Play gameStay Home's itch.io page
Ranked from 25 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.
Judge feedback is anonymous.
So, Stay Home. This is a narrative game that tells a story about someone who's mostly unable to go outside, and positions itself as a 'Gone Home'-a-like. You can kill a good amount of time going along for the ride with this game. That amount of time will depend a little bit on how lucky you get with doing the right things at the right times, and if you can assail that hurdle, you can have a pleasant enough experience with this otherwise well executed game whose heart is in the right place.
- Nice aesthetics & design to the flat, and interaction with the world.
- Story can hold your interest & is considerate.
- Menu structure and progress shortcuts are really great.
- Theme use seems pretty marginal.
- Need to have a way to avoid road blocking the player.
- Narrative's tone seems erratic and may push people out of the story.
So. Firstly I'm afraid it's going to be, for the usage of the 'sequel' theme, it's all too easy to imagine renaming the game and the link to Gone Home being mostly, well, gone - it doesn't really lift enough aspects from Gone Home to tell a 'wrong' story, so, I don't know that it really hits the target aimed for - it almost seems too honest? Secondly, this game was all about the story and leading you on an experience. But, it risks roadblocking the player behind hidden object puzzles - I would not be surprised if a good number of people got completely stuck on one (or both) of the two big puzzles. Finding a way to offer more guidance in these situations, and in general, would probably be a big improvement, as great narrative games will get you on the hook and keep the story moving.
I got a weird vibe with the story from around the midway point of the game, from the anti-gift stage onwards? The dialogue between the characters made me feel less and less familiar with them as they talked more about events that we knew little about. I'm left wondering if you weren't quite sure where you wanted to take the story, and the tone specifically. The game leans hard into the fantastical rendering of the player's condition with the chair nightmare on Tuesday, but you don't see that again. I'd been getting the impression that the player character was doing strange things that the player wasn't aware of in the time gaps, giving a broken narrative that would culminate somehow, but that wasn't a plot thread at all. I feel maybe some of the story could be trimmed down/adjusted, especially long text message sequences that pin you in place - making them part of the UI so you could go do things might be a good idea, although I did like them in the world too.
So that's two big paragraphs based on the problems I feel this game has. I do wanna say though that you built a great shell - main menu, jumping to specific days, credits etc. The music choices were fine. The game has a good, consistent look, and the sounds, once you know what they mean, draw your attention as needed. Functionally, it's pretty much all there. Most of the areas I'd suggest you address are unfortunately related to the story, which is what this game pins itself on almost entirely. This is a really good base to carry that story, but, I think you need to iterate on the way you tell it - if you can refine it a bit more, I think you'll have a really solid item for your portfolio.
So I suppose you want to ask me what happened to you. If you could change one thing, it certainly would be just opening the front door.
Patience is known for being tired, but someday it has to happen. It's a nice sunny day outside and you're running late for your classes. What will it take you to try again today?
Describe how your game adheres to the theme
This game can be considered as an unwanted sequel of Gone Home. On a more abstract level, it deals with unpleasant recurrent events which the main protagonist tries to cope with.
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