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Benjamin River’s new game is a homage to 8-bit videogames. It’s a murder mystery involving a few locations to explore, mysterious objects that result in more questions than answers, and an overwhelming sense of dread about finally figuring out what’s going on. And if all that wasn’t enough to draw you in, the game only costs two bucks for the download version!
Your character wakes up in a house that’s not his with no memory of how he got there. He finds some things that make him sort of nervous, and so he heads out with the ultimate objective of getting back to his very own house, where his wife is surely waiting for him.
Gameplay is simplistic yet perfectly suited to Home. Your character has a flashlight and can pick up various objects along the way. The interface is simple. You move with the arrow keys, and interface with the world through the space bar. Objects that need picking up or examining will be outlined in white when you walk over them. Sometimes you can choose to take things with you or leave them where you found them. Doing either can change the storyline.
The mystery, which I won’t spoil here, is well thought out and you can figure some of it out long before the character does. Or at least you can have suspicions that the character doesn’t.
The game plays well, but one annoying thing is that sometimes you can miss exploring rooms because you went through a door that led outside the area and the game won’t let you backtrack. Something to do on a replay. This is one of those games where replaying may not change the ending but it will maybe clear up some things that were mysterious.
There’s also no save function, as the game is meant to be played in a single sitting. The developer promises that you’ll thank him for doing that, but I don’t feel like doing that. While the game can be short, I feel like I should be able to play through it at my own pace. The lack of a save feature won’t stop me from replaying it though.
Home is only available for the PC right now. There may be versions for other devices in the future.