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86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critics What's this?

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5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1555 Ratings

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  • Summary: The eldest daughter of the Greenbriar family returns after a year abroad. She expects her parents and sister to greet her. Instead she finds only a deserted house, filled with secrets. Where is everyone? And what's happened here?

    Find out for yourself in Gone Home, a first-person game
    entirely about exploration, mystery and discovery.

    The house is yours to explore as you see fit. Open any drawer or door to investigate what's inside. Piece together the mysteries from notes and clues woven into the house itself. Discover the story of a year in the life of the Greenbriar family. Dig deeper. Go home again.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. Aug 30, 2013
    100
    Its unconventional, non-violent subject matter and gameplay also skilfully and confidently prove that not all games need an "attack" button to be enjoyable and interesting -- and given the growing sense of weariness a lot of us have been feeling with super-violent experiences, that's something that should be celebrated.
  2. Aug 15, 2013
    100
    Gone Home proves that a game focused on story and exploration, starring a decidedly non-traditional cast of characters can be utterly thrilling. With excellent writing and environments that made me want to explore every nook and cranny, Gone Home simply, effectively drew me in.
  3. Aug 15, 2013
    95
    Gone Home is not only an important game in its own right, but is absolutely vital to the advancement of how we approach narrative in games, as well as the subjects we tackle.
  4. Aug 15, 2013
    90
    Perhaps Gone Home’s greatest surprise lies in the apparent ease with which The Fullbright Company has joined the game’s subject and its medium: it’s a domestic tale of girl-to-womanhood told with the tools of an action game. As a statement that games can express emotionally resonant stories, Gone Home is a triumph. But that’s not why you should play it. Engrossing, touching and rewarding, it’s well worth the experience on its own terms, too.
  5. Aug 17, 2013
    90
    By the end of this two-to-three-hour journey, it isn't just the house that'll seem lived-in, as the characters are equally realized and relatable.
  6. Nov 4, 2013
    80
    As wonderful as Gone Home is, it mostly demonstrates that there's still a long way to go.
  7. Aug 15, 2013
    60
    As a statement of intent, Gone Home is laudable; as a technical exercise in game narrative, it's compromised, but it definitely has its strengths and is worthy of study. But you can't escape the sense that Gaynor, Zimonja and Nordhagen started on this project with grand designs for games as a storytelling medium, yet without a story they desperately wanted to tell.

See all 55 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. 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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  2. Nov 17, 2014
    10
    I bought Gone Home on its release day after following the Fullbright Company's blog for several weeks. Early 1990s aesthetics with queer themes and a riot grrl soundtrack? Of course I’m in!

    It's been more than a year since then and I still count Gone Home as one of my favorite games.

    Gone Home came out at the beginning of my Junior year of college. I'd just moved into my own apartment (as opposed to the cramped dorms of the two previous years) and I was reveling in my newfound adulthood with utility bills, cramped bus stops, and a probable case of scurvy.

    Gone Home also came out in the same period that I did.

    Long story short: It was a challenging time in my life that I’ve navigated through slowly and with much consideration on what’s truly important -- not unlike in Gone Home.

    (Slight Spoiler Alert)

    I won’t say my circumstances mirrored Sam’s. I wasn’t a teenager in the 1990s -- Hell, I was still wearing stirrup leggings and plastic animal barrettes by the time Y2K was supposed to bring the world to its glorious robot-driven end (or something like that). But in listening to Sam’s audio diaries and sorting through her notes throughout the game I was overcome with this intense nostalgia and sadness that I’m sure all kids who have ever struggled with familial approval will recognize.

    I’m not quite sure I can put into words what Gone Home did for me on an affective level.

    Playing it was like coming home early after middle school and sneaking into my parents’ room to search through their bedside drawers for proof of vulnerability. It was humanizing and wonderful and very, very uncomfortable at some points (I’m referring to the game here mostly -- my own explorations were more a lesson in the “better left unknown” category).

    After the game ended (no spoilers I swear!) I curled up on my couch and cried for a good 20 minutes. Partly for the Greenbriar family. Partly for my own family. Partly because it was 3AM and I had a legal studies power lecture in four hours. Mostly because I found something special in Gone Home that I’d been looking for -- a LITERAL exploration of what it means to make a family out of individuals.

    Despite what I've said about my own personal connection to Gone Home, I truly don’t believe you have to identify as LGBTQ or female to enjoy the game.

    The narrative itself explores relationships among individuals with secrets and flaws (like in real life!) which is certainly a universal theme and as such can be appreciated by many. (((Though I will admit that having a queer female voice in a game is a definite mark in its favor and which I desperately hope will be a continued trend.))) (((Also, being open to new and different narratives is not a bad thing. Just saying.)))

    On a purely visual level, the graphics and the continuity of the mid-1990s aesthetic are outstanding. Like, EVERYTHING is so much fun to look at.

    Gameplay itself is intuitive and smooth with regular WASD movement controls and left/right clicking for further exploration/picking up/putting down objects.

    The soundtrack is hands-down one of my all-time favorites as far as video games go (I even put it above Schyman’s Bioshock score) with Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy, and The Youngins providing most of the Riot Grrrl ambiance. Even if punk or Riot Grrrl music isn’t your thing it just goes SO WELL with the narrative that you’ll find yourself bouncing along with it.

    All in all, I honestly believe Gone Home more than deserves its critical acclaim.

    Even if exploratory/story rich games aren't your deal I would definitely suggest checking out Gone Home either through a sale or a friend’s library.
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  3. Feb 16, 2014
    9
    There will be a lot of people that complain that there isn't much to this game, it's just a 1st person, interactive story and that is where it, like Beyond: Two Souls, beats a lot of games and divides a lot opinions, it's story is so deep and compelling it doesn't need to do anything but be told, it is so simplistic that it is almost perfect there are no enemies to defeat, no puzzles to solve you just play through and discover the story is an incredibly emotional and real you can't help but to become near obsessed with putting all the little pieces together to figure out the stories behind the characters Expand
  4. JRC
    Mar 2, 2014
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Oh splendid, I pay 20 dollars to play an one hour gameplay time, with the easiest puzzles ever and with a terrible story. Ok, it's an indie game, I give lots of support for indie developers, but really, 20 dollars. The gameplay, it's boring and have nothing out of the ordinary, it's just you all the time collecting papers that reveal the story, and worst, there is no obstacle, nothing that prevent you from achieving to the end of the game. And the ending is just stupid, you play it all just to know that your sister is a lesbian, wow. Expand
  5. Aug 27, 2013
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was super-excited for this game, after seeing the many rapturous reviews and being intrigued by the concept. I've always been a fan of adventure games, right back to when that meant walls of text and N, S, E. I don't think there's any doubt that Gone Home's web site presents it as a mystery adventure, and the game's opening certainly sets up that atmosphere and expectation.

    So I was somewhat disappointed when there turned out to be no puzzles in the course of gameplay, other than a couple of very obvious 'find the combination lock' obstacles, and I was bitterly disappointed when I was trammelled into an ending after about two hours. By that point, I'd realised that the 'game' was on rails anyway. Despite the illusion of being able to explore the house sand-box style, all you're really doing is triggering Sam's journal entries in linear sequence. And though you can pick up any object, it doesn't take long to realise that if it's not a piece of paper, you may as well not bother.

    The graphics aren't even that great. They serve to establish an atmosphere, but there are just too many reused textures and objects for an environment that sells itself on realism and interesting mundanity.

    The story unfolds interestingly enough, with some appealing voice acting. But nothing happens that you couldn't see coming a mile off, really. If Lonnie had turned psycho and buried Sam in the back garden (not that you have access to the back garden), that would have been cheesy but at least it would have been unexpected. In the end the end which comes so abruptly it feels like we're being asked to cheer for a 17 year old schoolgirl abandoning a college programme, and running off with an AWOL troublemaker. I can't help feeling that if the said troublemaker were male, this is not something an audience would be asked to feel warm and fuzzy about. We'd share Sam's parents quite reasonable concerns.

    That aside, my overriding reaction was to feel soundly cheated out of £14.99. My entertainment budget is not huge and I have to think carefully before spending money on video games. Usually, they're a cost effective form of entertainment. This 'game' certainly is not. There's no way I would have spent that money if I'd known how short it was, I would go as far as to say that the promotion of the game is actually misleading and false advertising, and like many commentators, I'm baffled by the professional critics' idolatry of it. People should be warned.
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  6. Sep 16, 2013
    1
    Horrifying lesbian and feminist propaganda, that attempts to brainwash the player for 20$.
    The most exiting moment is at the beginning, when
    a light-bulb flickers. That's it. Do not buy. Expand
  7. Nov 18, 2014
    0
    This isn't really a game, it's an overly long Youtube video with next to no gameplay. For an "adventure game" this wouldn't stand up to Kings Quest or even the old Dizzy games on Commodore 64. The price tag is ludicrous for what you're getting.

    TL;DR - A poncy "art" experiment with an inflated price tag.
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See all 604 User Reviews