Title: Gone Home

Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows
Genre: Adventure

That’s So Meta

Gone Home is an independent game unlike most games out there. You are Kate in 1995, arriving home after a year abroad. Your family moved to a new house while you were away and no one is around when you get there. Where did they go?

The best thing about this game is that it is “an interactive exploration simulator.” That’s a fancy way of saying: walk around and explore the house. There’s no zombies to eat you (I swear, I thought something was going to grab me the whole time), no time limit, and no points. The goal is to discover the story.

Power Up: The ’90s

This game really got the vibe of the 90s right. No cell phones, no computer, using the TV Guide to see when The X-Files is on. There are ‘zines and cassette tapes are everywhere. The grrl bands are awesome – in fact, if you dig it, you can buy the soundtrack.

Power Up: Journaling

One way you figure out what happened with your family is by reading your sister’s journal. The voice of a teen in the 90s is believably full of angst. I wish my locker had been as cool as Sam’s. Your sister also likes to pass notes and it made me miss physical science with my bud Shari.

Newbie #ProTips

This is THE entry game I suggest to friends who say they aren’t gamers. It may be the first time you’ve played a game on a PC and this is a rad place to start. The controls are pretty easy to figure out, and the game coaches you throughout on how to interact with stuff. Look at everything – you’re going through all your family’s stuff, which you know how to do since you did it as a kid too. Open every drawer, look under beds, and just explore. You can’t die and you can’t mess anything up. The only thing that may happen is you miss a few details of the story, but you’ll still get the idea by the time you complete the game.

Veteran #ProTips

This game is a relaxing change of pace from every other game I’ve played. The lack of stress from running for my life was weird. I had to remind myself constantly that the only reason I was in the house was to explore, not turn around and have the crap scared out of me. Once you play with that mindset, the best challenge of the game is discovering every single detail. The developers put in crazy details – I think I loved the dad the most for his weirdo books. The game autosaves, which is nice. My only warning is not to move too fast, because if you interact with something before hearing the end of Sam’s journal entry it may get cut off. It saves them in your inventory but it’s still a pain in the ass.

You should check out this game even if you don’t consider yourself a gamer. The story feels like walking through a YA novel (and your teen years if you grew up in the 90s).

About the Contributor:

This post was written by Bianca Bickford.

This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.