Ex-’BioShock 2’ Devs Shoot for Mid-’90s Authenticity with Indie Adventure ‘Gone Home’

By Joseph Leray

We haven’t covered “Gone Home” here at MTV yet, but a new trailer featuring the dulcet tones of early-90’s Bratmobile seems like as good an angle as any.

Gone Home” is an exploration game about the Greenbriar family, set in rural Oregon in 1995. Katie comes home from a trip abroad to find out that her entire family -- Mom, Dad, and sister Samantha -- have disappeared. As I understand it, the entire game takes place in the Greenbriar’s somewhat expansive home and follows Katie as she pokes through her family’s life to figure out what happened to them.

It seems very point-and-clicky, but a point-and-click in which puzzles have been replaced by little nostalgic narrative touches and exploration, and authenticity -- the music, the X-Files tapes, the Secret Image puzzle (spoiler: it’s a shark), the Lisa Frank-esque Trapper Keeper with the puffin -- takes precedence over fantasy hijinks. “Gone Home” lacks any combat or puzzles at all, actually -- this is all about poking around and learning about the Greenbriar family.

I have to admit, though -- and maybe this is petty of me -- that I wish I could see Katie’s hands.

GH4

“Gone Home” is actually the work of the four-person Fullbright Company, many of which worked at 2K Marin on the “Minerva’s Den” DLC for “BioShock 2.” The game is a finalist in the Excellence in Narrative category at this year’s Independent Games Festival.

Back to Bratmobile, though: “Gone Home” will apparently feature a handful of tracks from Bratmobile’s 1993 album Pottymouth, as well as a few from Calculated, an album from riot grrls-in-arms Heavens to Betsy. Maybe if we act now we can scrounge up the license to an old Bikini Kill track or two before “Gone Home” is released later this year for PC, Mac, and Linux.

[The Fullbright Company]

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