No Longer Home is a narrative heavy game that highlights the everyday life of two college students as they struggle to find meaning in life and grow into adulthood. It’s a very, very, very slow game.
The game starts with a prologue of the two students talking. There’s no interaction with the game aside from picking from two or three dialogue options. And then the game moves on to just text on the screen for a few minutes. And then finally it let’s the player interact with the game. The pacing here could have been improved for brevity.
From this point onwards, the game turns into a point and click adventure game. You can direct the characters around the map and interact with objects and strike up a conversation with other fellow students.
The topic of the conversations are rather mundane, maybe a little too mundane. While it does a great job of capturing the unnerving feeling of uncertainty at that age, it did seem a bit contrived. The rest of the game pretty much runs along the same vein of slow exploration and conversations.
The slow pacing and focus on dialogue based narrative is great for people who can relate to the characters. The seemingly aimless meandering of the characters, narrative, and dialogues accurately capture the sheer normality of everyday life. For those who can’t relate to the characters or narrative however, there’s really nothing else in the game as there is a clear lack of a central game mechanic to engage with.
Overall, the game definitely wasn’t for me but I can see it appealing to some young adults going through the same phase in life. I feel that the pacing could have been improved, especially in the beginning of the game. The opening sequence felt too long and slow without giving the player any control or agency over the game. It felt as if the grand artistic vision for the game took precedence at the expense of making a fun game.
That said, and I have said this many times before, I am glad games like this exist. Even if it’s not my cup of tea, more variety in game design and genres are a fantastic thing. There’s definitely a crowd for this game and now they have something they can look forward to and enjoy playing.