Gone Home is important. Whether you want to call it a game, or an interaction work of fiction, or whatever, it’s something that everyone with a passing interest in game narrative should see. It’s a story about love, fear, and acceptance, and I found it to be one of the most impacting experiences of the year. It pushes this medium forward, and shows what a video game can be capable of when stripped of traditional game mechanics.
The house in Gone Home feels lived in, and it’s your goal to see all of it. There’s a story you’ll come across on your way through the place, sometimes told to you explicitly and sometimes not, and it’s one that hasn’t been told in any game I’ve ever seen. Say what you will about the levels of “teen romance novel” drama Gone Home may dip into, but it’s a well told story, and one that is unveiled in a way unique to it’s medium.
Gone Home is one of the finest game narratives I’ve seen, and the few short hours I spent with it meant more to me than the majority of hours I spent with anything else this year. While it might not be the best “game” of the year, it’s a beautiful story that demands your attention, and is one of my favorites of 2013.
In Honorable Mentions, the best games of the year that didn’t make the top ten are given their moment in the spotlight. While they might not be among HippoChippies’ ten best games this year, they were very, very close to making it there. This year, it came down to a list of 19 games that was trimmed into the Game of the Year list. This is one of the nine that almost made it.