If you’ve played one of these style of horror games, you’ve played a 100 of them. A first person horror where you are periodically hassled by something ghostly and forced to run and hide from it.
It’s an accurate description of Home Sweet Home which sticks solidly to the formula. However, the experience, while not overly scary, is made way more memorable thanks to it utilising Thai folklore elements.
Players take on the roll of Tim who has been dealing with the mysterious disappearance of his wife some time ago. One night, Tim wakes up in a place he has never been to before. Exploring a dilapidated apartment block, he comes across the ghost of a young woman who spends the remainder of the game pursuing the player across multiple locations.
Who is this ghostly woman? How is it linked to Tim’s house? What does it have to do with his missing wife Jane?
Where Home Sweet Home excels is with its variety in locations and tension heavy moments. The game is split across several locations that all have a unique look to them and has some impressively done set-pieces that will get the heart thumping that bit more. The Thai folklore is also used well to add some freshness to some of the scarier moments and it makes the story feel all the more ambiguous as it’s not clear just what is real and what isn’t.
However, gameplay is less interesting and predominantly based in stealth. You’ll spend a lot of the time slowly crawling around to avoid the ghost while trying to complete the next objective. Stuff that isn’t always clear either.
Should she see you, which she will – a lot, she’ll pause and scream. Momentarily giving you a split-second chance to run. You’ll need this too as once she moves, she will quickly catch you although it’s not instant death. No, should she catch you, you can hammer a button to fight her off and escape briefly. Regardless of if you manage too, you’ll have to hide. Hiding is important as it’s the only way to get the ghost to return to a peaceful state.
Ge used to it, you’ll be hiding in a lot of lockers especially at later points in the game where things get particularly tough.
While the goal is mostly about finding a way to escape where you are, exploration is important and there are puzzles to complete. There are also many collectibles that offer interesting titbits relating to the story as well as information surrounding the folklore. Stuff that adds some depth but you won’t be missing out of you don’t collect much of it.
It would be nice to say that you’ll have all the answers at the end of the game but that’s not true. Home Sweet Home ends on an abrupt cliff-hanger and a ‘to be continued’ screen. It has since had a sequel on PC as of September 2019, but console players are still waiting to find out what happens next.
Home Sweet Home
The Final Score - 6.5/10