If you ask anyone about the year 2020, you would probably get similar statements. A lot of these people will probably say that 2020 is the worst year we have had in a while. However, no one can deny the fact that this year has definitely been memorable. Between a giant civil rights movement and the inevitable battle of politicians, we have also suffered a global pandemic. The words Covid-19 or Coronavirus seem to have become household names in a matter of days. Soon, there were adjustments that had to be made by everyone. These adjustments varied from person to person. Sometimes it was as simple as having to wear a mask during any outing. Other times it was having to learn how to go to school through a computer screen instead of in person. Literally everyone had at least some adjustments to make.
The virus hit hard, creating some situations that were harder for some than others. When several places shut down completely for quarantine, people were stuck at home or wherever they were. This brings us to the small indie title, Home: A Quarantine Story by Kyle Muntz. In true RPG fashion, we play as Alli. Alli is a girl who visits home when Covid-19 strikes the world and shuts down everything around, making Alli stuck at home a lot longer than she expected to be.
Home: A Quarantine Story plans to release on September 25, 2020. You can add it to your wishlist on Steam.
Story & Gameplay – Where It All Really Hits Home
In Home, we play as a character named Alli. Alli is a young lady who is visiting her family and is rendered stuck as soon as the global pandemic sets in. One of the highest points of Home is the way it depicts relationships in a way that feels real. Alli has many different kinds of relationships with her different family members, but one of the highlighted relationships is the one she has with her mother. In stereotypical fashion, Alli’s mother seems to be overly critical of her and takes everything incredibly personally. This becomes extremely evident as old tensions and problems seem to surface as we move through the story. The narrative does a really good job of making the arguments feel like they are really happening.
Players really get to dive into the emotions and thoughts of our main character. In Home, the main point is to sit back and enjoy the narrative. This becomes evident from the very start, where we are immediately plunging into Alli’s psyche. There are several objects laying around the environment. As we walk around the house, Alli can tell us about many objects more in depth. While this isn’t crucial to the story at hand, usually, it does help to understand more about the characters and the environment they live in. However, there are times where it feels like Alli’s family is stuck in time. Her family members seem to have very conservative and old fashioned ways of thinking, including not even allowing cell phones to be in use. While strange, this doesn’t seem to take away from the immersion of the narrative.
Audio/Visual – Simplistic but Effective
The visuals of Home is where the game stands out over a lot of other titles in similar genres. You move the main character in a third person perspective that is reminiscent of older isometric type PC games. The main issue I have found with the visuals are the character portraits that pop up in the dialogue box. Instead of the pixel type sprites, the portraits appear to be an emotionless 3D model. These models really feel out of place compared to the rest of the very realistic presenting environment. The audio of Home is very simplistic, from simple bird chirping when players are outside to more dramatic tracks during heavy scenes. None of these backing tracks are something I’m going to seek out and play on my own, but they fit perfectly in the background to allow the narrative to shine through like it should.
Home: A Quarantine Story was previewed on PC thanks to a key from Kyle Muntz.