User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1476 Ratings

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  1. Dec 28, 2013
    10
    Some games are about winning, most about killing. Ever so often one arrives that is about being a human and that is what Gone Home is at its core. I went in not knowing what to expect. I didn’t read the description; I just thought the game looked intriguing enough to give it a try. I am so very glad I did. In just over an hour I experienced the equivalent of a good book or a touching movie but in a fully interactive and nostalgic trip back to the 90's. This is a story about love, relationships and growing up. If you want an experience like no other game out there, Gone Home is worthwhile.

    A "Thank You" to the team that put this together, I appreciate what you did and look forward to your next effort. I wholeheartedly recommend this game.
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  2. Aug 27, 2013
    10
    Gone Home is a great game. Full stop. Yes, it is a game. It's not a shooter, it's not an action game, it's not a survival horror game. But it IS a game. Saying it's not a game is like saying that a movie isn't a movie because it doesn't have explosions or car chases. It may not be your kind of game, or a game you are comfortable with... but it IS a game. And it does the things it is trying to do with grace and assurance.

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

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

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

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

    In any case I hope you take the time to decide for yourself. I think in 20 years people will be looking back at this game as one of if not the moment games grew up.
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  3. Oct 5, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's rare when I am completely surprised by a story in any medium. This a game that has been masterfully crafted to convey a powerfully emotional story, whilst throwing you completely off the scent on what you expect to happen. I loved the atmosphere this game creates with the most simple of storytelling aides: light, sound and the player's own mind.

    P.S. Soundtrack-wise, I loved the cassettes dotted around with its 90s punk on.
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  4. Feb 13, 2014
    10
    This was amazing. It's a prime example of the evolution of games into art. It's a really simple, and personally story told through the exploration of your character's home. I loved it, glad I bought it, glad I played it.
  5. Aug 25, 2013
    10
    This is MEANT TO BE A SHORT GAME!

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

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

    Having said that, on to the game.

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

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

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

    I am fully behind this game and I hope that this game serves as a catalyst for change in gaming. It's possibly the beginning of a new genre!
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  6. Aug 16, 2013
    10
    I don't usually give games a 10. In fact, there are only 2 other games that I would consider to be perfect 10s: the original portal and pacman ce dx. Those aren't necessarily the best games I've played, but they are the most perfect, if that makes sense. And that is a word that I would use to describe Gone Home: perfect. It is a game purely comprised of exploration and discovery, with virtually no other gameplay components with the exception of some very simplistic puzzles. And yet, Gone Home manages to make seemingly mundane exploration into some of the most engaging and emotional storytelling I have ever seen. Gone Home will be remembered for its brilliant design and execution, but also as a game that bravely led the charge in addressing contemporary social issues that have not as of yet found much representation in the medium.
    This game is not for everyone. If all you play are shooters and fast paced action games, then Gone Home will bore you. However, if you like slower games or games with interesting ways of telling stories, such as Journey, Heavy Rain, Dear Esther, or even mods like The Stanley Parable, than Gone home is certain to grab you and not let go for its 3 hour duration.
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  7. Jan 2, 2014
    10
    Although it's very short I found this game to be fun to play and very touching in the end. It's also a great reminder that a fun and rewarding game doesn't have to involve killing stuff
  8. Koo
    Nov 3, 2013
    10
    Like Dear Esther before it, Gone Home is a gaming experience more than it is a mere game. Gone Home lacks objectives, NPCs, enemies, and weapons. But what it does have is a beautifully realized world I felt a part of while I played the game. As you can tell from the other reviews, Gone Home is either a game you will love or one you won't. If you are looking for a relaxing gaming experience you can complete at your own pace (I completed the game in 2 hours) try Gone Home. If you are a curious type of person who enjoys a good story and likes to discover new things, try Gone Home. Gone Home isn't your typical adventure game. Like Dear Esther it is a journey and an experience. And also like Dear Esther, I enjoyed playing it immensely and will remember it. Expand
  9. Aug 19, 2013
    10
    I really enjoyed this. It's not going to be interesting for everyone but I loved slowly combing through the empty house, piecing together the mystery of where the family had gone. The separate threads of each character were incredibly immersive even though I was just picking up receipts, letters, pizza boxes. I have never seen a game environment tell such an engaging story. The sister, Sam's, story is incredibly heartfelt and the voice-acted diaries are very high quality. It is a very short game, but I would compare it to a good novel. I felt quite satisfied after finishing it. There is also the novelty of such a well realised physical environment that is so familiar no caves or fantasy kingdoms or WWII bunkers, but the sort of home many of us might have grown up in (okay maybe the richer half). I found myself opening the dishwasher, pulling out the rack, and then stacking the cups in the kitchen cupboards because I can do that in a game now, and not to fill some sort of predestined game task, but because I wanted to see if I could. I can't wait to see where these sorts of games end up. Expand
  10. Aug 17, 2013
    10
    As these reviews here undoubtedly made clear, 'Gone Home' isn't a game that will appeal to everybody. It's definitely a difficult game to review or even describe. People will say that all you do is walk around a house and look at stuff. That is very much true. It's all you do in this game, but it seems to me like a lot of people fail to understand why that is or at least can be a good thing. Gone Home is in essence a story based exploration and puzzle game, but not quite in the way you might expect. Talking about puzzles in Gone Home means that the game challenges you to puzzle out its characters through the things you find in the house. You learn all these little details about the Greenbriar family by finding their belongings, investigating them and drawing your own conclusions as to what they might mean. Remember the Ratman hideouts in Portal and your thought process as you tried to figure out what might have happened there? Gone Home has a ton of these little moments of environmental storytelling, but instead of an abandoned sci-fi research facility, it takes place in a setting you know, that you can completely relate to. There was one moment in particular that involved the father of the house who we never see or hear but through several notes and clues I found I was able to understand his inner struggles and his character better than I would ever have any other way. It was a proper 'holy crap' moment and it was glorious. This is why Gone Home is very much a game. It doesn't have the traditional gamey challenges you might expect, but instead sets out to challenge you in very different and new ways and in my humble opinion brilliantly pulls it off. This kind of storytelling is simply impossible in any other medium.
    It is short at about 2 to 3 hours of playtime and it's understandable that at the current price point that may not be enough for a lot of people but I think it's well worth it. It's an experience unlike anything else and at least for that it should be appreciated even it isn't you cup of tea.
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  11. Sep 8, 2013
    10
    Not sure why there are so many negative user reviews on this game. But I found this game to be absolutely brilliant. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, discovering clues and piecing together what happened to everyone. I highly recommend this game to anyone looking for something a little different and unique.
  12. Dec 28, 2013
    10
    This is less of a game than it is an interactive story, but it is a very compelling and intriguing one and very well constructed.
    I'm not sure where all of the hate is coming from. Perhaps from gamers that have been conditioned to have a very narrow view of what games are, or can be. Perhaps from religious fundamentalists that can't deal with the context of the story, or perhaps just
    people that are so unused to character empathy and well constructed story in a video game medium that they simply can't comprehend it.

    As someone that grew up and reached adulthood in the time period where the story is set (1995), I found all of the references very nostalgic. I went in not knowing what to expect, just that it was highly recommended, and I don't regret spending the money on it.

    If you are a more mature gamer in your late 20s or 30s, you will likely really enjoy this experience. If you have no attention span, imagination, or ability to empathise or be thoughtful and take things in, this will most likely not be the game for you.
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  13. Dec 27, 2013
    10
    A lovely quiet story that stands your expectations on their heads.... come now, when you go to a home to find stuff scattered around and the place empty when it shouldn't be, you expect to find the former residents dead or worse, don't you? Especially when you find that the house has a past..... Not to spoil it, let's just say if you go in with those ideas in your mind, you'll be disappointed. If you simply start exploring and putting pieces together, you won't. And if you are one of those people who runs around in online games calling everyone else a f*g, then you'll REALLY hate it. It has a protagonist who seems carefully designed to elicit hatred from the more despicable of the gaming crowd, so I'm not entirely surprised to see the number of negative reviews from users. Disappointed, though. I like blowing brains out as much as the next guy or making a run through something like Borderlands 1 melting people's faces off, but that isn't ALL of gaming. Part of it is individual taste, of course but some of those who authored the more incoherent of the negative reviews would benefit from professional help. Expand
  14. Aug 18, 2013
    10
    No one can write a proper review of Gone Home without spoiling everything, but I'll try. Every review you read should tell you that the narrative in this game is incredible and moving. But this is an example of a story that couldn't be told as well using any other medium. The year is 1995. The player plays as Katie, who comes home from a trip across Europe to discover that no one else is home. As Katie, you search your house in an attempt to discover where your sister Sam went. Sam left clues for you, scattered throughout the house. As I played, I really felt as if I had come home to my (creepy) house and was trying to solve a mystery that my sister had left for me. And as time went on, I got more comfortable with the house. As the story picked up, I found myself unable to stop playing. I'm so impressed that this was made by only a few people. I'll definitely pick up whatever they release next.

    P.S. Many people are complaining, "It's only a few hours long and it costs $20!" But the length is exactly what it needs to be. There's no useless padding like there is in most games. If you value your time, you will appreciate the length.
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  15. Sep 21, 2013
    10
    I cannot believe the absolute wretchedness of the Metacritic user community, dishing out these horrendous scores for such a BRILLIANT and THOUGHT-PROVOKING experience. I left this game teary-eyed, absolutely floored by its amazingly realized characters and emotional story.

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

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

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

    Bravo!
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  16. Aug 24, 2013
    10
    Personally I thought the story was lovely and enjoyed it from start to finish, wish it was longer! If it gets any sort of DLC to carry on I would love that.
  17. Sep 4, 2013
    10
    Gone Home transcends gaming into pure experience. It's only a few hours long and you'll never forget it. It's really not worth worrying about whether it's a "game" or not: it's wonderful, innovative and completely enthralling. This is a quintessential example of why gaming is rapidly becoming the dominant form of entertainment. Gone Home is the highest form of interactive art. If you like stories or want to see the possibilities of gaming, I promise you will not regret the few hours it takes to play through this. Expand
  18. Sep 12, 2013
    10
    it's cool experiment about environment story telling. not worth 19€ but you should buy it anyway if you interested in games that are more than button smashers.
  19. May 24, 2014
    10
    This game isn't for everyone as you can tell by the polarizing 'User score distribution'; you'll either love it or hate it.

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

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

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

    With that being said, if you really like story driven games and like to break away from the norm with your gaming It may just be worth a purchase,or in my case, play a friend's copy through Steam's Family sharing.
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  20. Aug 19, 2013
    10
    I have to agree to some trolls down here, this is not a game, IT'S MUCH MORE! The level of immersion has nothing to do with those "games". This experience will make you feel more emotions than 99% of your steam catalog in just 2 hours! It's incredible what they achieved with no characters, no animations, just some text and audio log. My only complain is the sound compartment, don't get me wrong it's great overall, but that rain effect it's a bad loop that you can hear in every room, they should just fix that. The launch price is also a little high and i got some sluggish frame rate look speed.
    After hours I'm still in the uplifted state this experience put me in. Use the try before buy it formula, if you are not sure. But i guess that after you will see the credits rolling you will be throwing money at your screen!
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  21. Sep 3, 2013
    10
    This IS a game and it's fantastic. Probably the best of 2013 about as good as "The Last of Us" in completely different ways (although both use environmental storytelling). We learn so much about these characters without necessarily interacting with them directly and the way it uses subversion is masterful. Easily worth $20.
  22. Aug 22, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Gone Home is a video game that is triumphs in tapping into the one thing we all seem to share an imagination gone wild in the face of uncertainity. It's an experience all of us likely had at some point in our lives you're home, alone, with the sounds of a creaky house settling, maybe with or without a nasty storm outside. Any sound, any shadow evokes a response of fear when, in reality, the logical side of your brain knows there is nothing there. Gone Home takes all of that and wraps it up into one fantastic package.

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

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

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

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

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

    Gone Home takes some of our most base expectations of the world around us and the video game medium and shines a light on them in a way most of us have never experienced. Sometimes, the simplest answer is the correct answer. No, that creaky floorboard isn't a murderer who crawled through the window. Stop letting your imagination get the best of you.
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  23. Aug 18, 2013
    10
    A perfect example of a game of this genre. Story is strong, visuals are intensive and sounds are very atmospheric. Discovering hidden secrets is enjoyable as ever. 10 out of 10.
  24. Aug 25, 2013
    10
    If I had to pin a definition on Gone Home, I'd call it more of an experience than a game, and probably the closest game of its kind I could compare it to would be something along the lines of Myst. There are no jump scares, zombies, or physical horrors to run from. Instead, you're drawn into a fully realized and believable world of a family and their lives as you explore their empty house.

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

    I'm very delighted to see Gone Home getting universal praise from professional reviewers, and I hope more developers will take a chance on original game development. Gone Home is currently on Steam for $19.95, and you should buy it.
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  25. Dec 27, 2013
    10
    This game deserves a much higher score! Its has a simple gameplay, but man the atmosphere and story is fantastic! Buy this game if you love at good story!
  26. Dec 3, 2013
    10
    I will start off by saying I am 26 years old. I honestly think if you were born after 1990, this game probably won't do much for you. But if you were... this game will be a revelatory masterpiece, that will provide you with two hours that couldn't be more well spent.

    I purchased this on the Autumn Steam sale, for mac, and let it download while I went out for the day. When I came home, I
    dropped the groceries on the counter and went to see if it was done.

    After everything booted OK, I planned on finishing up bringing things in, but after the first couple of seconds I was drawn in. Three intense hours later, I looked over and my girlfriend was crying, who I had no idea had been watching the entire time, the front door was still open and my ice cream on the counter was all melty.

    This game is one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had, not in a video game, but in any medium.

    Some people say this isn't a game, but who gives a it's 1994.
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  27. Dec 17, 2013
    10
    I’ve been pondering on how to review Gone Home for a long time since I played it, because in general I’ve been thinking a lot about it. And I’ve been thinking so much about it because this game is beautiful and I have never had such a raw emotional reaction to a videogame ever. So there might never be a time when I stop thinking about it…

    About when I first opened the game to play it in
    the middle of the night and then I was just so creeped out by the atmosphere and the strange noises that the house was making I just decided to leave it for the next day when the sun was up. That’s how perfectly this game grasps that feeling about being scared of your own house at night when your own imagination begins to playing tricks on you. I would even say it rivals most horror games out there, despite not being one. Subtlety is something many videogames lack today and the gentle attention to detail in this game refreshing. Every objects has it's purpose. Whether it's a large plot point, or a small nail polish bottle with a witty label, they all come together to make this large, almost mansion like building, into a home.

    About how Sam reminded me of myself, so much so that at the end of the game I was crying. Crying because I was happy that Sam got to do what I was so afraid of doing, and because she was so lucky to even find someone she could be with, and that someone actually made a videogame about my demographic, and not your typical straight white male protagonist with little to no personality. Yes I am a queer woman who grew up in the 90’s, who’s a big X-files fan (Finally Gillian Anderson!), grew up with Lisa Frank products, and day dreamed about being a pirate. And yes there are other games with female protagonists, but not a single one of them I could relate to like this. They’re all incredible woman with amazing powers, but how many of them are just… normal? This is a story about two normal girls doing normal freaking things that isn’t a Barbie adventure game, and it’s revolutionary for that alone and that is beautiful, but also a horrible reflection of what is seriously lacking in this industry, and that made me cry.

    After playing games for as long as I can remember I finally found one that I truly relate to.

    But you don’t have to be a girl or a lesbian to enjoy this (as some close minded people would like to proclaim). This is a game that exposes a family. We’re finding their porn stashes, dirty diary entries, letters of hopeful marital affairs, discovering the wonder and consumption of first love and exposing a dark family secret. This is an awesome point and click adventure and anyone who calls this game a clickateverythingfestwalkinglesbiansimulator has never had the pleasure of truly enjoying the genre. If they can’t enjoy this game I don’t think they could ever have the patience for classics like The Longest Journey and the Monkey Island series. This is a game that creates an amazing living environment. This is a game that creates dynamic unique characters. This a game where the narrative didn’t settle for the mediocre. This is a game that tackled real discriminatory issues. This is a game that dared to be different, and it deserves every bit of praise it’s getting.

    And we need more games like this. More games that represent other cultures, races, genders, and people so everyone can have this wonder feeling of inclusion and immersion that’s just… awesome.

    I WANT TO BELIEVE that we can get more games like this.
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  28. Aug 30, 2013
    10
    What's $20 worth, these days? I find that people have a weird evaluation of worth, in that if something uses operant conditioning trickery as opposed to being fun and engaging, and then sets before you a game of endless padding and grind with repetitious content, then that's going to be worth more than a good story. What is the worth of a good story? You can pay upwards of $20 for an audio book, with one author. That's actually a common price, these days. Just to have someone read one of your favourite stories to you, because you might have poor sight. So it'd be fair to say that a good story is worth at least $20, wouldn't it? The question is: Are you willing to pay $20 for a good story?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Ultimately, I see Gone Home as a metric for the quality of a person as a whole, and it can be used as such. Gone Home will show whether a person is able to enjoy a good, emotionally mature story or not. And it will also tell you whether someone has sexual security issues. Some people won't measure up, some will. As such, maybe this game is for you, or maybe it isn't. It was definitely for me.
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  29. Sep 14, 2013
    10
    Gone Home is a game created by The Fullbright Company which consists of some great developers which used to work for many interesting projects including Bioshock Infinite, XCOM and also Minerva’s Den. When I read about who is making this game, I knew the story telling is going to be amazing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I give Gone Home: 10/10

    Summary:

    Pros:

    -Great story

    -Excellent atmosphere

    -Undoubtedly, perfect voice acting.

    Cons:

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

    - Length of the game I really understand that the developers wanted to keep this game short and to the point, but I loved this game so much that I want more… and more) I wouldn’t consider the length of the game a disadvantage though, I didn’t had a problem with the length of the game but again, It might be disappointing for the casual gamers who picked up this game.
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  30. Aug 28, 2013
    10
    This game is a beautiful experience, but not really a game in the sense of the word. You explore and discover the story. There are no real puzzles nor challenge, but I think that's okay. I found exploring and uncovering the story so enjoyable that it's lack of gamey features didn't bother me.

    the main issue with this game is the price to length ratio. It's £15 for a 1.5 hour experience,
    which is damn expensive, I could see a 2 hour long summer blockbuster in IMAX for that. I think the price is kind of justified based on the sheer amount of detail in this game (I mean you can read the ingredients on the back of a carton of milk for heavens sake), but it's still pricey.

    This game is a must play if you want a fantastic and engrossing story and interesting world to explore. But I'd wait till it's on sale due to the high price to length ratio.
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  31. Aug 18, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Words can almost not describe what this emotionally gripping story of a misunderstood teenage girl makes you feel. It gives you a feeling of happiness, sadness, fear, and even humor at points, but in the end it chooses a route that you at first believe you will dread that actually gives you a sense of hope and happiness that shows that love is a powerful force that can drive people to do things that some would call foolish, but I believe it to be extraordinary. Not since The Last of Us has a video game made me shed tears, but instead of tears of sadness I shed tears of happiness and joy for an ending that denied usual trend of dark, gloomy, or even uncertain endings and gave us the fantastic narrative that is Gone Home.

    Absolute 10 out of 10
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  32. Aug 26, 2013
    10
    A beautiful and emotional experience that is not worth more than $5 in the grand scheme of things. That's not to say it isn't worth owning, but I'd wait until enough angry FPS fanboys have sufficiently badmouthed this game into the bargain bin at Steam before checking it out.
  33. Aug 20, 2013
    10
    I gave it a 10, my actual score would be 9.6 but i guess I cannot do that.
    If the game was a littlebit longer with some unexpected plot twists, it would be an instant classic. But still its a great game with an unique style and story, godlike voice acting (best I've ever seen since the Last of Us) and amazing atmosphere. Definitely better than garbages like mass effect or dragonage with
    their long but repetitive unimaginative dumbed down gameplays. Expand
  34. Jan 5, 2014
    10
    Gone home is a game with simple mechanics, but an incredibly deep and engaging story. Gone Home does a masterful job of detailing it's characters. Through notes and well placed objects, each character's personality and story absolutely come to life through the course of the game. The house is almost a supporting character in itself whose rooms are very delicately crafted and add very observable details to the main characters of our story, and might even hold some secrets of it's own. A strong mysterious mood is crafted through the storm outside and the very warm soundtrack underneath. The lone voice actor is magnificent and delivers a very believable performance.

    Don't let the spooky atmosphere or light game mechanics deter you though, what lies deep within Gone Home are many story threads weaved into a beautifully delivered drama, you just have to do some digging and observing.
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  35. Aug 19, 2013
    10
    One of the best games/stories I have ever played. Gameplay wise, it lies somewhere between Dear Esther and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but holds it own in strong artistic gameplay direction and incredible attention to detail in its visual and auditory design of the environment and even details such as its timing of text animation.

    This is clearly a love letter to the 90s and done in a
    fantastically realistic and matter-of-factly way the human condition. Though this is not yet the Citizen Kane of the game media (and who could ask for such), it is a great stride for interactive storytelling. Expand
  36. Aug 23, 2013
    10
    This is the most beautiful game I have played in my entire life. I thought I knew what emotions a video game could give me when Mordin died in mass effect. And this orchestral game made me feel for the characters in a way that made Joel and Ellie's relationship in Last of Us seem like something you would find in a gears of war game. Honestly, this game is the next gen point and click adventure. Every cliche you think it would fall into it does not. It is absolutely beautiful. Now people have a right to their opinions, but I do not understand people disliking this game. This is the interactive story-telling at it's finest. If you are looking for a combat game go play Battlefield or Skyrim (not being disingenuous I love both of those games the latter the most) but if you want to play a game where you get a story as beautiful as the Last of Us but distilled to a point that every action grips at your heart, and no zombies just real beauty this is your game. If I paid $60 for this game I would be just as happy, this isn't a great "Indie game", this is just a great game period, no modifiers needed. Expand
  37. Aug 16, 2013
    10
    I sat down and played through "Gone Home" and I was really impressed by it.

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

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

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

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

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

    I came away from Gone Home feeling refreshed and knowing that the experience will stick with me. It's currently $20 on Steam, which some may find steep for a 2-3 hour experience, but I think it's worth it for a game this special. If you're looking for action or scares then don't bother cause this isn't the place for either and you'll just be bored. It requires patience since, again, your sole activity is searching every nook and cranny of numerous rooms and taking in the story, but those that give it a chance are likely to find an experience they'll think back fondly on. And if you're on the fence and don't want to take the hit just yet, then make damn sure you pick it up should it ever go on sale.
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  38. Aug 17, 2013
    10
    This was a very touching story, and like Dear Esther will have a lasting effect on me. I'm not sure why people complain that this 'shouldn't be a game'; as if it shouldn't exist as anything more than written text. Why not give it an atmosphere you can play through? I felt completely immersed, which is what I expect the creator of Gone Home was aiming for. I really enjoyed the subject of the story it wasn't what I was expecting when I first began to explore, but I was quite relieved that this didn't turn out to be another ghost/stalker story. Expand
  39. Aug 17, 2013
    10
    This game is not for nonintellectuals and the unimaginative. This video game is masterfully crafted in all rights. This is the most connected I have felt to any characters in a single video game ever. Gone Home's ability to suspend belief is remarkable. This in fact is a video game, an amazing one. If you would love to take a personal high detail hand crafted journey into another life then play this video game. Just because a game is "short" means nothing. This is completely worth its price. I am proud that this video game exists. Expand
  40. Aug 17, 2013
    10
    Simply an AWESOME game. I was absolutely stricken with emotion upon completing it. I was borderline in tears at the end. This game contains strong, emotional writing. Although the main character may not be entirely relatable to some people, it still demands a huge amount of empathy and feeling for the protagonist as the game documents her struggle. Simply an amazing game that is perfect for these modern times where new social issues are brought into spectrum and we have to learn to be more accepting of others. Truly a great game, think of a tape hunting love story. It is, all-in-all a love story. So if that's not what you're into, you might as well not buy this game. Although it's so good, it might be worth considering.
    PROS:
    -Strong, emotionally driven narrative
    -Excellently done soundtrack that fits in perfectly
    -Great interface
    -Exploring the house is fun and rewarding
    -Perfect atmosphere
    -Great love :)
    CONS:
    -Could have been longer
    -Would love to have seen other supporting characters more fleshed out, less as side roles
    CONCLUSION:
    EXCELLENT GAME! Definitely put it somewhere on top of my list of favorites. If you're into romances, this is your game, otherwise, your 18$ may be best spent somewhere else.
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  41. Aug 18, 2013
    10
    Gone Home is a game that succeeded in bringing me into its virtual reality world. The player is Katie, who comes back to an empty house with a note to not look for her sister. Soon, it's tough to not pick up every breadcrumb left while exploring the house you've never been in.

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

    Gone Home is a game that forges new ground on a new way to tell a story and it succeeded. It's not a game in the sense that it challenged me to do something faster or gave me an achievement for solving a puzzle. It was a personal challenge to see if I could keep from tearing up. Though many may not recognize it as a game, the freedom of exploring around the house and the constant atmosphere through the storm to tell Sam's story cannot be provided by any other medium as effectively as this game did.
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  42. Aug 18, 2013
    10
    This is not really a "game". It is, however, an excellent experience. Playing (experiencing? watching? interacting with?) it, I was most reminded of going to a theatrical installation in a house in London-- the house was set in Victorian decoration, as if the residents had just left; you had to learn about the residents and their story by viewing their ephemera. However, the installation being in the real world, you couldn't touch anything; to move anything would ruin the experience of others.

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

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

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

    That said, the world of Gone Home is finite. In your budget you should think of this as a film or a theatre visit. If you're on a limited budget and your entertainment spend per hour is limited, this may not be for you, or you should wait for a sale.
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  43. Aug 18, 2013
    10
    a very good game of exploration and emotion,i was been touched at the end of this adventure!the songs are great and so punk!so i promise you you will pass a beautiful moment in Gone Home
  44. Aug 19, 2013
    10
    Engrossing and touching. The fact that metacritic is filled with angry user reviews about how this is a "non-game" is depressing and reflects on the lack of empathy that certain gamers have. It's another group of people who refuse to let video games as a medium evolve from just a platform for shooting people in face.
  45. Aug 21, 2013
    10
    Gone Home is what I imagine that William Faulkner would have created if he had made video games. You really should not be put off by the mediocre overall user score. This is an art house game, but it is truly incredible. The voice acting is superb and the aesthetics are spot on. The nostalgia made me feel like I was in my own house, growing up in the nineties. There were moments of suspense, and you spend a good part of the game afraid, but everything you do in the game ends up turning into this beautiful mosaic that will stay with you for a long time after you finish it. Games have potential that no other art form as, because of interactivity, and Gone Home is a game that capitalizes on this, and provides an incredible experience that helps you walk a mile in someone else's shoes. Expand
  46. Aug 21, 2013
    10
    Just... Incredible. I started the game and thought it would be scary... Then, I got so enthralled into Sam´s story, that I´m just out of words. It´s not a game per se, it´s an experience and a beautiful story.
  47. Aug 21, 2013
    10
    Gone Home may not deliver what many are expecting. Some argue that it is not a game at all, and yet the way it tells its story is utterly unique to games. This is not "interactive fiction," nor is it cinematic, because it doesn't ape other media. Instead, it plays to the strengths of the medium in a way that makes its admittedly simple story more emotionally resonant than it would have otherwise been.

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

    It's a two hour game, almost devoid of challenge, and without replay incentives, but I think it's a mistake to divide a game's price by its length to determine its value. Gone Home offers something unique and tells the kind of story that most games never would. Stop reading, check your expectations at the door, and open your mind. This is not one to miss.
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  48. Aug 22, 2013
    10
    What is the most fun of playing adventure games? you'll have to put everything you knew away because GONE HOME is not a usual video game that my come every year. games like this- i you find of course- is what called "Art Game" and that's true because of the story. story of GONE HOME is not an excuse for gameplay or something like that. its the reason. the reason you should play GONE HOME is story and in the end; story give you an important better-than-jewelry gold reward. it's a story about love, and it's not the matter of ages and gender... it's about love. Expand
  49. Aug 22, 2013
    10
    This is the best game I played for a very long time. Luckily I hadn't have any spoilers and I did not know what to expect. After I get used to the spooky atmosphere I was consumed by the story and couldn't stop to play it. I even caught myself turning around (ingame) as I heard a creaking noise... Beautiful!
  50. Aug 22, 2013
    10
    A lot of user reviews of Gone Home can't accept Gone Home for what it is, which is perfectly okay. The game does feature well-developed female characters and uses a simple interface to tell a moving and personal story. I would argue it's a game with far more emotional complexity that shines through because the game allows you to simply experience its story instead of insulting your intelligence at every turn or demanding you experience a story through violence. It's beautiful, well-crafted, and a fresh of breath air against the backdrop of countless shooters and fantasy escapism. It's an adventure game where the adventure takes place in your own imagination instead of force fed in little chunks. Some people can't handle a truly great game when it comes around, which is perfectly okay. Expand
  51. Aug 23, 2013
    10
    I don't really write game reviews but seeing such negative feedback from the community for such a brilliantly developed game made me want to take the time for this.

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

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

    So to any of you who can appreciate a storyline that goes beyond the standard "hero's journey" narrative and woven into a realistic atmosphere, you'll be glad you played.
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  52. Aug 25, 2013
    10
    Many of the other user reviews I've read are very clearly submitted by people who haven't played Gone Home, many of which are perversely proud of that fact. While Gone Home isn't a perfect game, the 3.5 hours I spent with it were immersive, nostalgic, and hit surprisingly close to home. I honestly wouldn't award it a perfect score, but I am doing so to offset the goons who are submitting a score without having experienced the product itself. Expand
  53. Aug 26, 2013
    10
    Without a doubt, the best interactive story that has been produced.
    At the risk of stereotyping, this isn't your average young guys game. It doesn't have the latest high tech graphics or sound. There isn't much screaming and at least 10% of the cast survive. Hardly much fun then. Well no, it isn't, because "fun" isn't a word I would use to describe this game. If fun is what you want then
    buy something else. This game is a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, the story is so critically important to the game, if you even find out what genre of story it is, then you have started to spoil the experience. It's best played with no knowledge or expectations. If I have a criticism, it is that the game is very short for the money. But hey, in my opinion it's worth it. Can I recommend it? Yes. Completely. It's the Marmite of the gaming world. You will love it or hate it. Just on the off-chance you love it, it's worth the risk. Expand
  54. Aug 26, 2013
    10
    At the center of this game is a beautiful coming of age story, a story about young love. The emotional resonance this game left me was astonishingly profound. By the end, I was in tears. There are many other side stories in this game, but the main story is what left the largest emotional impact. Its games like The Last of Us and Gone Home that really show how the video game medium is maturing. They prove that you don't have to rely on exhausted game mechanics like 'point and shoot' to produce a satisfactory game experience. Instead, tell a compelling story. In a way, stories can be more impact in video games do to the interactivity of the medium. You as the player feel a part of the story. In Gone Home, I felt as if I was piecing the story together myself. Things I uncovered in the beginning finally made sense at the end, and that made the ending all the more moving. If you are looking for a first person shooter this is not your game. If, however, you want something with more substance, I could not recommend this game highly enough. Expand
  55. Aug 27, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. what's the matter with the player reviews?
    Are you guys serious? This is not a freaking a-dime-a-dozen-warfare-terrorist-attatck-shooter.
    It's a game that has the extremely rare ability to create feelings in the player. I took my time to explore every nook and cranny for 3hrs during a rainy summer evening. The mood this game creates is just unbelievable. Although I'm a heterosexual male, the love between those two girls is something that touches you you get to want the world to understand them.
    Anyways, enough with the spoilers. This is NOT a game for kids/people with low IQs or those who are just un-cult you guys can go shoot the pew-pew fps games of which there are thousands.
    For the others it's a sublime assault on the feelings. Too bad there are not many like it.
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  56. Aug 27, 2013
    10
    There are 4 things that make a game, the graphics, the story, the gameplay and how they all come together. In the case of Gone Home, the graphics are modern, the gameplay is fitting for the story they are trying to tell and the story is exemplary. For those who are tired of the same cheesy played out story line that most games spit out from time to time and are looking for something a bit more heart warming and fresh that doesn't involve killing zombies, ghouls or human npcs, this is the game for you.

    As one user said who rated this low 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 irony of this statement is, how many detectives do you know go around killing, gunning and running? Most in fact do.... read notes and clues... And this game offers that, better than any mystery/detective game I've played (that wasn't point and click) and via First Person.
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  57. Aug 30, 2013
    10
    This is a fantastic game, I bought it so that developers, and even more specifically this developer, make more games like it. It is entirely up to you how much you get out of it. If you rush through and just get to the end you are missing the point. You need to scour every room, read every document. Everything feels so authentic towards life in the 90s, from the magazines to the video game references to the magic eye posters. It all adds up to an amazing experience that is paced beautifully and is the perfect length. Expand
  58. Sep 1, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I think Gone Home is a fantastic game. First, the atmosphere, even with nothing actually in the house to jump out at me, I had moments where I nearly jumped out of my seat, because I thought I heard something. Despite the house being empty of any living(or dead) beings, the atmosphere of the home alone was enough to be unsettling, while at the same time familiar, with all the bits and pieces of 90's paraphernalia scattered about the house. The story was one I found to be heartwarming, and at times sad. I'll admit there were moments when I cried during a few parts, and was absolutely terrified when I got to the entry that said "I'll be waiting in the attic." Expand
  59. Sep 6, 2013
    10
    This game scared the crap out of me, it has no reason to be afraid of it but you always doubt, there is a beautiful story to be discovered, just play it.
  60. Sep 11, 2013
    10
    If you play games for an atmosphere, a setting, immersion, or most importantly a narrative, this will utterly blow you away. The amount of bad reviews is quite upsetting. The reason a lot of people are upset, and claim that the devs should have made a film not a game, is because this 'game' fits neither the former or latter demarcation. It stands on its own.
  61. Sep 13, 2013
    10
    Gone Home is not a game in the strict sense, but rather it is art. It is nothing to play when you just want to relax and just shoot some anger off your soul, but it is the most fascinating, captivating game I've ever played. It is not just simple entertainment; it may even cause you to reflect on yourself. So if you are an apathetic hardcore gamer don't play this game.
    Although it lasts
    only for 3 hours, within this period of time the game won't let you go. And it maybe won't even some time after finishing it.

    PS. I hope that they release a collection of the tracks featured in the game so you could enjoy a bit of the great atmosphere in "gone home" also when you're not playing it.
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  62. Sep 15, 2013
    10
    This isn't a game. This isn't a movie. This is an experience. Taking the role of Kaitlyn Greenbriar you arrive at your home in April of 1995 after a whole year in Europe. During that past year many things have happened which may change all character's lives forever. You must read notes and listen to dialog as you attempt to piece together one of the most realistic and most heartwarming stories of our generation. The notes are beautifully written. The voice acting is top notch. The environment around you greatly reflects on the story revolving around it. Although the textures could have been worked on a bit more, there is no arguing that the game's style looks exactly how it would have during the year in 1995 and there are no reasons why the textures take away from the experience as a whole. This world is highly interactive which adds to the overall immersion, even if the interactions are just opening doors and panels or turning off lights, all of these interactions really add to the beautiful story telling that this game has. As the story grew deeper you found yourself really beginning to grow attachments for these characters and you want to know more about their very interesting lives. Although the game does come short to about 2 hours of total playtime during a first playthrough, there are still so many things around the house that you may have missed that you may want to go back and play it again. For a price of $20 this is without a doubt a game that is worth playing. Expand
  63. Dec 9, 2013
    10
    This was a game experience that was unlike anything I've ever had. It has a very human story that haunted me afterwards. I couldn't stop thinking about the game when I'd finished it. This game is a work of art.

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

    After playing it,
    though, I recommend reading some of the analyses of the game that various bloggers have posted. This game has an emotional depth that's just unheard of, and it's difficult to understand the whole thing on one play-through. So, save your reading about the game until after you've played it. Expand
  64. Sep 20, 2013
    10
    I am a pretty picky person when it comes to media. If I have a favorite, its really something amazing, and this game is one of those pieces of media. The story is a great one which will make you feel something if you take your time with it and discover what the house has in store for you. The price may seem steep for a two hour game, but it is totally worth the price and I would even pay more now that I have played it. You will not die, this is not a hard to challenging game, but it is a meaningful game. And it sucks that so many do not see that games do not have to be about action and killing people, they can be stories that you can participate in. Im glad the designer is not offended by the low user scores because he knows that what he made was what he wanted, and fans have told him the impact it had on them. Expand
  65. Sep 22, 2013
    10
    If you are looking for a game purely based on gameplay, this is not the game for you. That doesn't stop this game from being amazing. This game is more of an interactive story than a game, but whatever the hell it is, it is brilliant. The focus of the game is to explore the house you've come home to, and find out why no one is home, which is a lot more interesting then it seems. This game tugs at your emotional chords like no other I have ever played, and by the end of it, you will not know whether to cry or just sit there with heart warmth. The downside to this game is it's replay value is nil, as by the end of it you know the story. That being said, on your first playthrough, explore EVERYTHING, and find as many of the bonus information as you can. I hope you enjoy the game, but just be aware that if you're not invested in story, it may not be the thing for you. Expand
  66. Oct 4, 2013
    10
    I found this game to very moving and loved aspect of the narrative. My only complaint is that I wished it was longer. I would love to see more from this developer.
  67. May 5, 2014
    10
    The first game since "The Cat Lady" that has hit me this hard emotionally. I personally loved it and thought it was a great little story that many of us can relate to. When we were younger, more innocent, many of us have had a love that seemed eternal. This is before we realize all the responsibilities and things that change with adulthood. As such, many cases of "young love" are tried and unfortunately do not last. I spent the entire game hoping for a happy ending, that maybe for once, love can prevail above all. Expand
  68. Jun 27, 2014
    10
    I really loved this game. It was a unique and personal experience and also a kind of sentimental / retro feeling to it for me because it is set in the 90s and remembered me of my childhood a lot. Play it while you are alone at home! It was intriguing and tense for me.

    I found this truly to be a masterpiece.

    If you are interested in life and intellect, you will love it. If not, go and
    masturbate to your favourite Call of Duty game. Expand
  69. Oct 23, 2013
    10
    One of the best experiences I've had from a game. When they say there is no fighting or puzzle solving they mean it and, in my opinion, adding any of that to this game would have ruined everything. Without distractions I was able to completely immerse myself in this game, feeling what the character may have felt at that moment. I was emotionally invested. This game is about story and immersion, period. If you are into those things check it out. Expand
  70. Oct 24, 2013
    10
    This is a great game. It doesn't have the feel of any game I've played since 11th Hour, though less about solving puzzles and more about exploring a family's problems and relationships.

    I beat it in about 2.5 hours, and I wouldn't say it has much replay value, but it was going for 10bux, and I felt it was a phenomenal value.
  71. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    Definitely worth the time and effort the hype proved to be true and succinct; as I played Gone Home I was reminded of a familiar experience with Silent Hill Shattered Memories on the Wii, where the experience was more of a real-life sim but was nonetheless fully engaging.
    I feel wrong saying "I love this GAME" when expressing the joy brought on from this experience, because it is indeed
    more of an interactive experience. This marks one in a select few that begin a new trend in hyper-reality, gameplay narrative games. Although there is nothing to shoot, no one to buddy-up with or blow up, there are keys to collect, doors to open and switches to activate and in a sense. The joy in "playing" Gone Home is in immersing oneself into an emotional, investigative and nostalgic journey through a girl's house finding out about her family members; what they were each going through around the time your character was on holiday. In searching through the rooms, you find more letters, diary entries, and other miscellanea which implies or explicates elements of the family members' character; the trials and quandaries which face(d) them.
    In the end, you are emotionally engaged in the characters and their stories, and feel inclined to take another step further to see just what more this rainy night has in store for Kaitlin.
    Gone home is a story about desires and dreams, about being true to the self and integral. It is about the past, nostalgic emotions, family ties, and above all love.
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  72. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    OK...To review a game like Gone Home is like reviewing strange modern art. Where your principles of good and bad don't really apply. More specifically your principles of "enjoyment."
    IS GONE HOME FUN? NO. Is it enjoyable? YES.
    Gone Home I finished with a friend and we both cried man tears. I was amazed that a game that was everything I hated and yet impacted me so much. It was short,
    but concentrated. It was easy, but I didn't care. It told a story we all heard. But still kept you guessing till the very end. It has no replay value, but playing it once will touch you deeper than some movies and even a few books.
    Video games were created to be just that, GAMES! However there is this debate going around about video games potential to become 'art.' And that is why there is this split between the critics and the user reviews. Critics are evaluating Gone Home as a piece of art. While, the games are trying to find the game in Gone Home, and that's the problem. Gone Home isn't a game, it is work of art.
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  73. Feb 14, 2014
    10
    "What is so great about it? Why'd you give it a 10, AVODESKORM."

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

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

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

    Probably the one of the best things to come out of gaming for years. All that is out today is EARLY ACCESS TRASH and your GTA'S. So when you have your decision to spend your money on the next DLC that's coming out. Skip it and Buy Gone Home. (Your games are probably all trash compared to this game anyways.)
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  74. Nov 10, 2013
    10
    I'm rather surprised by the number of people who claim that this isn't a game. By the simplest definition, this indeed can be called a video game. And to say that this shouldn't have been a game is equally as invalid. As many have mentioned, to try to develop the same experience in another medium is nearly impossible. Neither a book nor a movie could provide the same level of interaction and freedom that a game can, and to get as much from this experience as possible, such interaction and freedom is a necessity. Likewise, to call this a visual novel is to disregard the fact that the added interactivity of a 3d environment is an essential part of the experience. Also, looking through these user reviews, I understand why main stream gaming relies more heavily on melodrama and relentless sensory stimulation rather than subtle details, and meticulously crafted realistic emotional narratives. Not to say that there aren't some more standard games that I've enjoyed greatly, it's just that no other game has managed to be as poignant or emotionally engaging for me, and I never even had any experience in being an adolescent lesbian, nor have I ever went through a sexual awakening. But every player for himself/herself, I suppose. With all that said, the following is my review (warning: it's got some spoilers):

    I began Gone Home expecting some sort of horror game, similar to amnesia perhaps, and for the most part, that's how I played the game. I cautiously crept from room to room, expecting at any moment for something supernatural to happen, or for some kind of intruder or ghost to show up and terrorize me. Being one familiar with the point and click genre, and noticing the amount of significance that was put into the small details of the house, I also made sure to scrutinize everything with care and constantly interpret what I found. That proved to be useful. Initially, I thought the written notes and voice journals were only added for flavor, but regardless, I found the friendly and pleasant tone of the voice journals to be a welcome (almost comforting) reprieve from the ominous aura of the house. As I progressed and pieced together more details about characters, I found myself getting more and more attached to them. The dad was turning out to be a rather quirky, but good-natured, author with deeply rooted emotional issues, going through a rough patch in his career. The mom seemed like something of a power woman who, unsatisfied with her husband's distractedness, is turning to others for support. And I couldn't help but admire Sam's intelligence, creativity, and genuineness of characterization, which was impressively fleshed out with the great voice performances. Just the way that Sam was developed, with all the little details about her personality learned from the environment, notes, and the voice journals, it was almost as if Sam was a real person, someone who I can care about.

    It took me a while to realize that the characterization was the main part of the game, partly due to the lingering fear from that one popping light bulb, but I wasn't disappointed. On the contrary, the change was refreshing, and I was impressed the game had me going for so long. That fear, combined with the intimacy of the characterization, the impressive detail put into the house, the sound design, and the music (which I initially thought to be strange for a horror game, but ultimately found to be most fitting) served to create an immersive and rich atmosphere that I have never experienced to such an extent before in a game.

    I finished the game deeply touched by almost every aspect of the experience. I admit, the narrative at times brought me close to tears. It was able to bring out some emotions that I haven't felt for a very long time. I was glad that everything turned out alright for the characters, the dad was able to get a break and overcome his past, he and the mom are in progress of fixing their marriage, and Sam finally found fulfillment and is able to be with the love of her life. The ability to learn everything at my own rate and piece together certain details myself made the experience more rewarding and, in my opinion, gave everything more emotional weight. Overall, I'd say Gone Home is an impressive feat of game development, and is an experience that is distinctly human. I only wish that I can forget everything about this game so I can play through it afresh and experience everything over again.

    An absolute 10/10
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  75. Nov 29, 2013
    10
    Guess what? This is not a video game in the traditional sense. But why does that have to be a bad thing? There are so many 0 reviews because it's "not even a game". Personally, I judge "games" on they experience they provide. And Gone Home provided one of the best experiences I've ever had with a "game". The story is so well written and engrossing,t he art and music are just beautiful, and the interactive story in and of itself is just...phenomenal.
    If you don't like this game because the story doesn't appeal to you, fine.
    If you don't like it because interactive stories aren't your thing, fine.
    But if you don't like it because it's not game, go back to call of duty. We don't want you here.
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  76. Dec 1, 2013
    10
    This game was captivating. I sat down and started playing, and before I knew it, the game was over and it was two hours later. The story was so engaging, and the sheer amount of content was amazing. I loved that I just kept finding little things, and that every single part of the house held more clues to the mystery.
  77. Dec 6, 2013
    10
    This is more than a game. This is a full-blown experience. In the beginning, it is difficult to discern the concept behind the game but you quickly become immersed and enthralled. The attention to detail is astounding. The score is emotional and marvelous. You begin to discover the parts of the game that you enjoy the most, for me it was the cassettes laying around. Pure 90s punk nostalgia filled my earholes. This is a work of art and not to spoil anything, the ending is beyond satisfying. Highly recommend. Expand
  78. Dec 15, 2013
    10
    Gone Home is a game about careful exploration and discovery. The main character is Katie Greenbriar, who’s recently returned from a year abroad. She arrives to a new house filled with artifacts about her sister and parents who have disappeared and are not at the house. Katie’s goal is to determine where her family is and what happened in the last year.

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

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

    Playing Gone Home was a new experience that I really enjoyed. Gone Home felt as if I was “playing” a novel. I would recommend this game to someone who would like to try a different type of game, and who enjoys adventures and stories.
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  79. Dec 16, 2013
    10
    Gone Home, a new release from The Fullbright Company, tells the mysterious tale of the Greenbriar family. Upon coming home from a long trip, Katie Greenbriar returns on a stormy night, to find her family’s new mansion abandoned. Amazing writing and progressive expansion of the story draw you in, despite the seeming monotony of the gameplay, which is completely void of any weapons or enemies.

    The mystery and unease as you walk into the house is nearly palpable. Not sure what to expect, the crashing thunder and flashes of lightning set the mood for the first clue you find your sister has left home, telling you to not try to find out where she has gone. The entirety of Gone Home follows this premise, and is what pulls you in the most. The story feeds itself, and it’s clear that developer Steve Gaynor is a vastly experienced and professional writer. Every piece of information leads to new details, which lead you further into the world of the Greenbriars. The most strenuous part of Gone Home is trying to decide whether you want to sprint to the next clue, or take your time, savoring the story. Gone Home leads you through an incredible tale, using all of your senses to do so.

    Whether it’s the first flash of lightning, followed up by a delayed crack of thunder, or the first Riot Grrrl cassette, the story is accompanied by phenomenal auditory and visual effects. The dim lighting as you enter a new room never fails to creep you out, especially after entering a dimly lit bathroom and finding a bathtub splattered with bright red stains, when the eeriness peaks until you learn that it’s simply hair dye. With just a few games under their belt, the ability to create such perfect scenes lead me to believe that this isn’t the last time we’ll see The Fullbright Company accepting awards at places such as the Spike VGX awards, winners of Best Independent Game, as well as Best PC Game.

    These sorts of scenes are prominent throughout Gone Home, and slowly build up over time, and in all honesty; it’s the first game that has left a vivid imprint in my mind. Of course, I doubt you’ll hear people speak of the emotional rollercoaster that you’re led on throughout a game of Plants Vs. Zombies. The main reason for this is the personal connection you feel, as if truly a member of the Greenbriar family. Each character develops throughout the game, giving it a truly personal feeling.

    Gone Home leads you on an adventure unlike any other game I’ve played, using impressive storytelling, vivid imagery, and brilliant auditory effects. The Fullbright Company sought to venture into uncharted territory, and did so with flying colors. Perfect for the hardcore gamer, or perhaps as a Steam gift to your Call of Duty obsessed sibling, Gone Home is the beginning of a new era of gaming, where stories come to life.
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  80. Dec 16, 2013
    10
    Gone Home is an unusual game. Most of the currently popular games are action shooter games and sports games. These games tend to have clear-cut stories and objectives. Gone Home is not like this at all. When you first begin to play Gone Home you need to rely completely on your intuition and experiential learning. When a player begins the game they are given neither clear introductory explanations, nor any clear indication of the game’s purpose.
    Gone Home is an exploration game. The player is playing as Kaitlin (Katie) Greenbriar who is returning home from a year-long trip to Europe. Katie is returning home to a house she has not been in before, and she quickly realizes that her family is in shambles. She decides to explore the house to determine what has happened to her family. Although discovering what happened to her family is one main objectives of the game, there are many sub-plots and other objectives for the player to discover. Two aspects of Gone Home that particularly intrigued and impressed me were the attention to detail in the game, and the self-discovery of clues by the player.
    In my opinion the coolest part of Gone Home is the creator’s attention to detail, especially for such a low budget game. There were countless items in the game for the player to discover. These items have incredible detail, no matter how insignificant the item to the game’s plot. The level of illustration detail and the realism of the items in the game make exploring the rooms extremely interesting. I really applaud The Fullbright Company for this as it makes the game much more enjoyable.
    The second aspect that really impressed me was the self-directed exploration the game. In Gone Home the player travels room to room, trying to find clues to unravel the many mysteries of the Greenbriar family. Although the creator’s control the player’s movement somewhat through their locking of certain rooms or forcing the player to find items that open the doors, for the most part a player’s exploration of the house is self-directed. This creates a game that is a very different experience for each player. I really enjoy this aspect of the game as it allows the game to evolve with the player, rather than force the player from level to level in the hierarchical approach of many other games.
    I really enjoyed the Gone Home as it was a great balance of a highly detailed environment with a self-directed exploration. I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys mystery and exploration games.
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  81. Dec 17, 2013
    10
    Gone Home is a first-person interactive story game that is full of mystery, suspense, and exploration. The game starts with you arriving at this huge mansion in the middle of Oregon as the main character, Kaitlin Greenbriar, who has just returned from a year in Europe. As you start to walk around the house you realize that her sister and her parents are gone and it is your job to try and piece together the puzzle of where they all went.

    The game is seen through the eyes of Katie after she realizes that she is the only one in the family’s new house. As you explore the house you find more clues about the family’s life. Surprisingly, the game is not just about where the rest of the family disappeared to, there are many different stories with in the game. The overall story line has you thinking about what really happened to the family right until the end when you put all of the pieces together. The graphics are not what people would be expecting from a game that came out in 2013, however, the graphics being the way that they are, gave us a sense that we are actually in the house in 1995. The audio in the game really adds a great amount of realism from the thunder and creaking floors to the music. Having songs from that time period playing in certain parts of the house helped us learn more about the characters. While having the voice clips play after you look at an important object really adds to the game. As you walk around that house picking up every object you can to see if there is another clue to solve where the family went you realize that almost everything you find has a purpose to the story.

    Although most of the objects in the game do have a purpose there are a lot of duplicate objects that are just fillers, such as random boxes in the basement. One of the things that I would have liked to have seen done differently would be to have the objects that you could not interact have the same quality graphics as the ones you could interact with. Another big change I would like to have seen would be that the house have better lighting, making it easier to find some of the documents such as documents that are in the corners of rooms.

    Playing Gone Home has been an experience that I really enjoyed even though this is not the type of video game I would usually play. You would think that playing a video game for an English class would take all of the fun out of it but that is not true with Gone Home. I would recommend this game to everyone especially if it goes on sale because $20 for a game that is over in 3 hours might not please everyone. Gone Home hopefully represents a huge step forward in the gaming industry illustrating that every game does not have to be a first-person shooter.
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  82. Dec 18, 2013
    10
    The game “Gone Home” follows the story of Sam Greenbriar’s disappearance, seen through the eyes of her sister, Katie Greenbriar. You come home after being over seas for a year, to a house you have never been to, seeing as your family moved while you were gone. Upon arrival at your new house, you find your house to be empty, with a note on the door from Sam saying goodbye, and to not go looking for her. Inside this old, gloomy house, you navigate your way through the maze of hallways, rooms, and secret passages, in the house, finding clues as to where your family has gone. Through examining scraps of paper, letters, posters, magazines, and other items, you uncover the secrets the house holds on your missing family.
    The story focuses on your sister, Sam Greenbriar’s disappearance, but the sub plots of “Gone Home” is what makes the game for me. Your parents, Terrance Greenbriar, a struggling author with an obsession with JFK, and your mother who works at a distant forestry, Janice Greenbrair, both have dark backstories, uncovered in the dimly lit rooms filled with evidence of your parents’ disappearance. This narrative on your parents gives a lot of depth to the game, and gives an even clearer depiction of the strained relationship your family has.
    You uncover your family’s stories through examining items such as letters or pamphlets found around the house. Finding these items leave much of the story to the imagination. Seeing as most of their stories are shown through one-way letters, or book reviews, you yourself can fill in the blanks of these plots. This aspect of finding the parts of their plots around the house, only to finish with a blurry outline of their past’s, adding a certain mystery to the game. I think that this works in favor of the tone set in this old, gloomy house. This is the first time Katie has ever been in her house, and no one is there. The mystery of the house gives an anxiety, which is felt at the flicker of every light, and at every dark corner. The tone and these unclear subplots tie in well with each other, and give a more dark and sinister mood to the game, which I think is really effective in delivering “Gone Home”.
    “Gone Home” uses a different type of storytelling to get across the plot of the game. You have to go looking for answers, instead of things being laid out in front of you. This gives a very real sense to the game. Its anxious and mysterious tone is strengthened through this way of storytelling, and effectively intrigues the players. I found myself enthralled in “Gone Home’s” world, looking deeper into the stories of my family, and deeply analyzing the narrative and feel of this game. I really enjoyed playing it and have and will recommend it to others.
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  83. Dec 18, 2013
    10
    Incredible. What a great game- so unique. Rare subject subject matter, such an intimate narrative. 10 out of 10, undoubtably. Sure, it's short, and the replay value is close to zilch, but that's the nature of the narrative. Completely worth it, seeing as I bought it for $5.
  84. Dec 19, 2013
    10
    This is a truly amazing game, I've never felt so connected to a video game character before. Make sure to start playing it blind, no spoilers... Everyone needs to play this!!
  85. Dec 27, 2013
    10
    Gone Home manages to pull off a perfect exploration game without the use of annoying puzzles that could have been (but thankfully weren't) thrown in for the pure purpose of extending gameplay.
  86. Dec 28, 2013
    10
    Ignore the intellectual dwarfs giving Gone Home negative reviews because their reaction time wasn't tested and Kate didn't have any skill trees. These degenerates would have the world violently masturbating to military shooters while games showing any interest in developing an emotional narrative are brushed aside and deemed unworthy of even being called a game. The price to play time ratio is quite high, but when the quality of the time in game is factored in, I would rate this near (if not at the top) of this years' games. A beautifully somber piece of art that deserves a second chance by those who wrote it off.
    The way the story is doled out through Kate's exploration of the house cannot be achieved in any other medium to the same effect, something ignored by the lobotomized swine who claim that this piece should have been a film or a short novella.
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  87. Jan 1, 2014
    10
    This is such a beautiful game; it literally took my breath away. It's heartbreaking, terrifying, and hopeful all at once, and it will surprise you at every turn. Don't buy into the BS negative reviews. From what I've seen, all those people were expecting Gone Home to be something it's not. It is exactly what it professes to be: a story exploration title. Not an adventure, not a survival horror, but an interactive storytelling experience. If that's not what you're looking for, then spend your money elsewhere.

    However, if you want to be thrilled, touched, and even a little terrified without firing a gun or running from zombies, PLEASE play this game. I can't even remember how many times I teared up, even cried a bit. Even if you can't directly relate to the characters in this story, you can surely empathize with them. And I'll bet that by the end, you'll care more about them than you might want to admit. I sure do.
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  88. Jan 1, 2014
    10
    this game touched me so much, that i actually just made my account on metacritic to defend it against many of these negative reviews. first, as others have said, it is true that this game is not for everyone. if you are the type of person that *only* enjoys fast paced fps with far more invested in explosions & bullets than in story-line, then you definitely should not bother with this game.
    gone home is a truly original video game (although it could also be described as an immersive story/movie experience) that pays homage to many mid-late 90s dramas. definitely a must play for anyone who grew up in that time period, as the creators paid close attention to bring you back in to 90s culture & teenage angst,
    the game is laid out in such a way that you are constantly asking yourself "is this a dramatic story? or is it horror? will a ghost jump out and scare me to death?" and each time you think you have the game pinned, you realize you were wrong...and don't truly figure it out until the very end. i cant stress enough that where other reviewers have stated this game to be boring, is actually very engaging, and each clue you find draws you in more & more.
    on the topic of more, there needs to be more games made like "gone home". don't get me wrong, there will always be a place for fps, sports and racing games, but there really needs to be more games like gone home, where there is a truly beautiful story that draws you in & makes you more emotionally invested. so please, do yourself a favor and check this game out, if nothing else, you'll finish the game feeling refreshed for playing a unique game set at a truly different pace.
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  89. Jan 3, 2014
    10
    So, I'm 26 and with the exception of the odd iPhone one, I haven't played a video game in about 10 years.
    I'm not a big book reader either and so the storyteller in my life is usually a TV screen, and so is why 'Gone Home' intrigued me, it was hailed as a story 'experience'. Not one I needed razor sharp reaction speeds to finish, but one with simple controls, simple graphics, and an
    incredible story.

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

    Next time you have a few hours free, instead of staring at a LED screen watching garbage stories, interact with one instead with 'Gone Home'. It's turned a total non-gamer into one craving more just like it.
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  90. Jan 6, 2014
    10
    I get the discussion whether this 'game' should be counted as game or not, but no matter what the outcome of that discussion is, this was the perfect story to me.
    The whole setting and vibe were very clever to get the player to want to get more answers and get them searching the house. The details of the house were absolutely stunning and well thought through. The main story and the side
    stories are very well written en told (I absolutely loved the voice acting). Basically, I really loved whatever Gone Home was and I don't think it's fair that it gets rated down because of the whole 'is it a game or isn't it?'-discussion. Expand
  91. Jan 9, 2014
    10
    I have never reviewed a game before but this has been such a refreshing and awesome experience that I wanted to share my thoughts on this game. It is amazing and deep! Finally something different and truly engaging. Usually I find games of this type boring but not this one! I played it to the end in one setting. So very need and cool! Thanks Fullbright Company.
  92. Jan 14, 2014
    10
    A clear cut 10, and here's why:

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

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

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

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

    As a challenge to the production company, I'd like to see the complete opposite of this story for their next game.
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  93. Jan 15, 2014
    10
    Gone Home is more then just a video game, it is more then a story, it is a revolutionary experience that has transformed the video game world. For each person, Gone Home is different. Taking the role of Kaitlyn Greenbriar, you arrive at your house in 1995 after being abroad for one year. Expecting a warm welcome by your family, you arrive to a deserted house, filled with mystery and secrets that contain the answers for the unknown. Unaware of what has occurred over the last year, Gone Home is a game that is filled with exploration mystery and discovery. You roam the house in search of answers, looking at artifact after artifact, piecing up the puzzle that is your own family.

    Gone Home is a game that dominates in every category. It follows a great and incorporative story and the graphics, sound and gameplay all excel the overall game. Personally, I believe that the sound in the game immensely enhances the gameplay. The sound creates the tone and mood of the game. It generates a gloomy, nightmarish, tense and desolate sense to the game, which greatly adds to the plot. Furthermore, the use of the Riot Grrrl music scene also enhances the gameplay. The Riot Grrrl scene is parallel to Samantha Greenbriar. Samantha is a troubled girl who struggles with the decisions of teenage life. The Riot Grrrl movement is her escape, her answer to all of her problems: sexuality, woman’s rights, abuse, etc. Although the Game is rather a free roam, it follows the plot of Samantha’s journal entries, scattered around the house.

    The gameplay is rather fluid and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It keeps you constantly engaged, in search of artifacts and clues. The game allows you to do whatever you desire. It is free for your exploration. The reason why I believe this game is so unique is because it simulates literature. There are many games on the market that keep you active through action and adventure, but this game keeps you active through mystery. Throughout the entirety of this game, you discover secrets about the Greenbriar family. What you do not notice however, is that you actually never encounter any family members at all. It is a piece of literature that takes the viewer and allows him to unravel the story.

    I give this game a 10. It kept me intrigued, it made me think, it made me laugh, it accomplished everything that I expect to take away from a game, and it did it to a outstanding level. I recommend this game whole heartily, as it is a revolutionary game.
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  94. Jan 18, 2014
    10
    Gone Home is an absolute masterpiece. Mix excellent atmosphere with an engrossing story and intuitive gameplay, and that is Gone Home. You play as Kaitlin, a girl who just arrived home from traveling abroad. Instead of coming home to see her sister and parents, she finds the house inexplicably empty. You proceed to spend the next two hours or so digging around the house to figure out what's going on. Along the way you get to hear audio diaries by your sister, Sam. These are the main structure of the story in Gone Home and by far my favorite element. The voice acting is superb, the music is beautiful and Sam's story had me in tears by the end of the game.

    The gameplay in Gone Home is very simple. There is no combat. There are no interactions with other people, and hell, you can't even jump in this game. However, this makes for a very compelling game. There are many people who say the gameplay is too basic for Gone Home to be a game, and that this story is better suited for a short film. I don't think those people could be any more wrong. Playing the game and exploring on your own makes it so that you see what you want to see, and you learn what you want to learn about the story. You feel as if you are finding out what happens as opposed to someone telling you what happens.

    All in all, Gone Home was a fantastic example of an indie game. I've never spent $20 in a better way than buying this game. If you love good, simple stories and want to be enveloped in a game for two hours or so, I highly recommend that you buy this game.
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  95. Feb 4, 2014
    10
    I debated about buying this game for months because of the wide disparity in reviews, which was ultimately why I ended up buying it; why was there so much disagreement I wondered? Now having spent the last few days with it I understand. You will either love it, or hate it, period.

    I loved it, in fact I was quite haunted by it and have re-visited the home dozens of times since
    finishing it (yes it is a very quick play, about 2-3 hours). Had I learned everything there was to learn about the family? Had I found every clue? Discovered every Easter egg? (No spoiler alerts here but there are a few excellent ones!) I needed to be certain and so I have returned, over and over again, to what has become so familiar to me that I have to keep reminding myself the characters don’t actually exist; yet in my mind they seem so real. I’m sure I know them, the house as familiar as the one I grew up in...

    Take a chance, if you love it the game will stay with you long after you are done playing it; if you hate it, hey it’s only twenty bucks.
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  96. Feb 17, 2014
    10
    You need to be willing to step away from the thinking that good games require violence (e.g. guns, zombies) or a supernatural plot to be compelling. I would recommend that players be at least in their teens because of the subject matter. (I cringed when my eight-year-old nephew uncovered some of the narrator's very personal letters.)

    Good story-telling is my #1 requirement for me to
    stay engaged with a game. Gone Home accomplishes that. It's game in that you have to work out the plot-as-a-puzzle via an exploration vehicle, and the area of exploration is her parents' house. You see, Kaitlin has just returned from an overseas trip, and her family is mysteriously missing... Expand
  97. Jun 23, 2014
    10
    Gone Home is a fantastic game, and it's a shame that so many Metacritic users have rated it poorly just because they can't do a 360 noscope in it. It's true, Gone Home isn't a competitive game. But, it's a beautiful game nonetheless. The sense of exploration and emotion that this game gives is astounding. 10/10 don't believe anyone who says otherwise.
  98. Jun 17, 2014
    10
    This game is not a game, and it is a game. But it is not a game. But it is.

    You have to look at the "User Score distribution" here in Metacritic to understand why critics are praising this game. Half the users love this game, half the users hate it. I think there are different type of positive and negative reviewers posting here, and studying their love and hate IS an interesting way of
    reviewing this game for me.

    Some of them are praising or hating the game because of the context of the story told, and their love/hate is conscious regarding the "topic", because they feel, wether for love or hate, the main "issue" in the story is what matters most in order to love or hate this game. In case of haters, they dont have any problem on saying things like "gone homo" and so on. In case of said lovers, they express their feelings on how much they relate to the girl´s suffering in this story because of their personal experience, other peoples love was centred on how much they felt "back in the 90´s". This people wouldnt care much about gameplay or graphics, or at least not that much.

    Others are loving or (mostly) hating this game also because of same story context, but rather in a more or less UNCONSCIOUS way. They start their review talking about graphics and "sound issues" (yah, I swear I saw someone complaining about the quality of the sound in THIS game) but more or less at some point they start going VERY aggresively towards the thing that they really care about regarding the storyline. This people wont be openly hateful, but you can "feel" it in their review (wether they are trying to hide it by complaining about "graphics", or they are totally unconscious about the truly source of their dislike or like, they concentrate their fire on the "this is propaganda!" issue.

    And at last we have a group of gamers who dont care about the storyline, or have mixed feelings, but they complain about the "this is no game!" issue. And they say things like "There is no plot twist!". One of them says "there is nothing wrong in the house! I thought i was about to find something but there was NOTHING!"

    I have nothing to say to the first group or the second group of reviewers (the ones who consciously or unconsciously centered their review on the sexual orientation of the characters) But I WANT to say something to those who complain in the third group

    This is a game that is not meant to be played again and again, if you play it thoroughly from start to finish. If you rush through the house finding the way to the end of the road, concentrating on finding "the doors" and opening them all till you see the credits rolling, you will get to what may call "the end" of this game very quickly, but you will not have "finished" the game. You didnt "play" the game.

    A game like Skyrim, for example, how many people can say they have really get to "the end" of it? Yes, there is a main quest, and it takes a finite amount of hours to finish it, but to really "finish" the game, it would take months I presume. Most people probably didnt walk through ALL the possible roads of that game. But is it a matter just of "lenght" what defines the quality of an experience in front of a computer?

    Is it a 2 hours movie inherently better than a short film then? just because it has "much more minutes to watch"? Couldnt we say that there are good and bad movies, and good and bad short films? Gone Home is an amazing short-game, but the thing is, as same as it happens with many short films, it doesnt appeal to every audience. You dont eat pop corn during short-films.

    The word that comes to my mind when I think about this game is HONESTY. No tricks, no aliens kidnapping people, no ghosts attacking us from behind, no matter how much x-files or JFK references, we finally understand that this 90´s house was....a 90´s house. And that teens play with ouijas.

    The thing is MANY people don´t like honesty in their media. They want to KNOW what they are "consuming" before getting it, even from the trailer itself, they want to know what they are up against.

    This is the kind of people that RAGED against HBO at the end of the first season of Game of Thrones. Because the people running that show TRICKED them into watching something and then BETRAYED them by not doing a magic trick to save a character that was CLEARLY on the path to his own demise. Seeing any similarities?

    That is why I give this game a score of 10. Because for me it should be a 7.5. But I HAVE to say 10, because I have to take part in this "clash of reviews" to fight for "the balance", against the haters in the "user score distribution" of Metacritic. Because haters have been too much vocal against this game, and it doesnt deserve so much hate. Because this game is DIFFERENT, and ironically, being hated for being different has a lot to do with this game, and I fear, with many of these reviews

    I dont know winter, but the oculus rift is coming, and this "not-games!" are here to stay.
    Thankfully.
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  99. Jun 21, 2014
    10
    Many people dislike this game because they say it is stupid and pointless. They don't seem to understand the actual story itself in the game. It isn't for killing or to be very scary. I love it because of the story and it's simplicity. It doesn't have to be very complicated to make sense. I would not spend the full $20 on it, so wait for a sale. And when it does go on sale, buy it.
  100. Sep 2, 2014
    10
    I can't begin to express how amazing this game is. By the end I was so wrapped up in the narrative that I had a physical emotional reaction. While playing a game. That's some Walking Dead stuff right there.

    Sure, this could be redone as a short story, or a podcast, or whatever, but it is so incredible as a video game. You get to be a part of the narrative in a way you couldn't in any
    other medium.

    This game deserves your time for so many reasons, you'd be a fool to skip it.
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Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. Jan 5, 2014
    95
    A beautiful, emotionally engaging, artfully crafted game, completely centered around exploration and telling a mature story through interaction.
  2. Dec 2, 2013
    75
    A story that will move some and alienate others.
  3. Nov 10, 2013
    80
    Gone home is a beautiful story told with talent. The total immersion and storytelling brings a sense of renewal in the world of video games. Unfortunately, lifespan is too short: 2 hours are enough to see the end.