Home – PC
Developer: Benjamin Rivers
Publisher: Benjamin Rivers
Release Date: June 1st, 2012
Nerd Rating: 5 out of 10
Awakened by an oncoming storm, you notice yourself in a dark, strange room located in a house that isn’t your own. What in the world is going on? Well, you’re either dreaming, you were kidnapped, or most likely you are playing Benjamin River’s adventure horror indie game Home. Oddly enough in a game titled Home, you are definitely not in your home. As stated, you find yourself in a dark, strange room with absolutely no memory of how you came to be at this location. You can hear an oncoming storm in the distance, and you can feel that your leg has been injured by an unknown force. The only thing in sight is a flashlight lying on the floor, and this is where your journey begins.
The first thing you are going to notice when playing Home is the retro-esque 2D pixelated art style. I feel that this art style works very well in this game, as it adds to the horror in ways I feel that modern art-styles wouldn’t accomplish in a 2D form. At all times, a majority of the screen is dark except for a circle of light around you from your flashlight. (Which would make more sense as a torch, I don’t know any flashlights that cast a circle of light around you.) You will know what things you can interact with as they will be highlighted by a white background upon getting close enough, which makes it so their is no confusion in the game.
Upon progressing in Home, you will notice that at times you will be required to backtrack, which is rather annoying. I personally hate having to backtrack in video games, as it takes away the feeling of completing something to me and seems to just be an attempt to annoy the player, or make the game seem longer then it actually is. Speaking of game length, Home is a rather short game lasting for about an hour to an hour and a half depending on if you find everything or not. The game also has multiple endings, all dependent on your choices and what you find. You will probably end up playing the game more then once, as you are guaranteed to miss some stuff during your first play-through, which you will know because your character will question himself and tell you by saying something along the lines of, “I wish I knew what was behind that locked door I did not check.” (At that point the game will have autosaved, forcing you to start over if you wish to find everything, as manual saves do not exist in Home.)
Home isn’t too scary of a game, though it can have its moments. However, just because it isn’t exactly scary doesn’t mean it’s not a good horror title. Home’s soundtrack does a great job of playing ambient noises to keep the horror feeling alive. Whenever you open a door, as if every building in the game is an old haunted mansion, the door will have a very eerie squeak as old doors tend to do. There are a few moments in the game where the jump-scares did exactly that, made me jump, which I found surprising as they were rare.
The story of Home, which is what many people probably consider the strong point of the game, in my opinion is the weakest point. My first and biggest issue with the story is that it has an open ending. I do not, and have never liked open endings. I am a person who needs to know what happened. If I want to write my own story with its own ending, I will, but I will not finish your story for you. From the beginning, I was also able to successfully guess what is going to happen, which takes away part of the enjoyment for me. You practically are writing this story from your own perspective by picking choices, and at the end of the game, you tell your character what happened and that’s just overall bad. I want to enjoy the story, not write it myself.
Overall Home is an okay game, which is why I gave it a 5 out of 10. It’s definitely not the best game but it’s also not the worst. If you enjoy the art and want to play through the game, it’s only $2.99, and I won’t discourage you from doing so. If the price was any more then that, I would probably tell you to stay away. The game overall felt like a waste of time to play other then enjoying the art and the ambient noises.
While the comment sections can be quite a horror game in themselves, don’t be afraid to leave your own thoughts and opinions! Feel free to tell me if you feel like I was completely wrong or completely right! Be warned though: the trolls are quite a scary sight!
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