Sometimes I really hate playing games. Only because I get stuck in ruts where I only play the same genre over and over and over. I found myself playing a lot of platformers lately and before that was roguelikes. In lieu of that, I decided to change pace and play a NARRATIVE DRIVEN VIDEO GAME. This week I am forced to say goodbye to uni friends and with that, the demons that also live in the flat. This week I played No Longer Home.
No Longer Home is a game that focuses on two people Bo (he/him?) and Ao (they/them) and their relationship throughout their time at university, specifically towards the end of it. Frairy lane is a prologue that sets up Bo and Ao’s relationship, which I recommend playing just for story’s sake. Everyone has graduated and it is now time to move on with life and become adults, but how does one say goodbye to their friends and, for that matter, their significant other? AO, at the end of the month, is moving back to their home in Japan and Bo is afraid of following them because of underlying issues.
The weight of everything is crushing them.
Not getting a job in their fields right out of school, moving, taxes, acceptance of sexual/gender identity, and loads of other issues are at play, but at the forefront of all of these issues is how Bo and Ao’s relationship is going to get through everything.
No Longer Home features an isometric view of the university flat. As you walk from room to room, markers are given to the player to interact with, either it is a conversation or a memory of an object. The story doesn’t necessarily devouts itself to one character, it often branches between the two main characters at seemingly random moments. It works, honestly, it had confused me at first, but when I started to pay attention, the split in conversations really drew me in.
The conversations felt real not like I was supposed to find the correct answer.
There are a few weird “supernatural” moments in the game that I don’t actually know how to feel about. I think they were metaphors, but I don’t know, man. It was really fucking weird.
The story pacing is fine. The entire game took me about an hour and forty-five minutes to complete.
The graphics are fine, remind me a lot of Kentucky Route Zero in more ways than one. Colors are cool inside the flat and outside they are vibrant.
The music is something of an oddity. I liked it a lot, actually. The bass bumps with the text to make it seem as though the characters are actually talking. Everything just sounds so surreal. Sounds fade in with intense feeling and it goes so damn well with the game.
No Longer Home is a game about important and relatable topics. Bo and Ao’s conflicts and issues are real and the way they express themselves feels so real. The game is honest, unsettling and I really enjoyed the world that I inhabited for almost two hours. The only issue that I have is that I wanted more, maybe that’s on me. It ended in such an awkward and abrupt manner that I felt a little uneasy about it.
Other than that, it is a great game.