Homesick is a pretty puzzle/adventure game with a mild touch of horror developed by Lucky Pause. I didn’t like it. I’ll be honest, I just didn’t like it. Saying that, if you are into your puzzle/exploration games, then this is definitely for you. The atmosphere and mood created by both the visuals and the music are brilliant, which fully immerses the player into the reality within Homesick. The game runs at a very slow pace, but seeing as there is little in the way of action, it makes sense. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about this being very similar to Dear Esther, but scarier? Yeah, I would definitely say it’s a scarier game than your average Art game because of the tension that happens in segments. You know what sucks about reviewing such a short game? I have to be really vague about everything, and it leaves me with very little to say without every sentence being a spoiler of some sort.
The run time for this game is around 2 hours, so it’s very short, and could easily be beaten in one sitting, but beating a game like this isn’t the point, it’s the journey you have along the way, how it makes you think, how it makes you feel. For me, I just felt bored most of the time. It wasn’t until I hit the 50-minute mark that I began having to think that much at all. Arguably, the game doesn’t give you much to go on in terms of what you’re meant to do. You start off and find half a picture. Then you can interact with objects, and walk around the apartment, the hall, and a few other rooms. There is no tutorial or explanation as to what you’re meant to do, just very subtle clues. I felt really stupid after walking the halls up and down and checking every room three times that the answer to the first puzzle was fairly simple. This is my general issue with puzzle games, or point and click games, I tend to over complicate the problem in my head and often overlook the simple, rational solution. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect going into this, and I really did try to like this, but I’d be lying if I did.
The more intense moments are the probably the most fun in the game since it actually feels like I’m having to do something other than just walking around. I’m just going on record that I don’t dislike art games, but art games are still games and need to engage the user, which Journey did very well. I felt that Homesick didn’t engage me anywhere near to that level but still tried in places. I have to go on record and say I really hate the lens flare effect. I cannot stand it when movies do it, and it happens every time you try and walk outside the boundaries of where the game wants you to go. Your punishment is to be blinded by light.
I recommend this game to anyone looking for an artistic 2-hour experience. If you’re like me and are looking for another Journey, maybe give this one a miss. The genre isn’t for everyone, but for those who know what they like, go for it.
Homesick was developed by Lucky Pause and is available for PC through Steam.
Ryan Griffiths is a British gamer, known as a bit of a lone wolf. Retro games are his passion, with newer releases not living up to his expectations. Of course there are exceptions to the rule when it comes to Dynasty Warriors & Total War games.