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Back Home 2
Author: James Webb (as revgiblet) and Duncan Bowsman
Reviewed by David Whyld
A nice creepy little game
It's hard to write a proper review of this game without giving away key points in the plot which will likely ruin the game for anyone interested in playing it, or turning the review into one of those nasty spoiler-tagged things that I'm so against.
But… briefly… you're a man called Tom who suffers from a number of stress-related issues. At the request/order of your boss, you return home to visit your parents, to take a break from it all, only you're kind of reluctant to head home because of events that happened there when you were a kid. After some lengthy introductory scenes - which I didn’t have an issue with, though I did keep trying to change the outcome by attempting all sorts of random things, alas to no avail - the game begins with you waking the morning after your arrival to discover that your parents have mysteriously disappeared, there are signs of a struggle in their bedroom (which you apparently slept through) and there's a telephone ringing somewhere in the house. You set off to find what has happened to your parents and…
Some fairly easy puzzles follow. I'm usually useless at puzzle solving, but I managed all the ones here with flying colours*. The ending was sort of the one I'd been expecting (hint: you're definitely not playing a good guy here, though you certainly had good reason for doing what you did), but I kept expecting the strange man I had seen at the train station to show up again. I'd assume he was crucial to the plot in some way and when the game ended without him putting in another appearance, it seemed a little odd. But perhaps he was just scenery.
* Although in all fairness, I only succeeded in retrieving the key from its hiding place after randomly trying something in a different location. I didn’t 'figure' out the puzzle so much as stumble upon the solution through sheer luck. But, hey, I beat the puzzle so I'm still claiming credit for it.
"Back Home" doesn’t really break new ground but it was a nice, bite-sized game and well worth checking out if you have half an hour to spare.
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