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Overview

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Gone Home is an indie first-person exploration game developed and released digitally by Fullbright for the PC, Mac, and Linux on August 5, 2013.

The first game from Fullbright, Gone Home is set in a large house during a 1995 thunderstorm in the northwestern United States (more specifically Oregon). Players control Kaitlin Greenbriar, a 21-year-old woman who arrives at her family’s new home after a long trip overseas to find the place deserted. While exploring her new home, she must piece together what happened to her parents (Terrence and Janice) and younger sister Sam.

Unlike most adventure games, Gone Home includes no combat, no difficult puzzles, and no “fail conditions”. Players progress through the story at their own pace by searching the place for clues, finding secret panels, and unlocking new areas. Along the way, they can interact with numerous things in the environment for their own pleasure (such as observing multiple angles of a common object, turning things on and off, and playing a cassette in a tape deck).

The game was later released in retail form in some European and Australian regions by Merge and Headup throughout 2014. Various console versions of the game were planned to be published by Majesco’s indie label (Midnight City) before they were put on indefinite hold due to financial issues. It was, however, released digitally (as Gone Home: Console Edition) for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on January 12, 2016. A Nintendo Switch version was released through Annapurna Interactive on September 6, 2018.

The Xbox One version was made available to own for free in the month of October for Xbox Live Gold members as part of the service’s “Games with Gold” promotion.

Gameplay

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The player finds various clues left from family members, such as letters, diary tape recordings, and maps leading to secret areas, in order to learn more about Sam’s story. The game rarely tells the player where to look for the next relevant clue. This requires the player to scavenge the house for clues that will connect the dots to discovering more of the narrative. Access to certain parts of the house are gated using locked doors and require matching keys to be found before progressing.

There is no combat or difficult puzzles. The player progresses through the story by finding clues that lead them to discovering the next piece of the narrative, eventually leading to the game’s ending. Most small objects can be picked up and examined from any angle. Additionally, finding certain notes will activate voice over narration from Sam that plays automatically and can be listened to again from the inventory screen. This is similar to how audio logs function in games such as BioShock.

Development

The development of Gone Home was led by Steve Gaynor. In May 2012, he appeared in a Giant Bomb video interview to discuss the founding of The Fullbright Company and the early development of Gone Home. Gaynor listed “immersive simulations” such as System Shock, Deus Ex, and Bioshock as sources of inspiration for Gone Home’s first-person adventure gameplay although the game has no enemies or combat. Another source of inspiration was the practice of urban exploration.

The music is composed by Chris Remo who is a close friend of the company.

On February 16th, 2013, Johnnemann Nordhagen, co-founder of The Fullbright Company, revealed on Twitter that “Sassy Magazine” was used as a major research feature. This statement was later confirmed by Steve Gaynor.

Easter Eggs

The Nintendo Switch version of Gone Home contains a set of new SNES cartridges, depicting actual Nintendo games such as Super Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

System Requirements

PC Mac Linux
Windows XP SP2 OS X 10.7 Lion glibc 2.11 or newer
1.8GHz Processor 1.8GHz Processor 1.8GHz Processor
2GB Memory 2GB Memory 2GB Memory
Video Card with 512MB VRAM Video Card with 512MB VRAM Video Card with 512MB VRAM
2GB HDD Space 2GB HDD Space 2GB HDD Space

Latest On Gone Home

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All game data on this page is sourced via Giant Bomb.

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