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Recently, I had been looking for a new game to play; something different from anything I had ever played before. I heard about an indie title called Gone Home while perusing Twitter. I saw lots of people talking about how it was a “must play” for anyone who enjoys games. My incredibly kind fiancee gifted it to me on Steam, so I had no excuse not to play it.
The game opens with the sound of a woman’s voice, who you soon find out is Katie Greenbrier, the girl you are playing as. You learn that Katie has just returned from a trip to Europe. Her family has moved houses while she has been away, and she is about to walk into her new home for the first time. She walks in, expecting her family to be there to greet her, but she soon discovers that she is all alone.
You find a note on the front door from your sister, Sam, who says not to go snooping around trying to find out where she went. So what do you do? Naturally, you search the house looking for clues as to Sam’s whereabouts. With every clue you find, you become further engrossed into the story. I found myself picking up every single item, even something as simple as a box of tissues.
As you explore the Greenbrier residence, you will find Super Nintendo cartridges, cassette tapes, and even a TV guide with real shows listed in it. Oh, did I mention this takes place in 1995? The ’90s are a fond memory for many people, including myself, so I felt even more attached to the game.
This game won’t be for everyone. It’s similar to a lot of indie games in that it tries something new without including traditional game elements like violence. With that being said, Gone Home is one of the most unique gaming experiences I’ve ever had. Without spoiling anything, it has one of the most interesting plot twists I’ve ever seen in any storytelling medium.
As amazing as Gone Home is, it’s very short. It will take you less than three hours to complete. Therefore, if you’re low on cash, this may not be the best option for you if you’re looking for a new game right now. The game currently sells for $19.99, but I’m sure the price will drop over time.
Gameplay: The gameplay is very simple; walk around and find clues. This will not be suitable for those who only like fast-paced, action-y games.
Appearance: The visuals are up to par with what you would expect from an indie PC title. The atmosphere is very eerie, adding an interesting element to the game’s environment.
Sound: The voice acting by Sarah Robertson is phenomenal. Without it, the game wouldn’t be much to speak of. The atmospheric sounds, like the rain constantly banging on the windows and rooftop, add to the overall feeling of Gone Home.
Bottom line: If you enjoy story-driven gaming experiences that challenge the norms of modern gaming, Gone Home is a brilliant gem that should not be missed.