Gone Home, by small indie developer Fullbright Games came out a few weeks ago with little fanfare on Steam. Until people started playing it- then it seemed you couldn’t look at twitter – at least not if you follow as many gamers and game journalists as I do- without being flooded with links about it. After a few days of hype, I finally gave in and picked it up for $20. The best advice I saw was to go into it knowing as little as possible. I did just that, and could not have been happier with the choice.
If you are one of the people who have not been fortunate enough to pick it up yet- here is what you need to know: You play as a young woman who has just returned from a year abroad. You get a ride from the airport to the new house your family moved to while you were gone. You arrive to find the house empty- a note on the door from your younger sister that only leaves you confused.
Beyond that what you need to know is that this game excels in atmosphere, storytelling, and a kind-of point-and-click adventuring set in 1st person which took me back to one of my first gaming obsessions: Myst. And like Myst the game’s story twists and turns you around constantly, leaving you feeling much like the characters in the story would. I wish I could describe the game more, but if you have played it, you know exactly what tone it reaches, and if you haven’t played it… you shouldn’t even know that. It’s $20 on Steam or at their website if you hate Valve for some silly reason (Still angry about Half Life?). The game will only take you 2-3 hours to play. Do it in a single shot next weekend.
Many have said this may be their game of the year. I don’t know if I am QUITE in that camp, but it would certainly enter the discussion with The Last Of Us, and would give it a damn good run for the money.