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CasualFennec 26. jun kl. 6:04pm
Quick run down on my thoughts.
This game is the opposite of everything I could ever want in a game.

I'm going to preface this by saying that I am a raging ♥♥♥♥♥♥. So I thought, hey, at least on some primal level this game should appeal to me right?

And hey, I love reading, and I've heard this game as a ♥♥♥♥ tonne of it, so it should be even better.

Well, as a fast reading, ♥♥♥♥ hungry, bored man does I bought the game, and thank god did I buy it during the summer sale at like, 90% off or whatever the discount was.

It took exactly, 69 minutes, from opening the application, to taking in every leaflet and note, to completing the game. Off discount remember, this game costs £15. One hours playtime, for £15. With a replayability factor of 0.

As much as I pretend to, and on some level, actually do hate the current hyper liberal, "m..muh faygits" state of game journalism, I held out that the journalism on this game was actually accurate, and the backlash against it portraying the game as some mindnumbing ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ was just some bigoted backlash about a game having g..g..gay characters. But no unfortunately, the backlash was completely justified, and judging by my 69 "huehue" minutes playtime, I'm part of that backlash too.


Story: No depth. Focusing on "current issues" or current issues that's relatable to a story set in the 90's is okay, as long as you, you knopw, actually explore that story.

How can I word this. Name dropping things like "The don't ask don't tell policy" will, for people who get enraged by a person just stating something that is bad, elicit an emotional response, which is what you want to do to your audience if a game is designed to make them think. But most normal, thinking people in the world aren't like this, most people aren't going to burst into tears and cry "depth!" "Story!" for a person simply saying the word holocaust for example, none of these things to the average person will elicit any emotional response whatsoever, they have no substanse at all if you don't expand on them or weave them into your story. And that's what I found the entire game to be. Bland. And without substance.

All in all this is a ♥♥♥♥ game, It isn't worth £15, don't buy it.

And don't let it idle for 500 hours like I'm about to let it do because it'll be funny to have it at the top of my most played games :^)
Sidst redigeret af CasualFennec; 27. jun kl. 6:23am
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mendel 27. jun kl. 3:08am 
Oprindeligt skrevet af CasualFennec:
It took exactly, 69 minutes, from opening the application, to taking in every leaflet and note, to completing the game.
I promise you that you didn't [take in every leaflet and note]. Which doesn't necessarily change any of your points.

Your points are "this game is too short", and, err, "people say words in it" (kinda contrasts with "I love reading").

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this game. You already knew that conservative people hated this game, so why you picked it up expecting to like it is beyond me.
Sidst redigeret af mendel; 27. jun kl. 5:57am
The Lapin Blanc 27. jun kl. 4:48am 
agree !
CasualFennec 27. jun kl. 6:22am 
Oprindeligt skrevet af mendel:
Your points are "this game is too short", and, err, "people say words in it" (kinda contrasts with "I love reading").

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this game. You already knew that conservative people hated this game, so why you picked it up expecting to like it is beyond me.

You seem to be picking at sentiments that I didn't share or have.

""people say words in it" (kinda contrasts with "I love reading")" - What?


"You already knew that conservative people hated this game, so why you picked it up expecting to like it is beyond me."

Again, what? Did you actually read anything that I wrote? Of course, you're already ascribing political views out of the blue so obviously not.
" I held out that the journalism on this game was actually accurate, and the backlash against it portraying the game as some mindnumbing ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ was just some bigoted backlash about a game having g..g..gay characters."

Don't be a ♥♥♥♥♥♥, I said I picked it up hoping that the general opinion was wrong, it isn't. This is just a ♥♥♥♥ game.
mendel 27. jun kl. 6:37am 
Oprindeligt skrevet af CasualFennec:
Oprindeligt skrevet af mendel:
Your points are "this game is too short", and, err, "people say words in it" (kinda contrasts with "I love reading").

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this game. You already knew that conservative people hated this game, so why you picked it up expecting to like it is beyond me.

You seem to be picking at sentiments that I didn't share or have.

""people say words in it" (kinda contrasts with "I love reading")" - What?
words -- "they have no substanse at all if you don't expand on them or weave them into your story". So why would you feel a mention of "don't ask, don't tell" would not be woven into a story of a gay person wishing to join the army in the 90s? They don't say "Holocaust". Maybe you missed some of the pieces that are doing the weaving in your playthrough? By people saying words they weave them into the story, unless you get the kind of text that's not a story no matter how much you try. This one isn't.


"You already knew that conservative people hated this game, so why you picked it up expecting to like it is beyond me."

Again, what? Did you actually read anything that I wrote? Of course, you're already ascribing political views out of the blue so obviously not.
Fact of life: if you're using "liberal" as an insult, you're conservative. Own up to it. [I'll grant an exception if you live in Germany and are referring to the FDP. Which is conservative itself.]


Don't be a ♥♥♥♥♥♥, I said I picked it up hoping that the general opinion was wrong, it isn't.
You knew the general opinion, you knew which quarter it came from, you should've done your research.
Sidst redigeret af mendel; 27. jun kl. 6:40am
Sedge 29. jun kl. 4:26pm 
I agree with OP - story was bland and boring.

It would seem that it's being over-hyped by homosexuals merely due to the contraversial homosexuality topic. So what?

Where was the substance in this game? A teen girl falls in love and chases after her lover while her parents are out of town.

Full of teen angst - wouldn't bother again even if it were free to play.
CasualFennec 29. jun kl. 4:46pm 
Oprindeligt skrevet af Sedge:
I agree with OP - story was bland and boring.

It would seem that it's being over-hyped by homosexuals merely due to the contraversial homosexuality topic. So what?

Where was the substance in this game? A teen girl falls in love and chases after her lover while her parents are out of town.

Full of teen angst - wouldn't bother again even if it were free to play.

Trust me man, this wasn't hyped by homos, at all.

It just rode the social justice wave of delusion stupidity to popularity.
Laura Blues 11. aug kl. 10:09am 
And it's the same thing that tends to happen with any other art form, books, paintings, movies and even games. People feel compelled to like them, love them, defend them to death, just because they portray what they consider to be a just cause. You dare not like a holocaust movie? You're a N-sympathizer. You dare not like the story of this game? You're a homophobic/conservative/bigot, etc.

That's not how things work. As I tried to express in my review, the topic was what spiked my interest in this game. I thought "oh, cool, I've never seen that in a game before". But then, the story presented to me was predictable, flat and cheesy, full of trigger words that were too obviously seeking to make the bleeding hearts weep. The sad part is that they could have made an awesome and interesting story with this game and still stay in topic. I was disappointed by that. And yes, it was rather short.
mendel 11. aug kl. 1:39pm 
Oprindeligt skrevet af Laura Blues:
But then, the story presented to me was predictable, flat and cheesy, full of trigger words that were too obviously seeking to make the bleeding hearts weep.
Coudl you please give some examples for those trigger words?
Laura Blues 12. aug kl. 5:42am 
Oprindeligt skrevet af mendel:
Oprindeligt skrevet af Laura Blues:
But then, the story presented to me was predictable, flat and cheesy, full of trigger words that were too obviously seeking to make the bleeding hearts weep.
Coudl you please give some examples for those trigger words?
It's not my intention to start a debate with you, lest you start "granting me exceptions" because I live in Germany. What I said was my Impression about the game and I know you disagree. But I'm not trying to convince you to take my side, just to express myself.
mendel 12. aug kl. 11:13am 
If the one of the aims in expressing yourself is to make yourself understood, it would help if you answered questions pertaining to what you wrote, because I honestly do not know what you are referring to.

Why would I grant you an "exception" because you live in my country? For what?
Sidst redigeret af mendel; 12. aug kl. 11:13am
Laura Blues 12. aug kl. 11:28am 
I already said what I wanted to say and you just want to argue with me. Very well, I will humor you. I don't have enough memory to quote the exact text from the game. I felt that there were a lot of words (or phrases) that we have heard profusely for years when discussing LGBT issues, and my feeling was that they were put there deliberately to sensibilize (or, as I said, make the bleeding hearts cry). I found that those phrases were not enriching the story; on the contrary, they made the story cheesy. For the first time that this issue is taken seriously in a game, they could have written a better story and avoid us the corny preaching. People who are against the topic will not be convinced by the same old same old and people who are in favor will still be in favor, so they had nothing to lose.

In an exploration game, the story is everything, because it's the only reason you keep walking and reading pieces of paper. If that story is predictable from note number 3 and starts preaching on stuff you heard a million times before, it will lose its purpose. As I said, I was very excited at the beginning, when I discovered that this could be THE game to bring up this topic in a serious way and in a positive light. But after 4-5 notes I already knew how it would end and close to the end, even I was rolling my eyes at certain phrases.

I didn't hate this game and I chose the blue little thumbs-up on my review; I just didn't find it awesome and that particular aspect disappointed me.

Finally, the Germany comment was in case you decided to categorize me as member of whichever political tendency that you were mentioning in other comments.
mendel 12. aug kl. 4:36pm 
Oprindeligt skrevet af Laura Blues:
I already said what I wanted to say and you just want to argue with me.
My problem is that I couldn't even if I wanted to because you don't give me anything I can argue with: what I wanted to know was a clarification on the one seemingly factual statement you made about the game, and you're not providing it. "Predictable, flat, and cheesy" is an opinion that has been outweighed by many positive reviews, and you're free to express that because nobody is required to like and enjoy the same things (that's not how art works; many people find Mona Lisa boring); but your statement about "trigger words" is a factual (?) aspect of the game i was unaware of, so I inquire since I want to be decide for myself whether it holds true or not.

Knowing from reading too much on Steam before playing the game, I was aware this was going to be a lesbian story, and with that knowledge it was generally foreseeable what would happen once Sam met Lonnie. But for me it's with that old Columbo TV series: they show you at the beginning who the murderer is, but it's still fun watching Columbo solve it.

Thanks for the hint about my other comments, I've been rereading that, and now understand what you're referring to, though you probably misunderstood me. Wenn ein Ami das Wort "liberal" beleidigend benutzt, ist er konservativ. Wenn ein Deutscher das beleidigend benutzt, bezieht er sich vermutlich auf die FDP, und daraus kann man dann weniger sicher seine Position bestimmen, obwohl er vermutlich eher links stehen dürfte. Da du aber hoffentlich nicht vorhast, dieses Wort hier in die Diskussion zu werfen, ist das eh' egal.

P.S.: I like your game reviews.
Sidst redigeret af mendel; 12. aug kl. 5:23pm
Laura Blues 13. aug kl. 12:33am 
LOL I have no clue about German politics... I live in a bubble, you may say. Of course, I never said that the story IS flat and predictable and that everyone should think the same; I said that that was MY impression. I didn't know beforehand what it was about and that was a nice surprise. I just feel they could have done it better. It didn't sound right to me, natural like what a young girl would write. I don't know how to pin exactly what word here or there... When she talks to her parents, for example, or the bit about Lonnie "lying about who she is for her whole life" because "don't ask, don't tell". I'm not saying it's out of reality, but it sounded like copy/pasted from an activist panphlet (by a man), instead of the spontaneous thoughts and feelings of a teenage girl in the mid-90's who's actually living through it, life before Tumblr. I loved Columbo, too! In Columbo, you knew who the killer was, but you didn't know the whole story, you know, who betrayed whom and why and doing what... etc.
TangoBravo 16. aug kl. 4:04am 
It is more art than game. Computer games are difficult to produce, therefore the developement of the narrative abilities moves slowly. In a book it is easy to try out new methods, in movie it is already more expensive, but the medium of games limits trial and error and forces the maker to be careful. Therefore computer games usually fail as an artistic medium when it comes to use its unique ability of interactivity. With Gone Home a game ultimately commits to a narrative idea. It sacrifices game mechanics for getting a more intimate emotional impact. I can see why people dislike that, but also I understand the hype and to a certain extent (like: buying this game for the price of a art house cinema ticket instead of the full 20€) I agree to the hype.
Rarely playing a game was that rewarding. Like a good movie the game gets better and better the more you reflect about the experience.

Usually games insert some kind of minigame, logic puzzle or shooter sequence in order to have "more gameplay" and that way completely destroy the credibility of the topic, which ends up being a mere excuse to bring those "game play concepts" together. This game does the exact opposite. It aims at an emotional impact rather than a logical, which is strange for a medium which usually generates attention by showing off on a purely technical level.

While you have the impression that you can move freely it is meant as a linear story, taking control over the way it is told. It is a lot like a different kind of a book. There is nothing flat about it - the story takes place in the 90ies so the handling of the topic makes sense, even if it seems exaggerated from today's point of view and even more when you have forgotten how it was to be a teenager. (Diary entries - they are read out but it is not a girl talking to the player in person!)

While the diary entries clearly aim at keeping the player informed - and being rather obvious - there are lots of little hints which tell the story before it is spelled out that way. Here lies the main excitement - there are lots of such little theories hidden, something one just takes for granted since it feels very natural. But when you keep in mind that every item had to be designed for that game, it is just amazing. Claiming there would be not depth just shows that you have missed that entirely.

The choice of the player character is very interesting, as the player is pretty much in the same situation of learning about the sister while moving through the new house. I know that most players are not used to acknowledge such creative decisions - computer gamers are so used to following the paved out path of the industry that they don't spend a thought about the ideas behind it. Because in virtually all AAA and AA titles those decisions are entirely generic, something one has seen 100 times before. Why waste any attention on the decision of being an armoured space marine who shoots monsters in a maze like structure when there is virtually nothing new which could make a difference? Even celebrated games which are praised for their depth stick to that concept. Bioshock? You are guy, you have armour and you shoot baddies in some kind of maze. Truely Revolutionary.
Well - in this case you are girl in an empty house who does not kill demons, so this deserves more attention as does the whole pardigm change connected to it.

The next game of this kind will have to take the idea further to get that kind of attention, maybe a less economic setting and perhaps some kind of NPCs. But this does not mean that Gone Home would not have deserved the hype for pushing boundaries.
Laura Blues 16. aug kl. 5:09am 
I agree with TangoBravo in something I think I had mentioned. This is an exploration point-and-click. When I mention the things I didn't like, I mean compared to similar games. I don't play shooters and I don't play survival games. I compared it to Scratches or Serena (someone mentioned Dear Esther, but I haven't played that one yet), where the gameplay itself is very similar: you have the feeling of moving freely, but you're mostly following a narrative, as you well put it, where the main focus is the plot. This is the kind of game you don't "beat", like some gamers like to express when they solved all puzzles and reached the ending.

I disagree with you where you say "the story takes place in the 90ies so the handling of the topic makes sense, even if it seems exaggerated from today's point of view and even more when you have forgotten how it was to be a teenager". It's exactly because this happened in the mid-90s that I don't find Sam's narrative plausible in some moments. It is nowadays that teenagers mostly produce certain kind of arguments, because it is nowadays that there is plenty of support, information and activism (that's why I mentioned Tumblr). Back in the mid 90s, I know a teen living through this experience would have a different discourse. It sounded artificial.

The problem for me was that this forced discourse broke the atmosphere for me. I was no longer hearing young Sam's feelings, I was hearing a pamphet read out loud. I heard Sam's feelings in the phrase about how sad the sunset/sunrise (don't remember) was from the window or something like that, or the beautiful phrase when she first saw Lonnie. Or the night they went out and their first kiss. What I called the "pamphlet parts" didn't sound like a teen in the 90s for me.
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