Home

Home is an interesting game that I would have never played if it wasn't $.85 on the PlayStation Network this weekend. The fact that the creator, Ben Rivers, attached his name to the very branding of the game makes me think it might just be something for the ol' resume, but good on him for making a decent 2D adventure game. In the beginning, I was on edge, but as the obvious plot started revealing itself, I realized how little there was to be worried about.

Home is kind of a choose your own adventure game, especially near the end when the game blatantly asks you yes or no question centered around a paragraph of text. Imagine reading "Did I make the sandwich and eat it, and afterword use the restroom which gave me a great excuse to work on my Angy Birds progress?" and you have the idea.

Everything is told through text overlays and some sounds in the background. The writing is good no matter what choice the player makes, and the story flows very well. I imagine you could read all of the text shown onscreen in a short story and it would translate very well to a rainy day read. To call Home a horror game is a bit of stretch, because it's more of a who-done-it.

Home takes about one hour to complete all the way through, with reading what I imagine to be a good majority of the text and collecting most of the trophies. The developer requests of the player that they finish in one sitting, which is entirely possible. You can play through a handful of times for the different ending and 100-percent of the trophies. The length justified the price I paid for it, which I believe was a heavy discount.
This screenshot tells all. Go to an area, examine a highlighted thing, move on.
This is another 2D pixel game that could have been done on the Super Nintendo. The aesthetic isn't as appreciated on the PlayStation 4, but Sony's insistence on working with indie developers to bloat their online marketplace could only lead to more reasonably rated B-list titles being released years later on much more sophisticated hardware. Even if you like the art style, there are other games such as Fez or Mercenary Kings that are much cleaner.

The sound design, like much of the game starts off strong and starts to drag at about the halfway point. Particularly, the metal door opening sounds were grating, and for a game that urges you to pump up the sound - a lot of the them were just jump scares. Otherwise, you are allowed to move, activate some text around highlighted areas, or press start which automatically brings you to a save-and-quit screen.

I'm glad that, when I went to the website, I saw this is being sold for mobile platforms. That's where it belongs for $.99. You can attach your name to game, but as far as I'm concerned if your game isn't released exclusively on Steam from the awful Greenlight feature - you made a real game and get a real review. Home isn't worth more than a dollar. It's neat to think about one guy using free resources tell a good story he made, but I don't think it belongs on the PS4, or any other home console platform.

Let's Review:
  • Very good writing
  • Extremely predictable with many narrative give-aways
  • Grating sound design and cheap "BOOM!" jumps
  • Not worth more than a dollar.
Home gets a 5 out of 10.

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