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 (10,793 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 15, 2013

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Gone Home

Buy Gone Home + Original Soundtrack

Downloadable Content For This Game

 

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.

Reviews

“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

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Minimum:
    • 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
478 of 700 people (68%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
343 of 518 people (66%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
288 of 445 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
313 of 488 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
371 of 603 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
144 of 224 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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 :(
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
114 of 177 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Gone Home is not a game for everyone. There’s no combat, no action, no cutscenes, no stats, no leveling up, and no heroics. It’s a short experience, and those who are looking at a strict dollars to hours ratio will find Gone Home one of the worst monetary investments available on the market (especially at its original retail price). That said, Gone Home is intimately unique and compelling game for those who are drawn to a story mechanic which is tragically underrepresented in video games -- the human experience.

In Gone Home, you play a young 20-something woman who has come back from travelling Europe on a late flight home in the 1990s. Gameplay starts just outside the home, where you find the house seemingly vacant with some hints that something may be wrong. The rest is up to you to figure out by exploring the house and investigating what happened and where everybody is. Primarily, you are following the story of your younger sister, but your parents and the old tenant of the home also form a bit of a side story -- should you choose to piece it together.

Occasionally you will pick up an item which will trigger a small journal entry from your sister, but outside of that, the entire story is really yours to unfold via inference. Gone Home draws no connections for you, but rather lets you connect the dots yourself as your travel from room to room and pick up items or just observe the detailed environment around you. You could choose not to do this and beeline to the end of the game, but fleshing out the world in which you and your family live is the primary satisfaction of Gone Home.

It certainly helps that the setting is expertly realized. Gone Home takes place in the 1990’s, ostensibly to help explain the plethora of hand-written notes strewn about the house which help with unravelling the mystery of the house. But the entire home is crafted with obvious obsession to detail -- you’ll find lots of references to 1990s pop culture and fashion, and those living in the Pacific NW will find a lot of familiar names and places which are central to its Oregon setting. Occasionally it does feel like Gone Home is almost pandering its setting a little too much to those who will appreciate the references, but for the most part I found it well done.

The second brilliant part of Gone Home is hard to talk about without ruining the narrative a little (so if you are serious about playing this game and have not done so, maybe skip this paragraph). Gone Home takes place at night, during a thunderstorm, in an old house with a mysterious (perhaps supernatural) history. It’s not an inherently scary game, but it’s undeniably spooky at times. The catch is that Gone Home makes its presentation at face value -- it lets the player craft the story into something more than it really is based on the expectations of it being a video game. Gone Home plays on these expectations in some genius ways, and at the end of the game leaves the player with a refreshing narrative not about saving the world or killing the bad guy, but about an experience that each and every player can relate to in some way that is meaningful and personal.

If you’re the type of player looking for bang-for-buck, or something more action-oriented, Gone Home was never going to be your game and that’s fine. But everyone else should consider this a must-play, if nothing else because it is a wonderful and refreshing diversion from the norm.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
107 of 171 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
Before I begin, I'd like to remind everyone this game is twenty dollars.

I beat this "game" in 90 minutes. Does that sound like it's worth the price? Gone Home has been sitting on my hard rive for more than a year, and today I learn why.

I'll start with what I liked, since the experience was more like a template to fill something much larger and far more intriguing. The set design was good, as were the object locations. Strange that I should comment about that, but everything makes sense as to where you find it.

On that note, they do a fantastic job of making this house a home. You really understand people live here and their little quirks and habits are present everywhere. The argument between mother and daughter on the cork board was a nice touch.

The sound design is also very well done for the atmospheric touch and constantly had me listening to every little bump and creak in as I made my through the house.

I can tell this is a character-driven drama and one that takes the writer's heart and soul, so I'd heavily recommend the writer adapt this to a screenplay or short story. A short film would be a much better use of a subject matter that clearly means so much to the designers.

Thus it pains to have to say what I'm about to say.

This is worth ten dollars, and that's strecthing it. There's NO payoff at the end. The whole time the story is building to something, but the overwhelming majority of all the interesting bits turn out to be mostly red herrings. If I may compare this to Alone in the Dark: the New Nightmare for a second. In that game, there were books worth of story detailing the history of the island, the Morton family, the Abkanis culture and religion, Carnby himself, and even the corrupt Bureau 713. Little of it was actually necessary, but to gain a full understanding and context for the events of the story, you needed to read all of it. In Gone Home, all but one of the characters are dropped, and everyone else had equally interesting stories. The biggest letdown comes about an hour in after you've been expecting a turn to some type of survival horror or even suspense. Instead, I'll give you a nice spoiler I noticed as soon as I started: there is no "run" key.

I'd probably understand who was who better if I had more frequent exposure to character's faces. Instead, I have to fumble with names, and I'm terrible with names alone.

As you traverse the house in a fashion similar to Castlevania but far more contrived (it's called "padding" ladies and gents) you'll notice the art style actually changes. Later, you'll stumble upon half-eaten potato chip bags with fresh-lock clips. The clips look like they're from a different game altogether with a notable drop in textures and model detail. One thing that threw me on characters was how portraits and photos supposedly showed the people, but each time it was like a different artist rendition. When you first start the game, go to the left side of the stairs and look at the family portrait. Notice how the girls appear to be in a completely different style from the father?

I spent most of my "investigation" wrestling with god-forsaken controls. I ended up spinning several times and getting hung up on doors. Navigating becomes a pain when you need to worry about boxes, which are EVERYWHERE. The game flat out tells you when you need to use certain commands in a given room, almost remosing the need for player input. In order to sift through the multitude of ultimately meaningless documents, post cards and notes, you need to select them on the tables or in the drawers. The "crosshairs" to do this are so specific, you WILL need to hold the little four-pixel dot in the center of your screen over absolutely everything just to make sure you don't miss anything. The "Scooby-Doo Effect" cherished by classic horror fans that told you something was usable is absent, which means opening a drawer does not make it obvious if something is in there you can use or read. You have to 1 be close enough, and 2 carefully move your pointer over every single scrap of paper in the jumbled mess of things in the drawer.

That's another thing. When you open a door, cabinet, or drawer, you, the character, can actually block the door from opening all the way, creating the illlusion of a jammed door when all you really need to do is step to the side. And here I thought Slender: the Arrival's click-dragging doors was annoying.

There are no puzzles, minimal characters, about a half-dozen dropped side stories, controls that basically fight you with with a combination of OCD and ADHD, and an ending you see coming a mile away. This game is not worth the price tag and I'm happy I got it on sale last year.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
79 of 126 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
Saw the trailer while it was in development and got pretty excited for it. I finally got a chance to purchase it and went into it knowing that it would be a short, but hopefully entertaining, ride.

Unfortunatly by the end of the game I felt pretty disappointed all around. The atmosphere was probably the most interesting point of the game, sadly it was not used to it's full potential. Story was a bit cliché and there was virtually no interesting gameplay.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
124 of 205 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
Got this game as part of a bundle, finally decided to dedicate some time to sit down and play it. I thought it was going to be some sort of mystery/puzzle game, which I suppose was partly true. Though the mystery of "Where is everyone?" is never actually solved. You venture through the house, find a few trinkets, which leads to more trinkets, then in a bit over an hour or so, the game is over. No story climax really to speak of, it just ends after you pick up yet another trinket. Quite disappointing, to be honest.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
79 of 128 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
Interesting idea but too passive and story has no payoff. Pretends to be tense and dark at the start but ends up disappointing. Gameplay is not existent except walking from room to room and listening to the story which was not great (although started off seeming that it would be). I should have listened to the other reviewers, glad I only spent 10 dollars. I found it not nearly as good as Ethan Carter. 5/10.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
42 of 63 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
As many have said, the game is only about an hour long. It isn't a game, more of an interactive story, which isn't a bad thing. I found that as I progressed through the story, it built up tension very well. I wasn't entirely sure of the next thing that would happen, and the story was portraied in a very light hearted manner.

Is it a good story overall? Yes I think so, Would I recommend it to a friend? Unfortunatly, No. I feel as if there could have been more development and exposition related to the family members. However, the story it does tell is very well written and interesting, and also touches on a taboo subject, especially during the time it is set.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
92 of 152 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
I am so bitter about getting suckered into buying this non-game thanks to glowing early "reviews". 20 bucks for a one hour clickfest with an uninteresting story and zero gameplay. Don't let the reviews or spooky looking screenshots fool you, there is nothing of value here.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
48 of 76 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
i felt i was playing a different game to the one everyone was raving about. this game was a HUGE let down. i completed it in under 2 hours. the story is awful. the voice acting was embarrassingly cliched. the environment isn't very interactive and close to boring. the story made me very annoyed as there was no mystery, horror surprise elements. if the reviewers out there had been more clear on the content (it's a game for confused teenagers, not adults) then I would never have bought it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
63 of 104 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
It's not exploration. It's 'find next piece of text'.
It's not story, it's 'I do not care about their personal life'
It's misleading game, misleading presentation. There is no tension or suspence. You'll be searching for another piece of dirty laundry for the whole hour.
And oh god don't put this music tapes into cassette player, it'll destroy your ears.
It's not drama about gender relations. Devs definitely don't know a single thing about gay people (and seems like relationships at whole) and clearly did this because gay issues is topic of the day. Main story is full blown cliche, where boy was swapped with girl.
If you are from US and grew up in 90's, you'll probably enjoy references, but if you are not - freaking avoid. It's overrated overhyped pretentious trash. Thank god it's only hour and a half long. If you like good story and enjoyed Dear Ester or Stanly Parable - freaking avoid like an ebola.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
54 of 89 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
"Lesbian Sister Simulator 2012"

Uhh... I guess it is social commentary... or something? I don't really know. I'm sure someone could put some artsy spin onto this game about how deep the story line is while you wander through such an immersive house where every room has trading cards and band aids. ♥♥♥♥ing intense paper cuts I guess.

I got it as part of a humble bundle. I would not recommend buying this game unless two hours of listening to a girl discover herself on recordings sounds like fun. To each their own I guess.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
67 of 115 people (58%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
Waste of time and a money grab. It is just overrated.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
41 of 68 people (60%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
Very short game with interesting mechanic but without need to play it at all.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 24 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 27
I stayed away from all spoilers before playing and this game was pretty interesting. It definitely set in a really creepy guide and many times I was expecting a ghost or something to pop out. As the story progressed, I started to get an idea of what was going on and also expected something horrible to be revealed. The build up was great and the ending was totally satisfying. Definitely gives you something to think about.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
18 of 26 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 12
Gone Home is not your usual ''run-and-gun'' or ''explore, level up, evolve'' game. Many people won't give it a chance, because the gameplay is just too poor.
However, I couldn't help myself but finish this game, solely because of the amazing storyline. I felt from the beginning that the story was going to be a good one, and I was right. Now, obviously, not everyone will share my opinion. I see that most voted reviews describe it as a bad game, almost everyone saying the story wasn't thrilling either.
As such, I recommend you should buy this game on sale and only if you like being told a story, while you're not doing much, otherwise you might regret your purchase.
I don't have much else to say about the game, as it may turn up as potential spoilers. I'll let you figure out, if you are interested.
Pros: +the storyline was very interesting and kept me wanting to find out more; it's one of those ''collect all pieces of the journal and then read them in the correct order to understand the story'';
+atmosphere was perfect, in my opinion; you hear the storm outside the house and the noises you're making while interacting with objects are accurate (oh dear, pickup the cassettes and put them in the radio whenever you have the chance);
+ the secret passages;
Cons: -the gameplay is lacking features; you can only walk around and pickup/activate notes and objects;
Personal rating: 75/100
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny