First Impressions: At the start of the game you are greeted by a foreboding phone call of you, returning to your family after a trip overseas. Reaching your family home, you, Kaitlin Greenbriar, are greeted to an empty home on a stormy night. On inspection of the door to the home, you only see an ominous scrawled note by a family member telling you to not look for them. With that, you explore the house looking to find the cause of your family’s disappearance learning more about them in the process. In the game you look through drawers and rooms examining leftover notes and paper, each adding a piece to information about your family.
Going Further: At the start of the game, the setting and the ominous message lead one to believe the game is there to spook the player with a creepy mystery of how your family disappeared. One may even expect a jump scare or things of that nature to hammer down the idea of a haunted home. However, playing through the game, you realize you that scare will never come as you come to learn more about the story. The character you play as, Kaitlin, simply serves as a sort of vessel by which the game delivers the story. Picking up specific items and notes gives you narration of a journal entries by your sister. While the house is a plot point as it is known “creepy” house around the town, the main story the game serves you is about your younger sister as she goes through teenage angst as well as exploring her own sexuality. Going through the very large house, you learn more than just about your sister though as you find notes left by your father and mother and what they do or have done while you were away on your trip to Europe. Gone Home is a purely story driven game and while there is nothing wrong with that, it is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. A lot of the enjoyment from the game comes through learning more about the family your character grew up in and what happened to your sister as well as filling in the gaps of the story by yourself. The game is rather short in comparison to a lot of games today with little notable replay-ability, taking around two hours to finish if you are not set out to search every nook and cranny but still give the game a good chance. At its current price point, I cannot recommend it with a good conscience, but the game is decent for those looking for a purely story driven game.