Critical Play: Mysteries

I decided to play Gone Home. I played on my desktop, and it is published by the Fullbright Company. Based on the game, it appears to be geared towards teenage audiences up through young adults. In the game, you play the role of a girl who is returning from a vacation to Europe and arrives home to an empty house. The mechanics are quite simple, movement is controlled by the arrow keys, and you interact with the world using the mouse. The goal of the game is to figure out what happened to her family members while she was gone. The narrative of the game is woven quite well into the mystery. The game is set in 1995, which is likely because that era predates much of the modern technology that would preclude something like this from happening in the modern day. Additionally, the return from a trip abroad makes the mystery of her missing family quite compelling to attempt to figure out as a player. The mechanics of the game further support the mystery, as it is an open world game, which puts solving the mystery fully in the player’s hands — there is no simple linear structure. Overall, I really enjoyed playing Gone Home, but I felt that the game might have benefited from having slightly less wordy writing in certain instances, which made it move a bit slow for my liking.

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