Gone Home - Game View
First up is “Gone Home” by The Fullbright Company (Link to Steam page, for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.)
This was a VERY short game. Took me 3 hours to get through, although likely could be completely in much less time.
The entirety of the game takes place in a large house. You can pick up objects, rotate them, and put them back.
You have a backpack, a map, and a girl’s journal. I think you only end up with 5 things in your backpack. Two you start the game with (and serve no purpose)
There really is nothing to ‘do’. It’s highly linear. You walk around, exploring the rooms. You’re controlling “Katie” who is coming home after a year traveling Europe. You arrive to an empty house, without any sign of the Mom, Dad, or sister Sam.
Picking up certain notes will trigger a journal read aloud by the sister Sam. The entire story is presented in this matter. While you do piece together bits of side story through other objects. I say it’s linear, since half the house is blocked off until you come across some key or combination (practically thrown at you, in your face, so there’s really no thinking involved)
I was rather disappointed, as I kept something unexpected to happen or something else. But it’s really just about exploring the highly detailed 3D house, seeing bits of what happened to this family over the year Katie was gone.
The description does say:
> No Combat, No Puzzles: Gone Home is a nonviolent and puzzle-free experience, inviting you to play at your own pace without getting attacked, stuck, or frustrated. This house wants you to explore it.
>And it is certainly an accurate description. There are no puzzles. Nothing to do. You’re guided along.
So it really isn’t a game, rather more of an “Art” exhibit (for lack of any other term). Highly detailed house, which tells a story in a fairly linear fashion.
As a game, I was disappointed. As an art exhibit, I was mostly impressed, although I think much of it was lost on me, since I’m likely not the target demographic, and I kept expecting some twist. Waiting for the game to begin, or just something. Also far shorter than I would have liked.
Without spoiling it, it’s a story of a teenage girl’s struggle after moving to a new city, making friends, struggle for acceptance, self-discovery, loss, and starting anew.
There are a few parts of the story that I’m still confused about. It’s a story that is very much just about Sam, although there are bits about the Mom and Dad which I feel like I’m missing half of the story because they seem unresolved, or missing key plot points. Possible spoiler: We find out what happens to Sam, but not what happens to the parents. (Unless I missed an important detail somewhere.)
I bought it for $18 through the [http://www.gonehomegame.com/]("developer’s website"), which gives you Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux versions of the game, all without any sort of DRM. And includes a key for Steam redemption.
Despite it leaving me feeling awkward, I would probably recommend checking it out, as long as you go into it less thinking of it as a game, and more as a movie, or a book. (Gives you a good cost/enjoyment ratio expectation as well)