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Somber Reviews - Gone Home (Game)

Updated on May 4, 2014
Gone Home, the interactive exploration simulator.
Gone Home, the interactive exploration simulator.

The Game: Gone Home

The game, Gone Home, was developed and published by The Fullbright Company. It was released on August 15, 2013. As an indie title, it had received several awards, and is known by the fans of this series to be one of the most emotional interactive games they've ever experienced.

This game is available on Steam, and on their website.

The Plot

Since this game is an interactive exploration simulator, it relies very, very heavily on the plotline to carry the player through from the start to the finish. I won't speak much on the plotline, as saying much of anything will inevitably carry spoilers, but the basic idea of the game is as follows:

On the night of June 7, 1995, Kaitlin Greenbriar returns home from a long trip. There she finds a note, from her sister, and then must investigate the house to determined what happened. Throughout the game, you'll find out details of Kaitlin's family, all of which are highly interesting, though none more so than her sister, Samantha.

In this story, nothing is as it seems, and that's what makes it so fun. There are plenty of plot twists, and turnabouts that make this game quite exciting.

The main characters of this storyline. The central plotline focuses on the younger sister.
The main characters of this storyline. The central plotline focuses on the younger sister.

Game Play

You'll play as Kaitlin, as you discover the events that took place while you were gone. The game is played in first-person view, and that's the perfect way to play this game. You can interact with several objects in the game, and there is plenty of Easter-eggs, for those who care to look for them.

You may want to ask; "What is an interactive exploration simulator?"

Simply put, it is an exploration game of sorts. There is no combat, only the player, and the story. You'll explore the house, and examine anything you find to continue to progress in the story. Important items that you find automatically be stored inside of backpack for later.

Official Game Launch Trailer

You might like this game if:

  • You enjoy games with in-depth story driven plots.
  • You enjoy games with narrative while you play, instead of cut scenes.
  • You like to play games that have absolutely no combat system.
  • You have completed other videogames of the same genera, such as Dear Esther.
  • You enjoy playing indie games.

Somber Reviews

For a game such as this, the player as well as the developer must concede that not everyone will enjoy playing this style of game. In fact, despite the usually enriching story, these games fall by the wayside to main stream media games of similar value. In an age where stories are told through well scripted theatrics, strong combat systems, and compelling gameplay in games such as The Last of Us, it stands to reason that this type of game simply won't stand up to them.

However, when compared to it's own league, Gone Home stands among one of the best in its genera. that is to say that the storyline is just phenomenal, and the environment that you're tasked to explore, a seemingly abandoned house, tells a story that will leave the player suitably impressed with this style of game.

The soundtracks in this type of game rely largely on ambient sounds. Because these are usually games based off of written word, or in this case, the mind of a teenaged girl, it's important to note that the feeling of immersion goes deeper than any mere cut scene. The graphics are also something to consider, and they do what they're supposed to do well. For an indie title, I can't really complain. They're good.

The game is just awesome, but there are a few downsides to keep in mind.

As with anything of this genera, there is very little, to absolutely no replay value, depending on the type of person you are. I'm not saying that you can't replay it over and over, but rather, that it's best to think of series like this, as you would a piece of written word; a book. If you have a tendency to read books over and over again, you might also do the same with this game...if, you're prone to read a book once, and then never again, there's a good chance you'll do the same with Gone Home.

The other thing that might turn some people away from this type of game, or rather Gone Home in particular, is that games this game is slightly more guided than others of it's genera, such as Dear Esther, or in other cases, The Stanley Parable. That isn't exactly a bad thing, but, some people will find that to be an aggravation, rather than something they might look for.

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Final Verdict

For a game of it's type, it stands proudly with others that are critically acclaimed. Countless gamers and reviewers agree, this game is the best of the best, for what it is. I would encourage anyone to give it a try, but then again, I'm a huge fan of this type of game.

As with all of my reviews, based on a score of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest possible score, and ten being the highest, I will give this game a 9. Yes it is that good, so long as you're a fan of the style of gameplay. If you haven't played an interactive exploration simulator before, this is a great place to start.


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