[Review] Home Is Where One Starts (PC)

For some, childhood memory can be a powerful thing. I am one of those who has vivid memories of childhood from as early as age 2. Scents and sounds also help trigger memories in me. The rustling of leaves, and the “click click” of a 10 speed, for example, bring me right back to childhood.

Home Is Where One Starts is a short walking simulator from David Wehle (The First Tree) that explores those feelings and sensations that tangible objects trigger in memories of childhood. You play an adult who is reflecting on her childhood as a little girl as she waits for the school bus.

The game begins at the foot of your driveway, with your schoolbag at your feet. You are instructed to find 8 memories and as you search, you are free to explore around the yard, and across the road to a neighbouring farm. You grew up in a home on a large piece of land on a rural route. It’s deserted and run-down now, and the ghosts of play dates’ past and a broken home are evident in the rusty swing set and garbage strewn throughout the property. Exploring, you as a gamer discover clues to your character’s upbringing – a troubled father, poverty…Yet in this world, you were a girl with aspirations of being an astronomer, and coping mechanisms in the imagination you developed while playing in the forts and hiding places you had made around the yard.

Home Is Where One Starts, however sad the themes presented in it are, is a beautiful game. It’s easy to navigate around using the WASD keys and mouse. I loved the graphics which stylistically reminded me of What Never Was or Marie’s Room in how good they are. You spend most of your time outdoors, and the graphics and sounds reflect that; the sun is up, trees sway in the breeze, and birds are chirping. A serene soundtrack round out the pleasant experience. It’s a short game (20 minutes) which is the perfect length here to tell the tale, but I liked the environment so much I spent well over an hour exploring.

Home Is Where One Starts is a good game – I highly recommend it!

5/5

Home Is Where One Starts
David Wehle
2015

 

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