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- Gone Home was a first-person exploration video game designed by Fullbright Company, and released on both PC and mobile platforms beginning in 2013. This was truly a horrifying game to play. I believe the genre of walking-simulators is a great match for horror games because by reducing the total number of possible actions in the game, they effectively strip away the player’s abilities to react to unpredictable scenarios, which adds to the feeling powerlessness and vulnerability as they walk through the entire game.
- The constant “oldness” that permeates through the screen through the crackling of the floor due to the author’s foodsteps and the mysteriousness as a result of the rain & storms outsides adds perfectly to the logical puzzle where the author is simply exploring without interacting with any other players.
- There was a very clear narrative without a very clear objective – the narrative is just getting back from the airport to an empty house, but she seems to be exploring an uncharted territory with no goals in mind. Luckily, the designer has added many enjoyable physical sensations to make the process enjoyable. For example, it has added a lot more possible actions for the players to do compared to “Dear Esther”, and although there is no time pressure or expression of the individuality of the player, Gone Home makes up with make-believe of the “late-night coming home to an empty house”, and increasing the sensation of fear within the players. Another thing that it has done super well is the flickering of the lights whenever the player enters a new room. Every single time I open the lights in a room, I expect to see some scary creatures that would make me jump out of my seats, and feel relieved and encouraged to continue the game in order to look for more of that adrenaline rush going forward.
- Overall, this was a great game that has continued to improve my perspectives on games that rely mostly on narrative plays to make the game “fun”.