Graduating from university and being tossed into the throes of adult life is never easy, but there are certain things that make it that much more difficult. Things like a struggling global economy, worrying about where you'll end up living, and your flatmate showing up and turning out to be a many-eyed deer-fish-sheep creature all complicate matters, as the currently crowdfunding game No Longer Home wants to explore.
Developers Humble Grove are aiming to create an episodic point and click adventure, rooted in the realest of magical realism. In fact, it’s so real as to be semi-autobiographical, with the experiences of the two protagonists drawing from the lives of their creators. As well as dealing with their unexpected, extraordinary flatmate, main characters Bo and Ao will face more grounded themes like the housing crisis, gender identity, and border issues.
It doesn’t feel as though No Longer Home will be bleak, though. In poking through the characters’ belongings, the player will be able to learn about their lives and experiences, and then lead their interactions using branching dialogue options. You can get a feel for it all, and check out some of the beautifully detailed apartment room dioramas, in the trailer:
A short prequel episode is already available for pay what you want with no minimum spend. It’s called Friary Road, and stars these same two protagonists. The pair stargaze, and talk about what the future may hold. The art and animation are gorgeous, and their conversation is deeply familiar in a way that manages to be both reassuring and mildly uncomfortable, which gives me high hopes for what the full game of No Longer Home will be able to provide. Crucially, the pair's friendship seems like it will continue to be a key component, with Humble Grove describing the everyday closeness of roommates: “Have BBQs, play video games, and stay up late just talking in bed.” Bliss.
The first episode, 29, will also be available for free, with the game's commercial release planned in conjunction with episode two. Backers who support the Kickstarter at the £25 level now will gain access to new episodes as and when they're released.