As someone who fancies himself a storyteller, and a lover of great storytelling, I feel I must spend some time showing some love to this amazing game. Gone Home is a game as simple as they come. You are a young lady just coming home from a long trip abroad to find your parent's house is empty. Mom, Dad, and Sister are all missing, with seemingly no explanation. You set your bags down and begin exploring this very interesting house.
The first thing that really grabbed my attention was the fact that you could pick up and inspect almost every single thing. From the pencil on the floor to the roll of toilet paper in the bathroom cupboard. And if you were a kid in the nineties you are in for a real trip down memory lane. The game is set in '95 so I very much enjoyed going through the families VHS collection and inspecting the lovely 4:3 tube TV's.
What really drove me along was the subtle way the story was told, you go at your own pace, and if you have a question about something, guaranteed the answer is there 'somewhere', how far are you willing to dig to find it? Subtly is key in this game, an entire narrative is hidden here, many narrative's actually. The main plot line revolves around the Sister, but you can find a full story about the Mother, Father, their marriage, and the house itself, simply by walking around picking things up and inspecting them.
When I finished it I had one major thought: this story could not have been told in any other medium, a film, novel, song, nothing other than the interactive nature of a 'video game' would allow this story to come through as perfectly as it did. And I think that's why I'm so fascinated with it, I play video games, not nearly as much as I used to and not really the games most people play, but I've always thought that there was some type of art form hidden in these things just waiting to be brought out and loved, and I think Gone Home is really the one that proves to me that video games CAN be art. Here's the kicker though, not just art, something you look at and then move on, but succeeding on the 'game' level as well, art AND fun to play as a game. For me personally, that is a potent mix that I would love to see more of.
Gone Home was brought to us by a fairly new studio based out of Portland Oregon called Fullbright. They have an absolutely stunning logo I might add as well.
The game has unsurprisingly gotten much praise. I can't wait to see what they do next.