About a year ago, Brett and I played through about half of Gone Home, which we recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Unfortunately, it was flagged and taken down. Buying an Xbox One opened up so many possibilities though and I snagged it on a discount through Xbox Live! I played through it once, which took me about 3.5 hours. My fiance also played through it while I watched and discussed with her.
Some of you might recall the little argument that arose out of Gone Home after its release, where some argued that it wasn’t even a game. People are still arguing about what defines a game as… well, a game. If Gone Home isn’t a game, then what is it?
Gone Home can best be described as an interactive story narrative. You play as 21 year old Katie Greenbriar, who has just arrived home after touring Europe. Your parents moved to a new house while you were away, and no one seems to be around. As you explore the house for the first time, you’ll learn about what your family’s been up to and discover where they’ve gone. It’s also 1995, in case minimal communication seems odd. And that’s pretty much it. You explore the house, pick up notes, read, and interact with some objects. It’s basically a point and click adventure.
My fiance and I really enjoyed the experience. The story is interesting, with an underlying straw man that will will leave you guessing even after all the pieces fall into place. It might not be for everyone though. There’s little in the way of actual gameplay, which is where the argument arises, but I’d definitely define it as a game. For me, it served as a nice cool down between hectic Overwatch matches. But you have to go into the game expecting to play an interactive story. If that’s not what you’re looking for, then don’t waste your time. There are plenty of other games to play. If you want something casual to break up hectic platforming or shooting, then give it a go.
If you’ve played, definitely shoot me messages about some theories you have involving that straw man!