Waking up in an unfamiliar house is unsettling enough at the best of times, especially if it’s preceded by far too many jaegerbombs and a questionable pull. However, for the protagonist of Home, an indie adventure originally released on PC in 2012, things turn out much worse than expected, starting with the discovery of a mutilated corpse in the adjacent room.
Home is a 2D adventure game that shuns action and puzzles for pure exploration: there are almost no puzzles to solve or conventional obstacles to overcome. For the most part you'll simply be pressing onwards, picking up clues and trying to make sense of the terrible things you see. The overarching mystery and sinister, spine-tickling atmosphere was enough to drive us through the relatively short playing time, but if you’re expecting a simple answer at the end, prepare for disappointment. One of Home’s best features is the way it credits its audience with intelligence, and allows them to come to their own conclusions. Make sure your friends play it too, and you'll get some great water cooler discussions.
Home’s pixellated graphics are certainly old-school but suit the mood perfectly. Most environments are dark and dingy, and you’ll make good use of your flashlight to illuminate every dust-filled crevice. The minimalist soundtrack also adds considerably to the foreboding atmosphere. We jumped several times at a crash of thunder or the squeal of a startled cat, and even if the sounds don’t actively freak you out, they’ll at the very least leave you unsettled.
Controls are beautifully simple, as you’d hope on the iPad or iPhone. Ninety percent of the time you'll be walking left and right by pushing the edge of the screen, with the occasional interaction via tapping. Items such as hammers and door keys are used automatically, so you’re never left fiddling with your inventory, or wondering where to use that random steel pipe you picked up.
The iOS version of Home has been updated over the original PC version, with some updated text and a whole new area to explore. While there isn’t enough here to encourage a second purchase for fans of the PC version, we heartily recommend it to any horror fans who are looking for a creepy late-night session with their iPad.