GAME OF THE DAY
Unravel a family mystery in this unforgettable adventure.
Go home again
Gone Home opens in the wee hours of a stormy night. Fresh off a yearlong Europe trip, you return to your family’s Oregon house to find everyone missing. Stranger still, a note from your teenage sister, Sam, implores you not to dig into her whereabouts: I don't want anyone to know.
Naturally, that’s exactly what you start doing. Playing as Katie (the older daughter), search rooms at your own pace, uncovering clues about the rest of the family through letters, receipts, and mementos strewn about the house. Gone Home’s 1995 setting explains all the cassette tapes and handwritten notes lying around—and steeps you in the age of The X-Files and Riot Grrrl punk bands in a way that gives the game a deeply felt sense of place.
The eerie tone (flickering lights, secret rooms) will keep you on edge, but Gone Home’s real pull comes from expertly paced revelations about the people you thought you knew so well: the impact of your dad’s failed fiction-writing career on everyone else, or how a friendship sparked by Street Fighter became something more for Sam. Her coming-of-age tale—the game’s emotional core—proves a triumph of powerful writing and voice acting.
Originally released for PC in 2013, Gone Home is a masterpiece that popularized first-person exploration games. Don’t play it expecting light entertainment. Play it to immerse yourself in the secret struggles of a family that, by game’s end, you’ll feel like you’ve known for years.