June 7th, 1995. 1:15 AM You arrive home after a year abroad. You expect your family to greet you, but the house is empty. Something's not right. Where is everyone? And what's happened here? Unravel the mystery for yourself in Gone Home, a story exploration game from The Fullbright Company.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (10,567 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 15, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"Approach neither from the position of hype or hatred for maximum effect. Well-observed storytelling in a highly atmospheric and unconventional setting."
Read the full review here.


“Gone Home is the greatest video game love story ever told.”
The New York Times

“I never expected to see myself — or such a strong reflection of myself and my own life — in a video game.”
10/10 – Polygon

“Epic, personal and revelatory.”
5/5 – Giant Bomb

Commentary Mode now available!

Your copy of Gone Home now includes Developer Commentary Mode! More than an hour and a half of audio commentary from the developers of the game. Find it in the Modifiers menu when starting a new game! Enjoy!!

About This Game

June 7th, 1995. 1:15 AM

You arrive home after a year abroad. You expect your family to greet you, but the house is empty. Something's not right. Where is everyone? And what's happened here? Unravel the mystery for yourself in Gone Home, a story exploration game from The Fullbright Company.

Gone Home is an interactive exploration simulator. Interrogate every detail of a seemingly normal house to discover the story of the people who live there. Open any drawer and door. Pick up objects and examine them to discover clues. Uncover the events of one family's lives by investigating what they've left behind.

Go Home Again.

Key Features

  • A Personal Story: created by veterans of the BioShock series and the writer behind Minerva's Den, Gone Home offers the rich, nuanced details of one family's struggles to deal with uncertainty, heartache, and change.

  • An Immersive Place: return to the 1990s by visiting a home where every detail has been carefully recreated, and the sounds of a rainstorm outside wrap you in the experience.

  • No Combat, No Puzzles: Gone Home is a nonviolent and puzzle-free experience, inviting you to play at your own pace without getting attacked, stuck, or frustrated. This house wants you to explore it.

  • Fully Interactive Investigation: discover what's happened to the Greenbriars by examining a house full of the family's personal possessions, and the notes and letters they've left behind. Use your powers of observation to piece together a story that unfolds as you explore.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • WindowsXP SP2 or higher
    • 1.80GHz Processor
    • 2GB Memory
    • Video card with 512MB of VRAM
    • (NOTE: Intel HD Graphic 4000 NOT CURRENTLY SUPPORTED on Windows 8)
    • 2GB HDD space
    • OS X v10.7 Lion or higher
    • 1.80GHz Processor
    • 2GB Memory
    • Video card with 512MB of VRAM
    • 2GB HDD space
    • glibc 2.11 or newer
    • 1.80GHz Processor
    • 2GB Memory
    • Video card with 512MB of VRAM
    • 2GB HDD space
Helpful customer reviews
896 of 1,196 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
(Note: This review contains spoilers for the whole game. I also purchased the game via the Humble Bundle and have played it all the way through. It took about 2 hours, so please excuse my Steam playtime.)

Suffers from a bad case of the Eight Deadly Words. "I Don't Care What Happens To These People."

I dislike leaving negative reviews on Steam products, especially for games like Gone Home. It's not an awful game, by any means. But I certainly didn't enjoy it either. Honestly, I wish Steam had an "Ehhhhh" option with a yellow, wiggly, indecisive hand for its icon 'cause that's how I feel right now.

I've got no objections to the gameplay (or lackthereof) in Gone Home. In fact there was something about being left on my own in such a detailed environment that I rather enjoyed. Rather than having puzzles in the traditional adventure game sense, the challenge of the game comes from piecing together the jigsaw-puzzle of a plot from the environment. Despite not having any mechanics to enforce progression (such as conventional puzzles), it still feels like you're accomplishing things.

Naturally this comes with a trade off: if you aren't interested in the details, then you're not gonna enjoy Gone Home.

But I think my biggest problem with Gone Home is that the atmosphere of the game just doesn't match the story. You arrive home late one night to find your house empty. There's a distraught message left on the answering machine, a note from your sister pleading your character not to "go snooping like [she] always does", and a turned-on TV playing a severe storm warning on repeat. All in all, it feels like the setup to a horror story, or at least a tragedy. I thought that something happened, something terrible, and caused whoever was at home at the time to leave in a hurry.

In reality, nothing even remotely tragic happened. The reality of the situation was a teenage romance story that, for me at least, bordered on glurge.

...Admittedly, I am not in the target demographic for love stories so I might be biased in that regard. But moving on.

Gone Home builds up a tense atmosphere, then doesn't do a whole lot with it. Presumably the "worst-case scenario" buildup was meant to make the main love story plotline feel like a relief, but it just doesn't work. Sam's narration throughout the game also detracts from the mood. Her stories contain very little conflict and are, to be honest, pretty sappy.

The entire narration mechanic just baffles me, honestly. Why bother letting Sam narrate her life story when you're just gonna rifle through her journal anyhow?

That said, the game is not totally without its charm. The object tooltips ("Grab Cup", "Read Note", etc) often changed to more personal observations ("Sam had this when she was like four" for a folder, "Gosh, Dad" for a dirty magazine, etc), which was a touch of detail that I absolutely adored. Even though the protagonist was silent for most of the game, it still felt like I was playing as a character with a personality. But these moments were few and far between, and the main character might as well have been faceless for what a pitifully tiny role she played in the plot.

TL;DR: this game is... somewhat enjoyable, but there's just not enough good parts for me to be able to recommend it.
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414 of 571 people (73%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 1, 2014
A nice concept, but ultimately the game is too short and not interesting enough to warrant the $20 price tag. You can rent better films for cheaper which will do the same thing and much more. Still, may be worth getting at heavy discount if someone likes drama/mystery type stories.

On a side note, the main plot point seems a bit outdated, which is probably why the game is set in the 90s, when it was more relevant. It is not possible to get into details without spoilers, but I was pretty disappointed at how weak the overall message turned out to be.
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650 of 944 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
I love exploring secret passages in giant houses.

Too bad it's twenty dollars for 77 minutes of gameplay, coupled with a story that literally makes me want to kill myself. Oh look, for an extra five dollars I can pay for the soundtrack that I don't remember a single song of.

So why did every journalist fellate this game?
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439 of 632 people (69%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
An interesting exercise in environmental storytelling. Gone Home is a first-person exploration game taking place inside a single abandoned house filled with the memorabialia of its former inhabitants . You pick up objects and examine them for clues as to how to proceed. You'll read through lots of notes, scrapbooks, and other pieces of written material, which will serve as clues/puzzle pieces as well as convey details about the story. Picking up certain objects or entering certain rooms will trigger a voiceover which also explains the story to you. The interface is similar to the Amnesia and Penumbra games, in that you'll use the mouse to pick up and rotate objects, as well as close or open doors, closets, and drawers as you rummage through the house. It's well put together but by the time you get to the end of it you'll really feel like you've wasted your time. The story doesn't develop much, and since you're uncovering snippets of information about something which has happened in the past, there isn't a lot of impact here. You as the player don't have a role in the story - you're a passive observer and there is nothing for you to actually *do* besides trying to figure out what happened.

This game has received a lot of attention, both positive and negative, and a lot has been written about it. At this point it seems like most people are playing it just so that they can feel like they have an informed opinion about it. If you're one of those people who needs to know what "Gone Home" is all about, then sure, go ahead and play it since it's relatively short anyway. For everyone else; don't waste your time. It doesn't work as a game and as a work of art it's shallow and feels insincere.
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707 of 1,038 people (68%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
I don't get why this game was so hyped and received some game of the year awards. I will list the positive and negative aspects of it.
1-Nice scenario
2-Great soundtrack
3-Bring back some of the 90s culture in a way it feels like you went back in time.
1-Too short
2-Zero challenge
3-Cliché story, as well as not very developed.

Not the worst game, but definetely not worth what it costs and not remarkable. Brothers: A tale of two sons has a much better story than this and with zero dialogue.
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463 of 675 people (69%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 9, 2014
Gone Home is less of a game and more of an experience set exclusively in a big house using first person perspective. Not like Myst or Shadowgate, but like a first person shooter where you can walk around like Dear Esther or Half Life 2 without the guns. If you like to explore, read notes, listen to audio journals and be immersed in a fiction you might enjoy it. The basic premise is that you're in an empty house and you need to discover why. There's no real emphasis on why, you just explore. The house has a history to it and so do the characters you'll hear about. You'll never see the characters outside of a photo here and there. Heck you never even see yourself outside of a passport. There might be 3+ bathrooms in this house but there are no mirrors.

The story is set in 1995 and while I'm not into story, the developers did a good job of presenting it as immerse as they could. You'll hear 90s punk music, find Super Nintendo cartridges and see plenty VHS movie names. It hinges heavily on 90s nostalgia and lesbians. Most of what you will find goes through a history of a teenager's love interest with another young woman. There are side stories such as the house's history and the previous owner's death.

The house is pretty open from the start, you are able to explore freely with very little limitations. You'll find secret paths, compartments, visit several rooms, turn on dozens of lights, read notes, listen to well voiced audio journals and examine things, but never really do anything with them. You can open doors, throw objects and put them back. Again, your job is to discover what happened. Unravel the story. The only real challenge is to find half hidden notes under couches, keys and combinations to locks and safes. There is no way to lose, you will get through Gone Home if you keep going.

There is no run button, just walk, look, crouch and zoom in. Again, its an exploration experience. In the menu you have a map of visited rooms, a list of journal entries, and a small inventory that you don't really need. You just collect keys. Its not like you need to see the keys, because the game recognizes that you have them when you look at a door.

Gone Home is over in under 2 hours and that was with me exploring and reading everything. It is an easy sit through and play, but for $20 there is no way I can recommend it. Even for $10. It is interactive fiction, with zero replay value.
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310 of 457 people (68%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
I'm a bit lost as to what to say about this. Surely, some people might enjoy this interactive museum, but I cannot help but feel like it could never ever be wirth 20 bucks. My recommendation could have been different had the price been as well.
To make it clear - this is a story that can certainly resonate with certain people, however the price makes it not worth too try and find out whether you are one of those people or not.

This is a poor man's Penumbra; the game has 2 primary ways of conveying the plot (for what it's worth - more on that later) - audial diaries and various letters spread about in the house. A diary entry plays in the background each time the player finds the next plot clue, and is then added to the player's library/journal, from where they can play the recording again or read the transcript. Other than that, the house is full of various letters and cards, which can be read if so desired. The content will provide for 2 hours of play time, if explored fully.

The aforementioned house is, by the way, the only location in this game. It's not very large, but has enough dark corners to make the player revisit some rooms; mostly, however, all the clues are pretty straightforward and won't require any particular pixel-hunting.
The environments not very interactive, as the most a player can do is move several small objects (which represent no plot value most of the time) around. With the exclusion of a few exceptions, all interactivity boils down to opening doors, reading letters sticked on surfaces, and turning the lights on. The amount of objects that had any relevant information on them that required examining in 3D can be counted in single digits; for the record - there is an option in this game to rotate some objects in all 3 axis.

The plot mainly consists of one main storyline about a girl (main character's sister). There is also a branch going into the stories of the rest of the family - the writer father, the mother and her colleague ♥♥♥♥, and finally her mysterious brother the pharmacist. There is not much to be gathered all in all, but these branches do provide for a nice distraction from an otherwise monotonous story.
It is hard to comment on the main story itself without going into spoilers (there are not much to be made however). It cannot brag with clever twists or an ability to create a strong emotional bond, even though there were a few unexpected moments. The ending is particularly dissatisfying - it does not solve any problems raised during the game and just reaches an easy deus-ex-machina conclusion, if such strong terms can even be applied in such case.
Speaking of the social commentary side of the plot, there is not much to be either. There is only 1, perhaps two moments where some societal problems are pointed out. That is fair enough - but no further commentary has been made on these topics. Even the reaction of the characters isn't described with more than 2 paragraphs of text.

The graphics are relatively stylised, yet it can still be often seen how poor they are. This game is in many ways comparable to Dear Esther, and the latter has done a much better job at visuals.

It's also worth noting that the game is quite glitchy. I got stck at one point because, despite having a key to the next stage, so to say, I wasn't able to open an appropriate door. I tried restarting the game, only to see the "New Game" button - my save file didn't like my hard drive, apparently. Having turned to the forums, this seemed to have been a pretty widespread issue.
Furthermore, objects sometimes would glitch when picked up, and not be displayed.
Gladly in Gone Home it is easy to reach a previously achieved point in the plot, so even after losing my save file I wasn't set back too far.

All in all, I must say that even thuogh I wasn't bored to the point of quitting the game halfway in, yet that is only due to my having nothing to do at the time. Your time is much better spent playing other games, including indie ones - it is very easy to find a better way to spend your time. If you are interested in such an interactive museum type of game, I suggest you try Dear Esther, which had managed the implementation of it much better. Finally, there is always Bastion with its narration - though that would require more actual gameplay.
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389 of 585 people (66%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
I'm reviewing this game merely because it's user reviews are "mostly positive" at the moment. It really wasn't very good and I got it in a humble bundle thankfully. If I had actually paid for this, I would not be at all happy. The game starts out with lots of tension, suspense, and mystery but ultimately boils down into a sappy, under developed story that was hardly worth the time it took to bait out. I enjoyed the atmosphere of this game, which was kind of creepy, but that is about all it has going for it.

There is literally zero gameplay, all you do is walk around the house. You can pick up items and inspect them, but this is hardly even useful and some of the plot points are redundant enough that you don't even need to inspect items, just read letters.

At first I thought the tags were a joke, but honestly, this isn't a game, it really is a "walking simulator". And that is coming from a guy who absolutely loved little inferno (another game with less developed gameplay elements).

All in all, you would be wise to skip this one, it is really a snooze fest. I actually regret spending my 2 hours to finish it. 2 hours for such an abysmal game is inexcusable. It would be different the game was impactful and deep and visually beautiful like brothers a tale of two sons (which was also very short), but this game has absolutely no redeeming qualities to make up for its short duration, lack of gameplay, $20 pricetag, and lackluster story.

4/10 They tried.
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260 of 391 people (66%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
It's a lot of money for a story that isn't that great. for the first half of the game every room is a little story point, and for the second half every room is a very predictable conclusion to that little story point. don't bother with it unless you are really into cliches... or it's a really good sale.
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289 of 439 people (66%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
If you scrutinize enough there won't be much trouble finding pretty much everything in the game (except I never found out what one dark room was supposed to be about). But the lighting is still painfully awful (yes, even as the sole challenging element of the game), and I won't say that the story is universally immersive or for that matter great (the voice acting was pretty good though). The story is actually pretty bad. The game is really short, in fact there should be a tag for super-short (just kidding lol). What I want to say is that even though I got it for 50% off, I still don't think it was worth the bucks. Goes to show that maybe digging what the critics say all the time may not be such a good idea after all.
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356 of 546 people (65%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
Dispite the good start i really cant recommend it:

1) Exploration game, no interactive elements (apart from 2 codes)
2) weak story line: it starts somewhat thrilling, but it ends just crappy, i had to look for a clearer explanation/summary to get a correct idea of what the end was all about

but if you liked dear esther, stanley parable you will like this one
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164 of 245 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 14, 2014
The game is just walking around a house, you can pick up a lot of things for no reason and put them in other spots, you can read notes but you have to read them handwritten so have fun trying to decipher all the handwriting. The story hypes up this mystery about where your sister is when she just ran away with her girlfriend, it's not deep, it's not cool or groundbreaking, it's boring. I wouldn't buy this game for five dollars, this seems like some mediocre freeware game on indiedb.
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278 of 430 people (65%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
i got this game in a humble bundle and thought this game was similar to Master reboot. i was terribly mistaken.

this game has no puzzles, no replay value and no actual challenge. the only fun i had with this game was going through and throwing everything i could, leaving all the lights on and all the faucets running.

it's a neat story but 20$ for an hour of gameplay is far from worth it. i don't know where any of the money for this title is going but it definitely doesn't reflect the quality of the game.

if you want to see the story, because it is a good story, simply watch a lets play on youtube.
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357 of 562 people (64%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
A game with a nice story and detail but however it is not worth the high price,
Buy this on a very cheap discount.

✖ Short story which is not worth the price.

✓ Great story
✓ Impressive amount of detail.
✓ Sound effects are good.
✓ Great sound track and voice act.
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423 of 671 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
Walking around a house simulator.
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123 of 182 people (68%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
I bought this during the Halloween sale for $9.99 and I gotta say... I kind of wish I hadn't.

I got 111 minutes playtime out of it, and that was with exploring everything and leaving absolutely no stone unturned. The game was okay, the eerie atmosphere was okay, the story was okay... But overall left me feeling disappointed. The scariest moment I had whilst playing happened when the lightbulb in the room I was sitting in blew itself out of the fixture in my ceiling (in other words, this game is not scary in the slightest, the wiring in my house however...).

It had some good ideas, but just felt a bit lackluster :(
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91 of 132 people (69%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 12, 2014
This game was... pleasant. But here's where I stand. It's less of a game and more of and immersive, interactive experience. Yes a video game is also an interactive experience but it generally provides some kind of challenge or obsticle to overcome, which this game lacks. However the story telling is fantastic and it becomes your main drive for progression in the game itself.

You are slightly rewarded with your thorough searching, as you can find more or the main story narration, and other subtle details of the characters life (such as the story of Captain Allegra and how it contrasts to the content of the main story line). But I say "slightly" rewarding because to actually finish the game you need to look in few places, and once you finish it you realise how much searching you did was way more than you had to do. Unless you really took the time to appreciate and understand the other references it doesn't feel worth it at all.

I feel that a way to fix this would be to have multiple progressing narratives that follow other storylines of the family;
eg. The progression of the dads novel writing, the details of the mothers work life and her love life, and maybe even take more time to develop your characters backstory. Even though these are narrated to you through your own detailed investigation, it really doesn't tie in with the main story much and really just feels unnecessary and meaningless at the end. A large majority of the audience probably wouldn't even bother taking the time to read it.

A common complaint is gameplay time for cost. Now I looked thoroughly in every room in the entire game (and even replayed the narration right through a few times just because I love it so much) but it only rounded up to a few hours of game play. And at its current price of $20, that's not much bang for your buck, even with all that attention to detail. Another common complaint is replayability, and this is a common criticism with most games. However I find if a game has replayability, then that's just a bonus, not a necessity. Most of the time replayability depends on the type of game or gameplay, not how well it's made.

But I digress. All in all the story line is deep and compelling, and an ending that contrasts the ending of Thelma and Louise (in my opinion). The way that it is fed to you is clever and well paced. Although I feel the developers conveyed their over all intentions sucessfully, the experience was lacking in content and delivered in a way that was powerful and emmirsive, but mainly void and time consuming. But with the developers attention to detail and addition of subtleties in the story telling I really feel like they'd excell in a medium where story is much more imperative, such as film, in which visual subtleties are praised. However if they choose to persue this kind of story telling through video games, I can't wait to see what they make next.

I'm not going to recomend this to general audiences, but if $20 isn't much to you, and you want to have a great story told to you in an immersive way, and you like subtle details then go for it.
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105 of 156 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2014
Walk around a house clicking things for a hour, skip through all the notes because they're boring as hell, reach the end and speed run it in under a minute.

Fun to throw books around through!
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342 of 548 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
Overrated. Boring. Dull. Nothing redeeming about this game. I thought there was going to be a horror twist, but I was wrong. The "twist" was nothing short of awful.
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322 of 519 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2014
Maybe I'm just used to games that have a point, but this is basically someone reading their diary on a decent 3D engine. 0/10 Not scary, no gameplay, not even a game really.
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