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djvlive avatar 4:29 PM on 10.29.2012  (server time)
Home Review

The protagonist of Home awakes in a darkly lit mansion during a thunderstorm. Not sure how or why he got there, he decides to poke around and immediately comes across a gruesome, recently deceased body.

Trying to understand how the pieces of his life took a turn for the surreal, he manages to escape the mansion by means of an underground tunnel and sewer system. Following the trail of someone who had recently passed through, he eventually makes it through the sewers into a forest, abandoned auto parts factory, general store, and finally- his own home. All along the way finding more bodies and a trail of strangely notable evidence.

At the beginning of the game, the game stresses the importance of putting an hour or so into your experience without stopping. However, I finished my play-through in about 40 minutes.

The game has no direct antagonist, save for it's claustrophobic environments. The story is very compelling and initially seems to be open for exploration but I found early on as you move forward you are unable to backtrack. Even though I don't feel that I looked at every area in the game, I've understood from the conclusion that I didn't miss anything paramount.

Ultimately, Home is a short game.

Regarding the conclusion (without giving spoilers), it seemed that the author deliberately left the story open ended so that the player could decide for themselves what really happened. This is both smart and lazy; smart because it gives players another way to interact with the game but lazy because the plot holes were too simply large.

Where Home really excels is in it's atmosphere and narrative.

As I mentioned before, something about this game made me claustrophobic in a way I've never felt before. Set pieces and unique uses of items, environments, and well written text made me feel chilled. I constantly felt lurking fear that I was chasing an encounter which would end badly once I found it.

Altogether, Home is very slick in it's execution. There are a few different possible outcomes, but they all have more or less the same consequences. Some people have complained that the endings are a bit unsatisfying and I can agree it seems the author wanted to do more but maybe didn't have the time.

Short but sweet, Home is a nice little evening jaunt during this Halloween season and at less then $5, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I certainly enjoyed it.

I'd give it a 7/10.

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