Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 56 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 56
  2. Negative: 1 out of 56
  1. Aug 1, 2017
    95
    If you want a great story told well, that will last an afternoon, then get Tacoma. It knows what it wants to be, and it does that perfectly.
  2. Aug 1, 2017
    95
    If you're a big believer in great storytelling in video games, Fullbright has once again nailed it, proving it can be done, and it can be done to the highest standard.
  3. Oct 8, 2017
    90
    A bold, ambitious step forward for the - hnngh - "walking simulator." [Issue#266, p.54]
  4. games(TM)
    Aug 10, 2017
    90
    A stunning interactive storytelling experience. [Issue#190, p.76]
  5. Aug 1, 2017
    90
    A refreshing genre piece, which plays on expectations to explore the humanity of its cast.
  6. Aug 1, 2017
    90
    Tacoma may only be about 3 hours long, but it fills that time beautifully, telling a thoughtful, poignant tale told through the magic of science fiction. Come for the space, stay for the heart. And the space basketball.
  7. Aug 1, 2017
    90
    Tacoma isn't for everyone. Though short, it's meditative and methodical. It's a game for the quiet explorer and the empathetic. There's no major action or combat, no perplexing puzzles or fail states. Instead, Tacoma gives players a masterfully crafted setting and encourages them to find out what made the people who once called it home tick. Life, even among the stars, can be mundane and familiar but Tacoma's presentation is nothing short of spectacular.
  8. Aug 14, 2017
    87
    Though short, Tacoma is a great narrative adventure, especially for fans of sci-fi.
  9. Tacoma might not quite manage to live up to the unrealistically lofty expectations left behind by Fullbright’s full game, but it’s still neat proof that the American studio knows how to tell a good story, and that the medium of games is far from exhausted when it comes to new ideas about how to weave an interesting interactive tale.
  10. Aug 1, 2017
    85
    Although Tacoma has a less emotive story than Gone Home The Fullbright Company has created a very interesting game. Their approach to humans relations is one of the best in the medium.
  11. Aug 1, 2017
    85
    Tacoma is a captivating tale that messes with established tropes in a way that Fullbright might become known for. Although it spins its wheels at the start, this slow and methodical journey through the lives of a small group survivors is one with some fantastic twists and turns, and one that should stick with you long after its conclusion.
  12. Aug 1, 2017
    85
    Tacoma successfully overcomes the challenge of featuring eight characters and making them all interesting in a relatively short game. Using the out-of-sequence AR recordings to learn about the exciting events on Tacoma is a unique way to see every side of a conversation, and it’s one I hope to see catch on. I would have appreciated more time and events that'd have given me a reason to explore more of the beautiful station, but the time I did have in this fascinating hypothetical future was great.
  13. Aug 1, 2017
    84
    A smart and thoughtful science fiction mystery featuring a cast of believable, nuanced characters.
  14. Aug 1, 2017
    83
    With Tacoma’s unique take on branching narratives and a strong cast, it manages to tell an intriguing tale about mortality and relationships in the face of catastrophe. Tacoma builds on the foundations of Gone Home, but has its own unique tricks to tell an immersive story in a compelling way.
  15. Aug 3, 2017
    82
    In spite of its high price and short duration, it is a narrative experience more than recommended for all the lovers of the genre and those who enjoyed the previous title from Fullbright: Gone Home.
  16. Aug 3, 2017
    82
    Tacoma is a good adventure and a great narrative-focused game. We think it won't make the same impact as Gone Home did, but if you like this type of game, you shouldn't miss it.
  17. Aug 1, 2017
    82
    Tacoma is a great narrative-driven game that puts you in the middle of a mysterious space station. From the creators of Gone Home, this is a sci-fi experience that you should check out.
  18. Aug 25, 2017
    80
    The fate of astronauts from the damaged space ship takes one’s breath. Adventure excels with a A-quality plot and an idea with holographic memories is just excellent. It´s a pity the playing time is so short and the environment is poor.
  19. Aug 11, 2017
    80
    Quotation forthcoming.
  20. Aug 9, 2017
    80
    Tacoma offers an interesting insight into six crew members that spend a year on a space station together. Gone Home was more engaging, but the special way of telling this story about six deep characters is definitely worth your time.
  21. 80
    Tacoma gives the player space to get to know its characters, and really know them deeply, which is why its moments of melodrama become so much more compelling than anything else we’ve seen in the gaming medium. It is indeed short, I will concede that, and it is not open even by walking simulator standards, but what Fullbright has delivered is rich, affecting storytelling that’s truly worth experiencing.
  22. Aug 7, 2017
    80
    Tacoma is not for everyone. Even if you like this sort of game, we should warn you that it lasts only about 5 hours. Now, as brief as it is, the experience is also pretty satisfying. You will hardly find any good reason to play it more than once but if you are willing to commit with the story, you will surely enjoy it.
  23. Aug 4, 2017
    80
    Tacoma doesn’t match the excellence of Gone Home in the story department, but nonetheless manages to provide a quick yet engaging adventure. The central mechanic of being able to listen in to several different discussions from a variety of different directions and perspectives makes for something incredibly fun to play with and helps provide insight into a (somewhat literally) colorful cast of memorable characters. It’s an impressive little spacewalk.
  24. 80
    Much like Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Tacoma captures the player's attention from the beginning to the end, thanks to an intense story, a strong personality and a gameplay tightly connected to the sci-fi setting. It's a pretty short experience, but definitely worth your time, at least if you love a good sci-fi story.
  25. Aug 3, 2017
    80
    Fullbright brings a fascinating hypotetical future, featuring eight characters and making them all interesting in a short time.
  26. Aug 2, 2017
    80
    Tacoma is a quiet, lovely, yet slightly melancholy exploration of humanity struggling in a corporate vacuum, and one that proves Fullbright still has an eye for detail.
  27. Aug 2, 2017
    80
    The story, the characters and the dialogue of Tacoma demonstrate Fullbright's evolution. The interaction system and the complete control over the story is interesting, though the mid-sections are dull and boring.
  28. Aug 1, 2017
    80
    Tacoma’s facade floats between charming futurism and abrasive, old-fashioned avarice. This may seem like inhospitable space to explore the depths of benevolence, but the power of identity and humanity are alive and well supported inside of Tacoma’s twirling science fiction architecture.
  29. Aug 1, 2017
    80
    Tacoma is a beautifully told story filled with real characters and real emotion that you won’t be able to put down until you’ve experienced it in full.
  30. Aug 1, 2017
    80
    If you’re in the market for a fascinating narrative and an intriguing space station to lose yourself in, you could do a heck of a lot worse than Tacoma.
  31. Aug 1, 2017
    80
    While some of its threads don't always come together as neatly as they should, Fullbright's sophomore effort is a quiet and haunting examination of the ways corporations dehumanize us all.
  32. Aug 1, 2017
    80
    It’s what you’d expect from the people who made Gone Home, but that’s no bad thing.
  33. Aug 7, 2017
    79
    The exploration of this detailed and living space station is impressive. But it lacks depth in terms of storytelling as well as core mechanics.
  34. Aug 16, 2017
    75
    Tacoma is a great narrative-driven game.
  35. Aug 7, 2017
    75
    The romantic plot had a real chance to flourish and grow organically and its conclusion is one of the most satisfying I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. I wish I could say the same thing about Tacoma.
  36. Aug 9, 2017
    73
    Tacoma is a playable science fiction movie with exciting ideas, but gameplay and emotions are lacking.
  37. Aug 7, 2017
    72
    The lean gameplay and mechanics don’t gel with the unfocused narrative, and it’s a singular flaw that Tacoma can’t overcome. There’s plenty to like in the game, but it struggles to find a cohesive theme that brings the experience together.
  38. Aug 2, 2017
    72
    The puzzles and the forward and rewinding function have been implemented too half-heartedly, for which the action ends too often in predictable and unconstrained paths.
  39. Edge Magazine
    Aug 17, 2017
    70
    It is wonderfully written, its world lived-in and vivid. It meets our expectations of a Fullbright game, but sadly leaves it at that. [Issue#310, p.114]
  40. Aug 13, 2017
    70
    Tacoma is a rightful heir to Gone Home. Exploration of the station, with the possibility to learn about the crew through holographic projections, makes us feel we are in a very lively place and the main story, that wants us to think about capitalism and I.A.'s future is captivating, even thought the experience is quite short.
  41. Aug 11, 2017
    70
    This space version of Gone Home isn't astonishing like the predecessor. The story is compelling but too compressed, and the graphics are sloppy. We'd expected something deeper from Fullbright's second game.
  42. Aug 9, 2017
    70
    After only two hours the mystery about Tacoma is solved, but the personal stories about the crew members definitely stick. The story might not be as brilliant as Gone Home's, the original way of storytelling is excellent.
  43. Aug 2, 2017
    70
    Tacoma has some great characterisation and is a very different breed of science fiction, but my enjoyment was sapped by one key mistake in how the story was told. It also has issues with loading and can be somewhat bland to look at, but looking around you, the environmental storytelling is top-notch. By the end, I’d become invested in these characters, but not necessarily their plight.
  44. Aug 2, 2017
    70
    Tacoma domesticates the space adventure by making its characters and setting all-important. The plot does contain a couple of twists, but the revelations are more of the “ah” then the “ah-ha!” sort.
  45. Aug 1, 2017
    70
    Tacoma is a master class in interactive character work, in the art of giving you the tools to experience a fascinating place through others’ eyes.
  46. Aug 1, 2017
    70
    Fullbright has crafted an impressive yet ultimately unfulfilling narrative adventure in Tacoma. Its characters and setting are some of the best in the medium in terms of dialogue and atmosphere, but the overarching plot is far too weak to hold them altogether. That being said, exploring the lonely space station is a journey I don’t regret taking.
  47. Aug 1, 2017
    70
    I liked Tacoma though, even with its fumbles. I felt more engaged watching (and rewinding, pausing, fast-forwarding) how things played out than I had in a lot of games like it. That's likely because it's the rare game where the player is in direct control of what, when, and how they see everything.
  48. Aug 1, 2017
    70
    Meticulous attention to detail makes even the most mundane things, like a forgotten book in a corner or a bottle of shampoo, captivating, and strong voice acting and writing gives surprising depth to characters who are physically absent from the story itself. But its two levels never really intersect in meaningful ways, culminating in an ending that's thought-provoking but short of being revelatory.
  49. Aug 1, 2017
    70
    The story is built out of the playback mechanic, which gives birth to the subtler suggestions of what’s really going on with this station. But the playback system means there’s a lot of talking to listen to, and a lot of wireframes to stare at. For a game about an abandoned space station, Tacoma gave me plenty of company. But the moments where I had to reckon with being alone in space were the ones that stuck with me.
  50. CD-Action
    Oct 30, 2017
    60
    Gone Home developers tackle the issue of corporate hell aboard futuristic space station. Unfortunately their sentimental style does not go along with the brutally down-to-earth (oh, the irony!) subject too well. [10/2017, p.67]
  51. Aug 8, 2017
    60
    Tacoma lays the foundation for a truly great story, but a short length and some unexplored ideas leave it feeling lacking. I loved the characters I met over the course of the story and there are some standouts. ODIN, voiced by Justice League Unlimited alum Carl Lumbly, is particularly a treat. But by the end, I was hoping for just a little more from them, as well as more from the whole concept as a whole.
  52. Aug 7, 2017
    60
    This fuzziness at the game’s heart makes you wonder what magic Fullbright could work with its eye for detail worked into a meatier tale. As it is, Tacoma drifts towards ennui more than you would hope, especially given its familiar setting. But what a setting it can be; rich craft and detailed stories worked into every corner, device and discarded piece of paper. Despite some misgivings, a trip to Tacoma is still one worth taking.
  53. 60
    A disappointing follow-up to Gone Home that tells a less interesting and less focused tale, while failing to advance the art of interactive storytelling.
  54. 60
    Tacoma's top-notch story and presentation are arranged into an inappropriate structure that will dull the experience, even for fans of exploration games.
  55. Sep 21, 2017
    51
    Walking simulators live or die by the strength of their narrative, and Tacoma gives away its main plot just minutes after you start playing it. It does have other secrets, but they aren’t worth your time.
  56. Aug 23, 2017
    40
    Sadly, Tacoma, the new game from the creators of Gone Home, is not the best example of interactive storytelling.
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This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Aug 1, 2017
    A short, sweet translation of Gone Home's cosy environmental storytelling into the realm of speculative fiction. [Recommended]
  2. Aug 1, 2017
    Tacoma ultimately succeeds as a piece of emotional storytelling. Every moment spent with the crew is spellbinding, as their strengths and struggles play out in painful detail. The experience is sometimes frustrating, but Tacoma leaves a lasting impression.
  3. As with Fullbright’s previous game, Gone Home, Tacoma won’t be for everyone, but it’s a masterclass in environmental and gradual storytelling. It weaves an intriguing story against the backdrop of a believable near-future culture. I think its linearity combined with my extensive exploration means I won’t replay it unless I suddenly think of a question I want answered or until I’ve forgotten a sufficient amount that it feels like a new discovery. But that’s not a criticism. I got everything I wanted from that playthrough and I loved it. [RPS Recommended]
  4. Aug 1, 2017
    Its twists are carefully planted and developed within that flood of information, subverting expectations based on Fullbright’s previous game, as well as those that have spawned in its wake. Its innovations are likely to be quietly imitated and refined for years to come, but, like its predecessor, it is most remarkable for doing something simpler and much more rare: It tells a damn good story.
  5. Aug 2, 2017
    Tacoma isn’t the revelation Gone Home was, but it also doesn’t have to be. Abrupt conclusion aside, the game is a smart and emotional experience, one that pushes the nascent first-person exploration genre ever slightly forward. If Gone Home was proof that first-person narrative games had a future, Tacoma represents that very future — and how much potential it still has.
  6. Aug 1, 2017
    Tacoma isn't Gone Home, but that's an impossible ask. Tacoma is, however, a clever game with a thoughtful story to tell about life, people, and technology.
User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 112 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 112
  2. Negative: 21 out of 112
  1. Aug 2, 2017
    2
    I am a fan of 'walking simulators'. Soma, Life is Strange, and Rime are the best examples of the genre. I do not care if it is only a coupleI am a fan of 'walking simulators'. Soma, Life is Strange, and Rime are the best examples of the genre. I do not care if it is only a couple of hours long, or anything else as long as long as it has a good story and the environment is engaging.

    I also normally do not care who makes the video games, but I have an issue when their politics affects the games that are made. Which is an issue I have with this game, and it isn't surprising if you know the personality of the creator of The Fullbright Company, Steve Gaynor. Both Tacoma and Gone Home are terrible, not by design, but by the intent behind them: to push a political agenda. It wasn't as bad in Gone Home (the problem with that game was that it was marketed and sold as a horror game, obviously it's not), but judging by Tacoma, the company's future games will only be worse.

    Do not support video game companies like this one and Beamdog, who care more about agendas than making good video games. (Beamdog's baldur's gate siege of dragonspear is absolutely terrible, even worse than Tacoma in pushing an agenda. Not to mention the content they added to an already amazing game (Baldur's Gate 2) is trash-tier fan fiction)
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 2, 2017
    5
    Very relaxing, nice visuals, good music .... but not a game in the traditional sense.

    That this is not a game is quite aparent from the
    Very relaxing, nice visuals, good music .... but not a game in the traditional sense.

    That this is not a game is quite aparent from the very start. It is a "kind of" novel unfolding progressively as you progress the very limited environment. A space station (just like a family home) is a limited space by nature - so i never really felt like really exploring freely - but rather trying to "fondle" every single object that i was allowed to manipulate .. a bit like older point and click adventures.

    Now here is my problem with the game. Like Gone Home - this game is based on a natural environment - and extremely HIGH detail (not as in shaders or normal mapping or such - but in terms of content) ... I want furniture to be accessible - and not just empty - but filled with "stuff" - anything else would feel staged and sterile.

    And sterile is about the core of the problem. The game feels empty - and not lived in at all to me. I can see the recordings of the previous inhabitants ... but they felts empty... . Maybe it was just me, but i never got the feeling of an actual living being. Gone Home did it better - but had to focus on fewer characters of course ... and a much more relatable story. But even small games like Orwell or even Papers Please manage to stir up the imagination about "what kind of person we are dealing with" better than Tacoma.

    Conclusion:

    Is that a bad game? no .... well aside from rather being a novel than a game anyway (and i actually do enjoy such games) ... does it stand out in any way? .. sadly no. It is completely average. Neither the visuals, nor the story or storytelling is outstanding.

    I find it hard to pin point it - maybe it is the novelty or the more familiar setting. I had a lot of fun going through the countless cupboards and drawers of Gone Home - but felt almost annoyed clicking on stuff in Tacoma.
    It somehow misses the mark - maybe because there are so many "abandoned space station" settings around - while there were actually not too many "abandoned suburban home" settings around (at least none without ghosts or zombies ... )
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 2, 2017
    6
    Tacoma has the same flaws of Gone Home (the game is very short and the player can only passively observe a story that played out before youTacoma has the same flaws of Gone Home (the game is very short and the player can only passively observe a story that played out before you ever arrived), but none of Tacoma's characters have a story as interesting or emotionally resonant as the sister's story from Gone Home. The fact that a space station ends up being less interesting than an empty 90s suburban house feels like a tremendous failure of the developer's imagination. Full Review »