Gone Home is a first-person adventure exploration video game developed and published by The Fullbright Company. It was finally released on Xbox One and other consoles in 2016 after some difficulty.
Gone Home is essentially a walking simulator except you also have the ability to unlock parts of the house and find journals to discover what events have taken place. The player takes on the role of Katie Greenbriar from a first-person view. Katie can interact with all manner of objects in the house and although there are no set goals, you’re encouraged to explore new areas and are rewarded with new messages that further the plot.
The year is 1995. Katie Greenbriar is 21-years-old and has returned home from travelling overseas to a new house her family have moved to, in Oregon. She returns home to find a note on the front door (telling her not to investigate any further) from her 18-year-old sister, Sam, and the house completely empty.
Through a series of diary entries you discover what’s happened to your family during your absence. And you learn more about the previous owner of your new home.
From the moment you step onto the porch you can feel the atmosphere, which Gone Home has in spades. This level of creep and intrigue follows you throughout the game. After reading the first note and stepping into the foyer, your mind begins to race with possibilities of what you’re about to uncover. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Without giving too much away, this game isn’t a horror, it’s the furthest thing from it. Gone Home is a forbidden romance tale. Personally, I felt this house had so much potential to really frighten you. Every large, darkened room you entered your heart would beat faster. Only to find… nothing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the story. I thought the diary entries were relatable and sweet. But, it’s just not what I thought I had signed on for. The game itself even hints towards there being something more sinister going on. You find what appears to be blood in the bath tub but it’s hair dye, and the very first diary entry gives the impression you’re about to unearth something horrifying.
Your house has secret passageways, and what feels like 50 different rooms. But excuse me for expecting a scare of some kind. And not a simple cliché love story.
Overall, it’s definitely worth a play through but don’t buy into the massive hype and lower your expectations. The hints of other stories I found were more interesting. I would have liked them to be expanded on more.