Home is a 2D side scrolling mystery story based game. You’ll walk left and right, open doors and find clues. The clues help you find out why you woke up in someone else’s house and what has happened to your wife Rachel. Objects you can interact with will have an outline when you walk next to them. You will collect items, but have no inventory. The game spans a few locations and each location has several different rooms. Two houses, woods, a sewer system and a factory. There are locked doors and you’ll need to find keys, hairpins and other ways to open them. After each location, the character will reference objects that you found and ponder what they could mean.
The art style is very pixelated for better or worse. It doesn’t feel too detailed. The only animation is the character’s walk animation. Everything else is a static object. The game is very story based and you will be reading a lot. My only problem with the dialog is that it has its own screen. It takes me out of the game when it has its own screen. As game calling itself horror, it is all at night and your character is carrying a lantern. While you come across pixelated horror such as dead night watchmen and read about it, there is no threat. So its not scary. Nothing is out to get you. There is no pressure.
As you search through the locations you’ll tackle a few light puzzles to progress forward. You’ll find dead bodies and read through text about how rancid trash is and some back story about your character. Even with no map, I don’t feel like I ever got lost. Most things you find, you get a choice to take it or not. Find a bloody knife, do you take it or leave it? Normally the choice would be laughable. Of course people want to take it. Well everything you take leads up to something and what you take and the story molds itself nicely to what you have and don’t have.
That’s really what this game excels at, an interactive story that molds itself to your choices. Do you uncover a pair of bodies? Do you take a video tape that is potential evidence? Do you read a letter that you find hanging out of a mailbox? Did you find a list of names or not?
Home can be played in an hour or so. My second time through I speed ran it in about 20 minutes. There are many different endings depending on the choices you made. Even with different endings, I don’t feel like the game is worth replaying. Its over too quick to give impact to any ending. The game feels like there wasn’t much effort put in. Everything is text, no real animation. I’m reading emotions rather than seeing the graphics convey the emotions. Television and video games are visual mediums. I should be seeing things, not reading them. I wouldn’t be so harsh on the text if it didn’t have its own dedicated screen to take me out of the game.