaws and indeed it's price for it's length as legitimate criticisms for the fear of being singled out as a bigot shows me where culturally we are at the present moment unfortunately. For the majority of people this game will grate and make you feel ripped off.
Game critics should be ashamed of themselves but unfortunately political correctness makes them bold and arrogant and thus not given an honest review which I was under the impression that was their primary function.
I would advise people to buy Dear Esther intead of this game unless the subject matter is relevant to you.… Expand
Aug 22, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Why even try to make it scary?
I didn't pay for this game and it sounds like I was better off, as it is less than 2 hours long. It tries to be scary and atmospheric and then at the end you are left thinking, "is this it?" It's ground breaking in the slightest, point and click interaction isn't new, it's a favorite genre of mine but I was expecting more. To try to scare you with bad scare tactics and then have such an uplifting ending is bizarre to say the least. You know what would have been a better ending? A suicide pact and the mom leaving with the ranger. You could have been finding their bodies. So her father was distant, the mother would be running off, and she'd be loosing the girl. That would have kept the horror feel, the sadness of forbidden love. Although come on, it's the 21st century no-one is shocked by lesbians anymore, it's par for course. They exist, they're nice people, we're over it. Stop milking it just to get reviewed by people who think if they say the game is bad they are somehow bigots. Political correctness at it's best is what you can see from the reviewers. One thing that made me laugh about the game is all those bathrooms and no mirrors. Not a single mirror in the house, strange that. Kind of a cop out. Almost like they didn't have the budget but perhaps with the high price of this game they can show you looking in the mirror in a sequel. You can't do a scary atmosphere game without taking advantage of mirrors. I'd recommend you experience the game, it had some cool points, but don't pay full price for less than 2 hours.… Expand
Aug 19, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What? After taking notes on what I found, I didn't need any of them to complete the game. It's merely completed when you find all the keys/combinations? Too easy. I could have completed it in 30 minutes if I'd known this. This is not an adventure game there's no adventure.… 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 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 20, 2013Why did this game get even 2 points from me? Because It had some good voice acting. By that i mean the one voice actor that was in the game. Well anyway don't ever bother picking this game up unless it is 99 cents and even then be cautious.
On to the game. The story is nothing special. Some say it is the best told story ever. Are they serious? All you do in this game is walk around the house and turn objects around when suddenly a narrator voice reads a part of her diary to you. I can tell you that is not even necessary you might just find the paper clips and keys since that is the only thing needed. This game is made for the simple minded and it is over in 2-3 hours. This game in no way makes you think there is not a single moment that you stop to think about a puzzle or anything.
Is the game industry turning to movie industry? When some game maker makes a game that you can barely call a game it gets 9-10 reviews. You can clearly see what the normal consumers think about this game with the user score being so low.… 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 23, 2013Gone Home should be in Barnes&Noble not GameStop. It is interactive fiction and a very short story at that. To sum it up, this "game" doesn't feel like a GAME. This feels more like a drawn out intro to an actual game. After it is done, you might find yourself saying "Is that it? WTF was that? I paid $XX for that? I could have went on Re/max Realty and read a short book while taking a virtual tour of a house.". In other words, like many other of us non-paid gamers have said, either believe the "pro-getting-paid" critics hype or save your money, pick up a short story novel and use your imagination for a graphics processor.… Expand
Aug 25, 2013Gone home is a game that has become famous for being finishable in 47 seconds, or played through for TWO HOURS and charge you 20 bucks. It's at this point that I mention how most indie games last more than that time and often sell for less. It's insulting to sell a game at this price for it's length. It tries to excuse itself from this by stating that it's a story driven game, when the only thing of note in this generic drama, and the reason why everyone is giving it high scores, is because the main character is female and lesbian.
Gameplay-wise, the game is a first person 'Adventure' game. You arrive at your house, your family has apparently gone missing and you must uncover the mystery behind it. Now, I like games with mysteries, I like exploring environments and finding clues and reaching a conclusion that is correct and won't direct me to the bad ending (Or just be wrong and give me some penalty) but with this game, the writing was awkward and it felt like reading a generic drama. The only difference was that it took time to turn the page because you had to search for the next one in the house, which is the reason why this is called a 'game'.
Graphics are okay. I don't judge games based on graphics, but considering the short duration of this game and poor story it's something I have to point out. It's an Indie game with good graphics and that at least pulls the score up a bit from the effort that was put on that front.
However, this game has no replayability. Nothing changes when you replay the game, and if you check a certain wall the moment the game starts you can finish the game within 47 seconds of starting it.
The thing that bothers me the most about this game though, is how it has a Metascore of 90 for a game that isn't a game, for as much as one may praise a story and like story driven games, lasting two hours isn't an excuse when you charge 20 bucks for it. Want a good story driven game? You can buy the Soul Reaver story arch and Defiance from the Legacy of Kain series from the same price as this game, Three games lasting at least 8 to 10 hours each with proper voice acting and a compelling story. That amounts to 24-30 hours of gameplay for around 20 bucks, compared to 47 seconds-2 hours of gameplay for 20 bucks. Make your choice.… Expand
Aug 30, 2013Felt a bit cheated on this one. I was pretty disappointed at the end. I played the entire thing in a few hours as my wife watched behind me which she like to do. She likes horror games and kept joking on the fact that nothing in this game is scary at all. It seems to try to be, with no payoff......ever.
The entire thing seemed to be a tribute to girl-power homosexuality. Everything else in the game was just filler, or more like red herrings which tried to convince you that this was actually a game. I laughed when I saw all the critics giving it 10's. To the masses that are asking why, allow me to opine...Replace the name Lonnie with Lenny and the scores all drop by 3-4 points. It all has to do with being PC and our modern day politics. I have nothing against these issues, just stay out of my games.… Expand
Sep 3, 2013This game has very little interactivity and exploration that just does not fit it's $20 price tag. The game has very little to do and seems to think that exposition via letters that magic into your head is even necessary, despite the fact you can figure out what happened in less than half an hour if you're running through blind. Overall I did not enjoy the fact that the game had many of it's plots end ominously, such as uncle Jack's story. I would much rather a game about uncle Jack then the protagonist, who is barely even a part of the story despite being a member of such a small family.… Expand
Oct 22, 2013This is an interactive story dressed as a game. The story is not that good and the interaction barely scratches the surface of what's possible inside a game world. Paying 9,49 euros on it during the 50% off period still feels like being ripped off. Also, Idle Thumbs can really hype the out of a bad experience.
Oct 22, 2013Really I don't understand the rating of this game. So much praise for the story, but there it is pretty straight forward and generic (and I think was supposed to be a "twist" really can't count as one in the 21st century). In addition to that, the entire game took less than 90 minutes on the first playthrough... It was really just uninteresting for what the cost of the game is. On top of that, the atmosphere was a farce (don't be fooled by hints of ghosts and the occult). The scariest thing in the game is a light bulb burning out. There is really no saving grace to make this game more than a two, which it earned on the fact that it was well put together. If it ever shows up for $5 or less, go for it. Basically you're renting a mediocre movie.… Expand
Oct 25, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's not a game, it's an interactive-story. All you do is to rummage your family's belongings to discover what happened. In the game, everything suggest to hide an unexpected, dramatic and emotional secret. But it doesn't
Seriously, this game is a waste of time… Expand
Nov 9, 2013Gone home is way overpriced and over-hyped.
I finished the full game in 2 hours. Decided to take it in as an experience. After all when you came in you knew that you will be wandering around a house, collecting mementos and learning about your family. No surprise here, right?
However what you didn't know is that most of its focus will be about your sister. You get to sort of find out what happened to your parents, but I swear, like 80% of all notes I found was about your sister. The thing is it's not even something secret that you find out. The very first thing that you find is essentially her admitting that she is gay. Guess what's in the other notes? "I am gay. I am gay. I love a girl, etc". Is it really a topic that needs this much awareness?
If you're making an exploration game deal in a variety of subjects, present a variety of lives with different problems, not all black and white either, because that's how life goes.
Also if you're a European you might not find this game as enjoyable, because it is mostly dealing in American problems.… Expand
Dec 1, 2013Great atmosphere, great premise...but turned into wasted potential. The story builds you up over the very brief hour or so of gameplay and drops you with only some of the details of the side plot, which was quite honestly the plot that pulled me in, and a fairly lackluster ending to the main plot. The graphics are enough to get by, but really leave you wanting. I honestly thought this may have bee built on the half life 2 engine when first seeing it. This team worked on AAA productions before forming their studio. That they would allow themselves to make something of this quality was really a let down. All in all, the buildup is exciting, but the letdown of the lost side plot and $20 price tag left a horrific taste in my mouth.… Expand
Dec 5, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First, let me start this review off by focusing on the general pricing/length of this game. For 20 dollars (or $5 if you purchased it during a Steam sale), you are getting a video game experience that will last no longer than two hours. That's right. 2 hours. The actual interaction with the story last no more than 10 minutes. I could have gotten the same value from interesting stories from browsing forums on the internet.
There isn't much that makes this story unique [SPOILERS START HERE]. A girl gets adjusted to a new life after moving. She meets a fellow classmate. She falls in love with her. They are both lesbian. They date for a year. They run away from home. The end. There is nothing special here. I'm a HUGE reader. I've read visual novels, manga, and over 500 normal novels. This story is truly MEH. Books that are comparable with this game cost a lot less and will have you engaged for 6-8 hours.
But comparing a reading game to other reading forms of entertainment can wait. The most frustrating part about this game is the desperation clicking. I literally went through the mansion clicking everything 2-3 times. I didn't want to miss parts of the story because I got to the end game in 50 minutes. I wasn't even sure if the game was truly complete! I didn't want the money I spent to cheat me even more. The mechanics of the game are just clicking to get a scrap of any mediocre letter or note left by your family. It leaves you in disappointment because a fleshed out story wouldn't leave such a broken trail behind.
There are many experiences that would surpass this gaming experience. Watch an anime (FMA, Steins;Gate, Deathnote), read a book, or check out a visual novel like Clannad. These are all good uses of mediums to tell a great story. Walking through an empty house picking up torn up letters is not. Back to the drawing board guys.… Expand
Dec 19, 2013I am so glad that I did not pay $20 for this game or I would have been pissed. If this was a $3 ios app, then Id think it is worth buying, otherwise save your money. The game starts off with a lot of potential and I was getting really into it. After a (short) while though that excitement wore off and I was waiting for something to actually happen in the game. Well right when I thought something was going to happen, the game ends! This is a super super short game. Set your expectations very low otherwise you will be disappointed.… Expand
Jan 6, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I completely don't get those positive reviews. They may show how low level of narrative is satisfying game critics. I don't treat this as a game, it's not. It's sort of a virtual novel. But novel written by 19 years old ambitious but mediocre student. Nobody would print a book with story like this. And movie would be booed for sure. I don't get that special pregnant-women-like treatment.
Why game critics need so little to get excited? Look at critics score (around 85) and gamers (50).
It says a lot about standards.
Going back to the game itself.
Retro environment is ok. Especially for hipsters but it's fun to see vhs with x-files on it. Misleading side stories are ok, they give something to keep You going to that completely predictable and infantile ending. She is a lesbian? Really?! Whoa! Sixth sense all over again.
And...? Story should start here.
Two points for expanding virtual novels world. But it's still like Harlequin in world of literature.… Expand
Aug 19, 201310 minutes. That's what will take you to finish this "game".
Not even worth a pirate, don't waste your time with this garbage.
You can find much better stories in books, and if you're playing games for the story I really suggest you get the out of gaming altogether.
Oct 23, 2013I LOVE adventure games so I really wanted to give it a shot. What I didn't expect was the terrible storyline. It feels like a LGBT organization created the story to push an agenda. While politics aren't the main focus of the game, the constant jabs are there. I would stay away if you don't like leftist politics jammed down your throat the whole game.
I'll give it a 1 instead of a 0 because other than the political slant, it's mildly entertaining.… Expand
Oct 3, 2013Decent voice acting doesn't save this game. I'm fine with exploring a house and discovering a story by piecing together scraps of info, but even that task was too challenging for the developers, who had to also use a voice-over of some sort of diary which you haven't found yet, which makes no sense in the context of the game. You had to piece together things in games like Myst too, but at least you weren't interrupted by a voice from the sky spouting drama and exposition and trying to fill in wholes in the story, what the hell? This is a game made by elitist idiots who think themselves "above" making an actual game, their only end goal is to tell a story that might have been provocative and ground-breaking if this was the 1950's, but it's 2013, nobody is shocked that you are homosexual and it doesn't make your life any harder or easier or anything other than anyone else's, you are not special and nobody cares about your overinflated drama. Avoid this at all costs, it's just a waste of time.… Expand
Dec 21, 2013So i've heard great things about this game from reviews and dcided to try it. Trash, thats it. You arrive to an empty house and have to walk around and find hidden rooms and letters, it's boring, no puzzles or gameplay at all. The first 5 minutes i was neutral, it wasn't boring but not fun, then after 7 minutes i had to endure to complete the game, waste of time, the only reason someone would buy this is if level 1 tetris is to hard for them… Expand
Sep 1, 2013Overpriced, way too short, and not much of a game. It is being pushed on the merits of it's story, which isn't all that great. This game has a bunch of positive reviews from people trying to push the politically correct agenda and rate it highly because it features social issues they support, but they are completely ignoring it's lack of merit as an actual game.