LifeisXbox’s No Longer Home preview | No Longer Home (formally known as ’29’) is a semi-auto-biographical point and click game, developed by Humble Grove, Adrienne Lombardo, and Eli Rainsberry. It’s a game about letting go of the life you’ve built due to circumstances beyond your control. You’ll be taking a closer look at the lives of flatmates Bo and Ao, who are graduating from university and preparing to leave the home that they’ve shared for a year. Like many of us, they are trying to come to terms with their uncertain futures, while a (literally) monstrous flatmate comes into play.
The demo starts with a short prequel called Frairy Road. Here we first meet Bo and Ao as they are the last ones at a barbecue. They engage in conversation and start talking about their future, identities, and the universe. You don’t get to do a lot in this prequel, except steering the conversation a little by choosing replies every now and then. I found the conversation between the two protagonists quite intriguing but was not yet impressed. So on to the actual demo we go!
No Longer Home is the first chapter in a three-chapter game. You wander through the small flat and take a look at the belongings of Bo, Ao, and their other flatmates. The gameplay is very simple since you’ll just be walking around, interact with objects, and have conversations with multiple-choice dialogue. It’ll just be like real life: you’ll be having barbecues, play video games, and talk about life. Or at least I thought so: there seems to be an uninvited visitor in the flat, and I’m not sure what the hell its purpose is yet.
I’m going to be totally honest here and say that I’m not too impressed yet. The very basic graphics don’t offer much detail and make everything seem a little blunt and dull. I did get used to the art style near the end, and I can definitely appreciate it, but it’s still very, very simple. The characters don’t have much detail to them either, making it harder for me to connect with them. I did like to follow their thoughts and even mold them a little, but the real connection wasn’t there (yet). I felt like their appearances did not reflect their personalities at all. The movement of my character also felt very unreal, and also quite slow. The whole gameplay was rather slow, actually. In the beginning, it all came across as a bit boring because of the lack of a set goal. After the monstrous flatmate came into play, I did feel more intrigued, and it did manage to make me curious about the rest of the game.
I did enjoy the soundtrack that plays in the back. It creates a great atmosphere and sets the tone for the entire game, and was very heartfelt.
I’m not too sure about the text features though. There is no voice acting so a lot of reading is required. However, the font used in this game reminds me of a typewriter and that’s not the feeling I want in conversation. Yes, for a written letter, it’s perfect. But for conversation, I would’ve picked another font. I also spotted some typos, and I do not like seeing typos in games. Seeing as it’s still a demo, I’d let it slide but I do hope the full game won’t have any!
One last thing that struck me as a bit of weird, was the random hand-drawn flower that emerges from the ground when you click somewhere, indicating where your character has to go. Don’t get me wrong, it’s super cute and everything, but I didn’t really get it.
Even though the idea and the message are very strong, there are too many things that distracted me from it. The poor graphics and the typewriter font didn’t really do it for me. But most of all the very, very slow pace just got a little on my nerves rather than work in a calming way. I am still curious to see the full game because the monster-like creature intrigued me and brought some spicy to the story, but I’m not fully convinced yet.