Game Review: Gone Home

written by David Steffen

gonehomeGone Home is a first person story exploration game released by The Fullbright Company (which has now been rebranded to be simply called “Fullbright” in August 2013.

2014-10-08_00004June 7th, 1995. 1:15am You’ve been traveling Europe for a year. While you were gone your family inherited a house from your weird Uncle Oscar and your parents and younger sister Sam have moved in. You arrive at the new house, expecting a warm welcome from you family, but no one’s there. Why? You explore the house as you try to find out what has happened and where everyone is. You are completely unfamiliar with the house, so you don’t know anything about the layout, how rooms are arranged or anything. The game keeps a handy auto-map to help you keep track of where you’ve been. From time to time you discover a clue that points you to look in a particular part of the house, and the auto-map very handily marks the spot for you.

One thing that set this game apart from me is a storyline with a homosexual character who seems like a real person, not something I see too often.


A lot of work obviously went into the visuals to make it look really nice and to give the environment ample details. I don’t know if other people experienced this, but my computer was actually a little laggy on the display–seemed like it took a little more resources than a game of this kind really needs.

Superb voice acting–I felt like I was listening to the journal entries of a real person.

Not challenging. If you like exploration and gradual reveal of story, you should like this game, but apart from exploring as thoroughly as possible–some notes might trigger the marking of secret spots on the map or other extra clues so if you missed the note you might have trouble. I found the important notes without any undue effort, they weren’t hidden or anything.

I really enjoyed the story on this one, and tying it into the exploration of the big house was the main appeal.

Session Time
You can save at any time, so easy to set down.

Easy to play.

Not really.

Not high on originality, but not every game has to be. I appreciated the gay storyline, that did set it apart.

It took me about 2 hours to finish the game.

The list price on Steam is $20. I enjoyed the game, but given the short playtime and low challenge I thought this was somewhat too much. I’d recommend catching it on sale if you can.