No Longer Home is a deeply personal game crafted by Humble Grove and is a short and bittersweet semi-autobiographical tale. Mechanically simple, Humble Grove tell their post-graduation story in the form of a point-and-click visual novel with dialogue which offers up complicated questions about identity, who we are and who we will become.
No Longer Home is available on Steam, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and recently moved in on PlayStation, for £11.99 ($14.99).
Story – Metaphorical Monsters
No Longer Home doesn’t over stay it’s welcome while still finding the time to explore feelings that will resonate with a lot of people. Having finished university and now facing what comes next, Ao and Bo are given a lot of moments to reflect, through interacting with objects in the environment or prompting dialogue options. During your playthrough, you will be doing more reading than playing, so be prepared to look back through the handy ‘Narrative Log’ available in the pause menu.
Exploring dark themes in lighthearted ways, No Longer Home is well written and clearly comes from the heart of the developers. We join the characters as they discuss gender and identity, the changes that come with growing up and battles with mental illness. Personally I loved the way real life challenges are represented through abstract ideas, in particular the anxiety and depression monsters hidden away from loved ones. Even though I enjoyed the story, I will admit that the ending came rather suddenly.
Gameplay – Simple With Some Hiccups
Switching periodically between Ao and Bo’s perspective’s, you use the left analog stick to move around and hold circle to move quicker. There are a few items for you to interact with throughout, which can be cycled through using L1 or R1 and selected using X. Although the mechanics are fairly simple, there are a few moments where a button press should trigger an animation but instead causes a momentary freeze, before you can resume and have to select the interaction again.
You are able to rotate the small slices of the world you are presented with using L2 and R2, the perspective change sometimes uncovering new things to interact with. The haptic feedback of the DualSense was occasionally used, which added to the impressive scene transitions and (importantly) stroking the cats. Generally though, the gameplay is slow and gently guides you through the story.
Graphics and Audio – Purrfect Ambience
At the beginning of the game you are encouraged to experience the game wearing headphones, as “audio is a part of the experience.” The sound design in No Longer Home has been as well thought out as the writing; each synth melody and piano key has a personal touch, adding to the connection you build with the developers. Spending the majority of the game in the walls you prepare to leave, the little details tell the story of messy housemates and messier mental states. Despite the occasional hiccup with animations, the visual design is clean and pleasing with a soft artstyle which maintains the intricate details.
No Longer Home was reviewed on PS5, with a key provided by Double Jump.