Official Corey Motley 2013 Game of the Year:
Home was a right-time, right-place game. I use an app called AppShopper on my phone that I set to show discounted apps on the App Store. One day when I randomly browsed it, Home popped up on sale. “Home – A Unique Horror Adventure” the game’s page said. “It’s a murder mystery with a twist — because you decide what ultimately happens.” A murder mystery with no real mystery sounded kind of dumb, but I went for it.
Home is a 2D, pixelated side-scroller where you play a man who wakes up in a dark house with no memory of how he got there. The story progresses almost like a flashback, because as the man encounters objects in the world (a knife, for example) a textbox pops up with him asking, “Did I take the knife?” and you decide if he did. As the creepy story progresses, you continue to learn more about his situation and make decisions for him until the finale.
After you finish the game, Benjamin Rivers, the developer, invites you to the game’s website to share your interpretation of the story. I visited the page to read several others’ journeys through the horror adventure and see their stories for the man.
Home is beautiful, smooth, has excellent sound design and it’s just abstract enough for me. By the time I finished it, I was fulfilled, creeped out and exhausted. Like a great horror game should, it left me alone in silence with thoughts batting around in my head. Home isn’t the kind of game you pick up, finish, put down and forget. It’s one that sticks with you when you try to sleep, keeping you up, like a spider that crouches in the corner of your dark bedroom.