More Like Fear Esther: Homesick Hits Steam

A couple months ago we mentioned a game called Homesick [official site] – A kind of Dear Esther-like, moody first-person explory puzzle thing. Here’s a handily placed link.

The game’s a beauty. Homesick is set in an apocalyptic world, a bleached out towerblock; Running in Unreal engine, the player is tasked with exploring the weird, bleak ruination. But there’s an undertone of horror there too.

“To some extent, it’s a metaphysical take on Gone Home,” wrote Our Alec, “making a virtue of the absence of the absence of people and leaning towards architecture-as-personality. Layered on top of this are nightmare sequences, hints of terrible events in the background and an instantaneous-flower-growth-as-progress mechanic. There’s also a whole lot of metaphor there, not always entirely subtly, and far more overt misery and horror overtones.”

You can see what he’s talking about in the video below. Or alternatively, you can see for yourself: Homesick is now available via Steam for $14.99.

13 Comments

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    Andy_Panthro says:

    It looks amazing, with a suitably moody soundtrack. I do like horror games, if they’re done well, so I will have to keep an eye on this and buy when I’ve cleared a bit of my backlog.

  2. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is my most fondly thought about game from last year, and I’m hoping this can scratch a similar itch. Anyone played it yet?

    • G-Lord says:

      Played through it last week (I’m a backer) and really enjoyed it. I would say it is safe to recommend the game to someone who likes Ethan Carter, just bear in mind that Homesick is much shorter.

      • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

        Perhaps I’ll wait for a sale. I was fine with the 5 hours it took me to play through Ethan Carter, but if this is much shorter, I’d rather pay a little less. Thanks!

    • PancakeWizard says:

      I was about to say, why wouldn’t Emily mention that game in this article rather than the lackluster Dear Esther or the divisive Gone Home? VoEC is easily the stand-out amongst those types of games, it would’ve seemed the obvious descriptor.

  3. Christopha says:

    Yes, not convinced, may be just bitter because it went 18 months over its Kickstarter promised delivery date. Looks great, haven’t played TVOEC yet but I enjoyed my quick ten minute play with this (I have young kids and it’s a pain to get any time in).

    I loved Dear Esther and Gone Home but this doesn’t seem to have the strong narrative they had, this has desolation and ruin in spades which I love. It evokes a sense of mystery well but there’s no sense of purpose early on to hook you in.

    I’ll persist with it and hope it gets better.

    • Ross Angus says:

      I think where Gone Home and Dear Esther succeeded, and other walking simulators like The Old City: Leviathan failed was the focus on character. Abstract metaphors can only go so far, without an emotional hook based on the boring real world.

    • G-Lord says:

      The narrative is not as strong as the games you mentioned, I agree, but there is still quite a lot to discover once you know how the decipher texts. The main attraction of the game to me were the puzzles surprisingly.

  4. edwardh says:

    Hm… there was a game like this just 1-2 years ago… similarly great lighting and texture work, even similar concept. I believe Eastern European? After exploring mostly relatively well-lit, spacious areas, it ended with a stroll down a long, dark corridor.
    Does anyone know what I’m talking about? Because I don’t remember the title. -_-

  5. CookPassBabtridge says:

    The whole time watching the trailer I just felt compelled to look for Nuka Cola Quantum caps

  6. soopytwist says:

    The Field Of View looked pretty narrow at 1:18. Indeed, I just checked the forums on Steam and it has no FOV setting. Not a game I’ll be playing then. It also has no custom key bindings and you can’t run, which is just padding for what is a very short game.