I love indie games. There is just something so endearing about the way they often put so much raw emotion and soul into what they create. ‘No Longer Home’ is an engrossing title developed by Humble Grove that delivers that snap to emotional reality we all so duly need in 2021.
Bo and Ao must move house. Unfortunately, life is hard, for some, it means moving back to your parents’ house and for some migrating back to your home country. While the everyday lives of some aren’t that very interesting, the stories and experiences that bring us to certain points of our lives are. This narrative lets us peep into the minds of these characters.
Firstly, No Longer Home hits hard at times. There is a lot to relate within our protagionists, Bo and Ao, and their journey. We have all been there at some stage in our own lives; struggling to find work, hopping from apartment to apartment chasing cheap rent, and societal displacement. Essentially, we all feel a bit lost at times, we all have our monsters living inside of us and we all have lessons to learn about ourselves from our hardships.
The beauty of this game is the experience itself. There are a lot of social commentaries on the way we live and our own mental states and most of what you do and listen to is somehow linked to some sort of feeling. The main characters are nonbinary touching on gender roles and expectations often. This is also perfect as anyone can just slide into the shoes of the character and relate to and build your own mental palace of how you interrupt each scenario.
No Longer Home has very minimal gameplay. More than an action-filled game, this sort of game is more like an interactive story allowing memories and personal experiences to drive the narrative along. Most of the game plays out in Bo and Ao’s apartment, switching between each as they interact with objects around the home and in other rooms, with each other and friends.
Dialogue strands do steer the course of conversations however they don’t have adherent effects. I wish that there was some minor voice acting though sprinkled throughout as some of the more emotional scenes needed that little spark to ignite that fire inside.
The shining mechanic of the game though is the ability to flip the rooms around isometrically, like rotating a rubic cube on the point of your finger. This lets you find hidden details in each room of the apartment and is so cool to watch spin the perspective of what you are looking at. It really drives home the fact that our own brain seems to spin situations out of control sometimes.
The music is so ambient. With soft melodies floating in the background of conversations and twisting and curving piano riffs during emotional and confronting conversations. It is all very atmospheric. The visuals complement the audio exceptionally well too. They are very simplistic and pastel void of any detail other than the words that scroll across the screen. This really iterates the fact the world around us is simple but our trials and tribulations are what builds the character and environment around us. Again, letting us place ourselves in their shoes; letting us be the characters.
I have done a lot of similar Indie titles like this but Humble Grove has done such an excellent job of pulling me in and connecting me to the unraveling calamities and magic of the everyday person. No Longer Home definitely has a home amongst tales I have enjoyed riding along with this year.
- Endearing and relatable stories
- Social commenteries
- Simple clean artwork
- Ambient music
- Cool room changing mechanic
- Wish it had some voice acting to homerun some of the social commentaries.