I just finished "Gone Home" and here's a review, of sorts.
Two things you need to know about the game.
1. It is not the game that you think it is. It is most certainly not an action game.
2. It is a fantastic story that is told in a masterful way.
I love games that tell stories. Some of my all-time favorites are Life is Strange, Alan Wake, The Walking Dead Season 1, The Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption, and I'll even include the Portal series in that list.
Unlike most of those games, this one has no "action" to it. No action whatsoever. It's just a story that unfolds over the course of several hours. And it's a compelling story, I think. [Others might disagree.] I found it so compelling that I completed the entire thing in one sitting...about five hours total. Like a great book, I couldn't let it go. So yeah, it's a short game if you plow through it like I did.
Basically - and absolutely no spoilers here - it's about a daughter who returns home to her parents' creepy, empty house at about 1:30AM in the morning. There are some cryptic notes and clues to discover. And there are lots of things to find, examine, and otherwise look at. There are moments when things get a little too real and others where I literally burst out laughing at the absurdity and humor of the material. The mood and setting - a nasty thunderstorm raging outside the Oregon home during the entire time that you explore the house - create a lot of tension while the moments of humor and absurdity seem to come out of nowhere. There is foreshadowing that is so subtle that you don't pick up on them until after the game is over. The title itself is a foreshadow that isn't obvious until after you complete the story.
I see three downsides to the game that might give people pause when considering purchasing it. First, it's a rather short game by comparison. About $20 for a game that you can finish in one night if you're dedicated. For myself, it was definitely worth the money. But then, I love story-driven games and view this like buying a great book. I personally am very happy that I bought the game, but others might not feel the same. Second, it's not the game that you think it is. I mean, for some people it could border on false advertising. I won't say more about that, but just reiterate that it's not the game that you think it is. PM me if you have questions and don't mind some spoilers...I won't give away the specific story, but I can say more about the game if you're on the fence. Third, it's definitely not an action game. This is a "first-person exploratory adventure game", according to IGN (who gave it a 9.5 out of 10). I wouldn't even call it an "adventure game". It's more of a mystery game. The entire game takes place inside of a house, and it's beautifully rendered. The tension created by the atmosphere and the thunderstorm were so good that there were a few times that when I turned around after looking at something and it seemed like there were things (people?) that were there but were not. Even the flaws in the house (pealing wallpaper, for example) made the whole setting perfect. That said, I played it on a PS4 coupled with a brand new HD television set. Your setup might differ, but on mine it was gorgeous and the graphics helped tell the story as much as the clues and notes and narratives. Very subtle things like a lightbulb going out and everything going dark at a *very* meaningful moment in the story.
Again, the best description that I can come up with for this game is this: It is a first-person exploratory mystery game that tells a compelling story...and it is not the game that you think it is. I found it masterful and I'm very happy that I experienced this game. But I can well imagine that others will not feel the same way and some might even feel deceived by the game after finishing it. To quote a great American philosopher - "that's all I have to say about that".