Welcome to Gone Home, a 1st person exploration game, also known as a “walking simulator”. The year is 1995 & you, the ever silent Kaitlin Greenbriar, have just arrived from a trip thru Europe on a dark & stormy night to your family’s new mansion in Oregon. Instead of being greeted by cheery family members you find a note on the door written by your sister, Samantha, explaining that she was sorry for not being there to greet you, how she left unbeknownst to your parents, that you need not worry & not to dig around looking for the truth. Mystery!
Being the big sister, that’s exactly what you should do, explore the house for clues… also the dark & stormy part is a big deterrent. Movement is controlled thru WASD & mouse for viewing & interacting with objects. While the mystery of you missing sister can be considered the “Main Quest” you are free to explore the house as you feel free. There are plenty nods to the 90’s all over the place & other small details that make the house feel alive show some insight to the family’s day to day activities & also reveals “Side Quests” that pertain to the other family members, like the father being a novelist with his series of books that involve the JKF assassination mixed with sci-fi but hidden bottles of alcohol & risqué magazines reveal that things are not alright, the house’s history & the previous owner’s sketchy dealings are revealed as well thru exploration.
Story elements that involve Samantha are done thru voice acting, which is pretty well done & help you connect to her, her secret & her everyday life. The musical score whenever you read on of Sam’s writings, rain beating on the windows, the sound of footsteps as you walk & the occasional cassette tapes with music from “riot grrrl” bands like Heavens to Besty & Bratmobile make up the sound department
All in all, it is a pretty interesting & emotional story that may or may not leave you in tears & can be completed in maybe an hour or so depending on how much you feel like exploring the house.