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Gone Home

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Windows
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Description

Gone Home is a story-driven adventure game played from a first-person perspective. It focuses on exploration and is set entirely in a single house. The protagonist is Kaitlin Greenbriar, a 20-year-old woman who returns to her parents home in the USA on 7th June 1995 after a long trip in Europe. When she arrives the house is entirely deserted with no trace of her father, mother or sister Samantha. Sam however has left a note on the door that she is gone and urging her sister not to come look for her.

The game then offers the player the ability to freely explore the rooms of the house in any order or direction. Clues are pieced together by examining items in the environment: notes, letters, bills, photographs etc. These are however not presented as puzzles, but are scattered among typical items found in a house. The core gameplay revolves around browsing through items of which most serve no direct purpose. Drawers can be opened, lights can be turned on, you can look inside a dishwasher, browse books in a library, read flyers ... Most items are typical for specific rooms, such as different types of foods in a refrigerator, but also a lot of random items such as buttons, markers, pieces of papers and more, as they are expected to be found in a typical family home. Almost every item in the environment can be examined even if there is no direct purpose. Items can be picked up and rotated freely in any direction to get a better look. Every item can be dragged around and tossed at a different location, or sometimes used in the environment such as putting a tape in a recorder to listen to music. This does not serve as a mechanism to solve puzzles however, you are rather encouraged to find as many clues as possible and then piece together the story and the events by yourself. The amount of information discovered only depends on the player's investigation and is not enforced by the game. Exploration is non-linear, but there are a few triggers through keys to locked sections to slightly guide the player.

Movement is done through separate keys with the mouse to look around. Items that can be interacted with are highlighted. The second mouse button is used to zoom in. There is a basic inventory system for the few sections where Kaitlin keeps an item with her, but not as a puzzle mechanism. Certain key items trigger an audio diary of Kaitlin's sister Sam. These are afterwards stored in a separate menu for further review. There is also a map for the different rooms and floors in the house, and it is expanded when new locations are discovered. The house is largely dark and deserted, so often light sources need to be turned on to get a better look.

Screenshots

Gone Home Windows One of your own postcards
Gone Home Windows The dining room
Gone Home Windows Sam's been creative with scraps.
Gone Home Windows Loading screen

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The Press Says

Polygon Windows Aug 15, 2013 10 out of 10 100
Hooked Gamers Windows Aug 29, 2013 9.8 out of 10 98
IGN Windows Aug 15, 2013 9.5 out of 10 95
4Players.de Windows Sep 04, 2013 91 out of 100 91
Games TM Windows Aug 15, 2013 9 out of 10 90
Edge Windows Aug 15, 2013 9 out of 10 90
Gamereactor (Sweden) Windows Aug 17, 2013 9 out of 10 90
Inside Gaming Windows Aug 26, 2013 9 out of 10 90
Game Front Windows Aug 15, 2013 90 out of 100 90
PC Gamer Windows 2013 85 out of 100 85

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Trivia

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2013 – Best PC Game of the Year
    • 2013 – Best Adventure of the Year
    • 2013 – Most Immersive Game of the Year

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Sciere (251345)