Home – a Unique Horror Adventure review (iOS / Universal)June 24, 2013
10 word description: Interactive murder mystery horror story in a pixel art world.
10 word review: A dark, compelling, disturbing story. Arguably not actually a game.
You will like this if you enjoy: Twisted serial killer murder mysteries. Answering “Yes/No” questions throughout a game and never really finding out if you chose the right answer, or even if there is a “right answer”.
The good news: Despite the basic pixel graphics and sporadic sounds, the atmosphere is convincing and consistent. Home is distinctly different from the majority of iOS games, mainly because it isn’t really a game. Progress is auto-saved very frequently.
The bad news: If you go in expecting a point-and-click style adventure you’re probably going to be disappointed or, more likely, going to feel like you’re missing something. It’s short. Despite the ambiguity of the ending, I didn’t feel an overwhelming compulsion to go through it all again just to see what I could change or do differently. Several random crashes on 4th gen Touch. There’s only one auto-save slot, no manual saves. You can’t “load” a saved game, just carry on from where you left off. No score or stats; it’s up to you to figure out how well you did, or didn’t do.
Arcadelife verdict: It’s tough to rate Home on what it does, what it tries to be, because there isn’t much around to judge it against. I’d go as far as to say that it’s not a game, although the screen images make it look like one. There are no puzzles, just a linear sequence of actions to complete or sometimes to ignore. There are no hazards to avoid (none that I spotted anyway), just Yes/No choices that often have no immediate consequence. I don’t want to describe how the protagonist fits into all this because that would involve significant spoilers.
Overall, Home is more of an experience – a dark and disturbing one – than a game. It’s also rather less twisted and complex than it thinks it is, or how you might end up thinking it is after getting through it the first time. Whether you go back and do it all again relies purely on how much the whole “interactive murder mystery” theme grabs you. For me, once was plenty – it is just not interactive enough.
Presentation – 7/10
Visuals – 7/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 5/10
Fun – 5/10
Final rating – 6/10
INTERESTING, BUT NOT REALLY A GAME
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.4.0
Homehorror.com website link