Home claims to be a unique horror adventure with an old-school look. It was enough of an interesting description to see me buy it but it doesn’t quite live up to it.
You play a man who awakens inside a large house not knowing how he got there. His initial confusion marries well with ours as a player. There doesn’t seem like there is a clear objective beyond explore. Initially it feels over-whelming but after exploring a few rooms you will quickly realise that it’s a lot more straight-forward then it seems.
In fact that pretty much sums up the entire game (can be completed in an hour or 2), it’s surprisingly straight-forward to play. The story centres on the man making his way home & along the way he makes more & more startling discoveries that have him questioning his own involvement in what is going on. Discoveries are made & decisions can be taken by the player although they are pretty basic stuff. Mostly they relate to picking up items & the man reacts accordingly depending on the item.
Controlling the man is as simple as moving left & right then clicking on certain items that the man will talk about or pick up. The torch he carries can be moved in 2 positions to highlight hidden things but it’s not something you will find yourself doing often, it’s all very limiting.
The game has a unique ending in that there isn’t one really….
When you reach the end point all of the evidence & decisions you have made will see you, the player, decide what actually happened. Did you not do enough exploring? Did you not go back & watch the CCTV footage? Well then the full picture will be a lot less clear then it could be. This encourage multiple plays & gets you think about what items you are picking up & where they might be useful.
However Home is hardly a horror game, oh it deals with horror themes such as murder & torture but as its more of an interactive story with multiple routes (like a choose your own adventure book) there are few opportunities for scares. There are a few flashes & instances of music that might make you start in your chair but that’s about it.
The lack of threat in the game is also another reason why the game just doesn’t scare; there is nothing that can kill you. No hazards to avoid or dangerous areas to traverse. You pick up knifes & guns yet are never given an opportunity to use them. It’s a pity as the game just feels like it is lacking something to make it something special.
With the low price its a worthwhile investment as it encourages multiple play throughs thanks to a clever ‘make up your own mind’ ending & has flashes of excellence. It’s let down by its story book feel & lack of scares or threats.