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.… Expand
Aug 30, 2013Its 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.
Aug 15, 2013Gone 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.
Aug 15, 2013Gone Home is a story in which you'll get to know a handful of characters without physically meeting any one of them. A game where engagement is driven by exploration and absorption at a pace that perfectly suits the story it needs to tell. An experience that offers first and third person accounts of different stories and trusts the player with filling in the blanks. It's not that they don't make them like this anymore, but rather they've never made one like this before.
Oct 24, 2013In the context of macho gaming, this ghost mansion is hiding something much scarier: a simple, elegantly told story that suffers only from its steep price. [Issue#234]
Aug 15, 2013As 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.
Aug 16, 2013I don't usually give games a 10. In fact, there are only 2 other games that I would consider to be perfect 10s: the original portal and pacman ce dx. Those aren't necessarily the best games I've played, but they are the most perfect, if that makes sense. And that is a word that I would use to describe Gone Home: perfect. It is a game purely comprised of exploration and discovery, with virtually no other gameplay components with the exception of some very simplistic puzzles. And yet, Gone Home manages to make seemingly mundane exploration into some of the most engaging and emotional storytelling I have ever seen. Gone Home will be remembered for its brilliant design and execution, but also as a game that bravely led the charge in addressing contemporary social issues that have not as of yet found much representation in the medium.
This game is not for everyone. If all you play are shooters and fast paced action games, then Gone Home will bore you. However, if you like slower games or games with interesting ways of telling stories, such as Journey, Heavy Rain, Dear Esther, or even mods like The Stanley Parable, than Gone home is certain to grab you and not let go for its 3 hour duration.… Expand
Sep 15, 2013This 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
Sep 2, 2013I thought the game was beautiful and could not have been done any other way. For the most part the people harping on the game seem to complain about the lack of "gameplay" or something of that nature and honestly I just feel like their missing the point. Videogames are about an experience and I thought this game offered an incredibly unique one. Look at the reviews, its about 50 50 love or hate. So buy at your own risk, but if you can really immerse yourself in it and love it for what it is, theirs a lot of emotional depth.… Expand
Aug 18, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Warning: This review also spoils Iron Man 3 if you haven't seen it. This review is also long.
I am feeling mixed emotions at the moment. I literally just finished the game about twenty minutes ago. I downloaded it about five hours ago, but my Steam in-game timer says I have only played it for three hours.
First things first: I barely read any reviews at all. I think I skimmed either Joystiq's or IGN's or something, I cannot recall. I saw some of the screenshots, and then I checked the game out on Steam.
Missing family members? Check.
Resident Evil-like mansion? Check.
1995 spooky period setting? Check.
Detective emphasis where you pick up items and look for clues? Check.
So this game is obviously about either a murder, a haunted house, or some sort of missing family detective game, judging by the screen shots and Steam profile, right?
I boot the game up. Title screen is pretty spooky and ominous. I bet my family's bodies are in that second floor left window because it's illuminated on the title screen!
The game opens with a "Hey don't mind me, I'll find my own way home" phone call. I have an inventory system and a map. I'm digging it. It's dark, stormy, the lightning and creaking noises are scary and ominous. This giant Resident Evil house is deserted and abandoned. I decide that I'm going to hug the left wall the entire game, and check every nook and cranny. And I do.
I learn about my "father's" failed book sales, I learn about the creepy voice message on the phone, read about my great uncle's will. I enjoyed the X-Files references, and the Street Fighter stuff was great. All right, every thing is pretty cool for now. I bet my family is dead upstairs or something. The atmosphere is awesome. I get genuinely creeped out the dark hallways and the thundering and lightning. I keep thinking there is going to be a dead body or a zombie or something every time I enter a new room.
After a great first hour or two of scary lightning and ominous noises, things start to get a little weird once you get to the second floor. The first girl punk rock cassette was okay I guess, but now these other ones are annoying me. Oh, here's a story about a pirate captain uh cool? I'm not really feeling it, though.
And then "it" happens. The moment that makes me say "Uh what just happened?" Remember the trailers for Iron Man 3? Remember how it seemed so dark and ominous? How Tony was all alone? How the Mandarin was such a powerful and evil guy? And you see it and like it at first, but then the Mandarin reveal happens? And following that scene, the movie just loses all appeal. You are no longer invested. What you thought and expected is completely replaced with confusion. That moment happened to me in this game.
"Dear diary I like Lonnie." Uh okay. That's cool, I guess? Seems a little unrelated to the dark and ominous feel of the game. My family is still totally dead and murdered, right?
Nope, all the ominous darkness and set-up is basically for naught. After that reveal, it turns into a high schooler's interactive "Dear Diary, me and Lonnie let's be pirate punks blah blah blah." The game attempts to return to the "dark and ominous" setting with cryptic clues about your deceased great uncle and stuff.
A little further, I get a little more hope when I find out there's a pagan ritual going on and some Ouija board talk. I thought to myself, "Awesome. She's totally killed herself in the attic, right?"
Nope. Your parents are away at a couple's retreat because your mom is probably cheating on your dad, and your sister at the ripe age of 17 with all of her wisdom runs off with a now AWOL Lonnie and the game ends.
I'm terribly confused as to why they marketed it the way they did if the main story line (your sister is gay and ran off) has nothing to do with the dark and ominous setting.
Did I enjoy it? That first hour or so going about the house was great. Scouring corners for clues, attempting to find out what happened to my family, old creaky noises, Resident Evil flashbacks, etc. But then after the "Dear diary" event, I just stop caring. It got to the point where the game mentions a Kate/Kaitlin, and I honestly forgot that it was my character's name. Other than a few postcards, I am just a boring uninteresting protagonist going on a easter egg hunt for my sister who is apparently a master at setting up cryptic notes and secret passages.
Does it matter if Sam was gay or not? Not at all. Even if Lonnie became Lenny, I don't care for a high school girl's 3 hour version of Dear Diary.
The game is misleading in its tone and advertising. Do I regret my purchase? I don't know. $18 is a bit much for a 3 hour game I will never play again. All the hype and great reviews are a little misleading. This game could have been a great spooky detective murder mystery. You could have been a protagonist that mattered. But nope. You are just a boring older sister that no one cares about it seems.… Expand
Aug 20, 2013A craptastic story hidden under the veil of love and relationship which is in reality nothing but a lesbian teenager's senseless decision about life. It is not entertaining, emotional or epic in any way, it is just infuriating. I hate teens going through puberty and their stupid useless lives with useless decisions and i want to spit in the face of the guy who thought this would be sensational in any way. Technically the game is an unoptimised piece of toot. It has reused models, mspaint textures (especially in small areas they are obvious) and what not. All in all, avoid buying or even pirating this at all costs.… Expand
Oct 30, 2013Not a game, period. You walk around a vacant mansion while your sister whines about her first-world problems. Two hours playtime, max. Several people have "beaten" this in under a minute not exaggerating. Even those terrible Sega CD-era FMV games were more fun than this. There is nothing more to say. In the time spent reading this review, you could have beaten this "game!" If you really want to experience it, you won't be missing out on anything if you simply watch someone else "play" it on YouTube.… Expand