“Perhaps someday I’ll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.” – Sylvia Plath
Developer: Lore Nine Studio
Released: May 2019
Home is a short, heart-warming experience, originally created as a Global Game Jam 2019 entry, and voted the judges’ favourite at the GGJ site in Montreal. The team were working with the theme of what home means to you and added ephemeral as a diversifier. It has been available to download via the GGJ site since the conclusion of the jam but was officially released on Steam in May.
The basic premise of the game is that by traversing a number of scenes and choosing a path and which objects and NPCs to interact with it will create varying, procedurally generated outcomes. Each playthrough creates a poem about what home means to the player in addition to changing the aesthetics of their home and which people share it.
Home’s art style is basic but very cute, the game has a twee feeling to it overall and the appearance works well to compliment this. The music is also in keeping with this and helps maintain a positive and relaxing tone but is not especially inventive or noteworthy.
The gameplay is minimal, with interactions essentially consisting of clicking on the chosen item or character and there are some quite simple metaphors and conclusions drawn from the limited input. Having said that, the concept of Home is somewhat unique and I’m sure that without the time restraints of a game jam, this could be a really interesting experience.
Home is a feel-good game that will last 10-15 minutes, but it does have some replayability if you’re interested in exploring the different outcomes. Whatever choices you make, the game interprets them favourably and while the results do indeed vary, the outcome is always positive.
In conclusion, Home isn’t going to blow anyone’s mind, but it’s certainly a calming and pleasant experience that tackles the jam’s theme in an inventive and interesting way. It’s a great little game to chill out and relax with and while it could be considered a little cheesy, if you can put that aside it has the potential to make you feel all warm and fuzzy!
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