A screenshot of Gone Home, featuring the player observing a note on a table that they are able to interact with.

Gone Home Review

Genre | Adventure, Interactive Fiction, Art
Developer | The Fullbright Company
Platforms | PC, Linux, OSX

In Gone Home, the player controls Katie Greenbriar, who has returned from a trip in Europe to her family’s new home only to find her family missing. The player enters the family’s house and looks for clues to explain where everyone is. Interacting with a papier-mâché duck is necessary in order to gain entrance to the house.

Gone Home is a first person game. The player is able to manipulate objects by picking them up and rotating them. The player can also read notes, open and close doors, open and shut cabinets, and turn on lights. Some objects or notes are accompanied by narrated diary entries read by Katie’s sister, Sam.

As the player progresses through the house and examines objects, they are exposed to the information necessary to piece together the reason that Katie’s family is not home to greet her. The actions, personalities, desires, and other characteristics of the player’s family, and of the character the player controls, can be inferred from the notes and other ephemera scattered around the house.

The graphics in Gone Home are in a realistic style. The game takes place entirely in the eponymous home. The home has purple wallpaper in certain rooms and has a large wooden staircase in the entryway. The sounds in Gone Home include the sounds of a storm which is going on outside the house and the recordings on the phone’s answering machine. The music in Gone Home is gentle and plays during the narrated diary entries. There is also punk rock riot grrrl music that can be played by inserting cassette tapes into cassette tape players.

Gone Home does not include any ghosts. There is a board game in the house which is about ghosts but ghosts themselves are not present. A few of the doors in the house are locked and the player must find ways to unlock them. A combination used to unlock a cabinet in the game is 0451. The army plays a role in the plot.

This is a score for an objective game review.