Gone Home is a first-person exploration game developed by Fullbright and released for the PC on August 15, 2013. A console version of the game was in development by Majesco subsidiary Midnight City, however, this was later canceled following Midnight City's closure. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions were eventually released on January 12, 2016, in North America, and February 12th, 2016 in PAL regions.
The game is set in 1995. The player is placed in the shoes of 21-year-old Kaitlin Greenbriar (voiced by Sarah Elmaleh) as she returns to her home in Arbor Hill, Oregon. She discovers a note on the door from her sister, Samantha (voiced by Sarah Grayson), telling her to not go looking for answers as to where she is. As she enters the house, Kaitlin realizes nobody is home and investigates the house to find out where her family is. Players guide Kaitlin through this process, learning some things known to Kaitlin along with new facts about her family and their experiences over the past year.
Why It Should Go Home
- The gameplay is rather lacking, as it consists mostly of walking around the house, looking at objects, and interacting with them.
- It's even tagged as a "Walking Simulator" on Steam.
- The game's difficulty is quite low, and not particularly challenging, but it can be easy to get lost.
- Short length. The game can be completed in around 3 hours.
- There's even an achievement called "Homerunner", its objective is to complete the game without modifiers under one minute.
- The focus is primarily on visuals and atmosphere than actual gameplay.
- The story more or less teaches a rather forced aesop/ideology on gamers with the twist being that Samantha is a lesbian and ran off with her lover.
- In addition, Samantha and her lover are both stated to be interested in Riot Grrrl, a feminist punk movement.
- Disappointing ending (see 5).
- Overpriced. The game costs $14.99 on Steam and PSN, and $19.99 on the Microsoft Store. While it isn't too expensive, it's a little rich considering the game's short length and lack of content. It was free on PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold for a while, it is still too high a price for such little gameplay.
- The house's layout and visuals are pretty nice.
- Objects can be thrown around, in addition to just putting them back where they were picked up.
- The voice acting is fine, to say the least.
While the game has received rave reviews from critics (even being nominated multiple times for Game of the Year), the game has a user rating of over 5 on Metacritic and many gamers have considered it overrated and have mixed feelings about it.