Gone Home is a good game which combines “room escape game” and “plots game” together. The music and the sounds of light create a lonely and little scary setting. Also, the visual effects are both captivating and creepy. After I finished reading the green book(the last scene) on the second floor, I realized that I could have “win” the game in just a few minutes. However, the purpose of playing this game is not “win”, which means get to the final step. Instead, the core of this game is to discover the stories behind each person.
When I was dropped in front of a locked door in the beginning, the horrifying lightening, background music and setting made me think it was a horror game, in which maybe the family members have died in the house. Thus, I turned off the music and sound effects. However, as I picked up things and got more familiar with the setting, I started to consider it as a discovery game. Therefore, I was assuming that the end of the game is that the family members prepared a big surprise for Katie to welcome her back. As I stepped into the house, I barely see anything. I turned on the lights and found that I was locked out by doors on both left and right sides. So I was eager to find the keys to go to the next step and see what was going to happen. During the process of finding keys, I discovered letters, radios, and postcards. I started to forget my mission of getting through the game. Instead, I engaged in reading pieces of story and evidences of what has happened during the last year. The first-person perspective really had me immerse in the scenario. Through all the letters and pieces of evidence, I gradually knew the personality of all family members and stories behind them. The major story is about Sam, Katie’s younger sister. Sam found herself fall in love with a social girl, Lonnie. Sam’s parents were against the inappropriate relationship. And through the letters written by Sam and Lonnie’s photo in Sam’s bedroom, I saw that Sam was struggling with the society (including school, peers,and parents) and was wondering whether this relationship had a future. In the end, Sam eloped with Lonnie.
While the player plays as Katie, the story itself is really about Sam’s life over the last year. At last, I understand that the title of the game should be “GONE HOME”, rather than GO HOME. The harmonious family was torn to pieces and GONE, maybe forever. Thus, what I learned from this game is that in our lives, we need to understand and forgive our family members, which leads to a long-lasting happy HOME.