No Longer Home is a game about letting go of the life you’ve built due to circumstances beyond your control, where you play as Ao and Bo, a non-binary pair of friends on the precipice of post-graduate life and having to make tough decisions. I was given the opportunity to review the game and here are my thoughts.
A copy of this game was provided for the purposes of this review.
Bo and Ao are graduating university and preparing to leave the flat they’ve lived in together for a year. Thanks to visa limitations, Ao is forced to return to Japan, leaving Bo in England. Disillusioned by post-educational life and shoved aside by a government who doesn’t want them there, both are trying to come to terms with their uncertain futures. And deep under their South London flat, something grows…
In this casual exploration game, you will wander around your flat over the remaining days of your residence, unleashing memories and insecurities as you interact with your surroundings and talk with your roommates and friends, and sometimes to cats. As you explore you come across strange anomalies, one being the multi-eyed, animal-like new flatmate.
The most interesting pieces of this game is both the semi-biographical nature of it, being the two developers were also university friends that were separated by circumstance and decided to make a game together to overcome to distance, and the use of psychogeography, the study of how playful exploration of a place can tell narrative. These sets built to represent each room and the differences of how each character views the space makes the gameplay interesting. I also appreciate the inclusivity of having the two lead characters be queer and non-binary.
However, I have to admit I got bored playing. Because elements are intentionally abstract, they have no immediate understanding and thus I lost interest. Also I am personally not a fan of when I don’t know what my choices will accomplish. Every choice is vague and without a certain amount of expectation of what could come by making that choice, I feel like the choices don’t actually matter. And when the choices don’t matter, it isn’t a game but an interactive narrative.
Personally, No Longer Home didn’t meet my expectations and what I wanted out of the game. That in know way means it is bad, and I would recommend you giving it a try if the abstract psychogeography concept interests. I will also inform you that there are content warnings associated with the game involving mental health issues, so keep that in mind and check the specifics to see if it is in your comfort zone if that is an issue.
No Longer Home is currently available on Steam with releases on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch on October 7.