LifeisXbox’s No Place Like Home review | We live in a world where recycling has claimed an important place in our lives, whether we want it or not. Looking for ways to make people aware of the ongoing problem that’s plaguing this planet, developers studio Chicken Launcher started working on their game No Place Like Home over two years ago. At the end of 2020, the relaxing sim game was released onto Steam into Early Access, allowing players to get a first taste of their brand new game. A lot of feedback was provided by gamers during this period of time, and by mid-March 2022, the developers decided to release No Place Like Home. Published by Realms Distribution, No Place Like Home is currently solely available on PC. We checked it out for you!
Most Memorable Moment
My most memorable moment is an easy one in No Place Like Home. You see, in this game, you have a farm that you can fill with animals. When I bumped into the first dog, I got really excited, even though he wasn’t going with me back to my farm. I ended up a bit disappointed but then I continued and found out that you can indeed keep dogs on your farm. And you can name them! I’m the biggest doggo lover so this is definitely one of the highlights of No Place Like Home!
ℹ️ Reviewed on PC | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we Liked!
- Clean up the earth has never been so satisfying | The whole map is covered in trash. Literal mountains of trash. Every time you discover a new area, you’ll find yourself seeing almost nothing but all this trash, making it hard to see what is out there. Of course, the game offers a way to clear everything. Your character, Ellen Newland, is equipped with a multifunctional tool that can drill and vacuum! With the drill, you can make your way through the big piles of trash and break them down into smaller litter. After, you can then vacuum the rubbish. Of course, there are various types of trash so you’ll have to upgrade your drill a few times in order to make your way through everything. Honestly, I never expected cleaning all that junk would be so satisfying. I thought it’d get repetitive quite fast, but somehow, it didn’t. Seeing the beautiful world open up before your very own eyes was really amazing.
- Recycle and craft | If there is one thing that No Place Like Home is not, it’s boring. The game has plenty of activities for you to dive into so you’ll always be able to focus on something. First and foremost, there is recycling. The debris you gather when cleaning up the earth has to go somewhere. So why not be useful and make it into various resources. Everything you want to make can be made out of recycled trash, isn’t that amazing? I love the environmental message this game tries and succeeds to convey. Of course, you cannot just start making everything without recipes. Along the way, you’ll meet people who will prove to be quite helpful in helping you learn recipes for all kinds of useful items. Recipes for decorations or specific kinds of food will also be found when digging through the trash, by the way!
- Become a true farmer | Besides the main focus on recycling and crafting, there is also the farming aspect. Since you’re on your grandfather’s farm, it’s kind of obvious that you’ll have to run things there too. You start pretty much from scratch and will be able to elaborate your farm in no time. By gathering seeds you can produce your own vegetables like eggplants and tomatoes. But you can also grow things like potatoes, weeds or apple trees. The more, the merrier! And what is a farm without animals, am I right? Well, I’ve got great news: you can befriend animals in No Place Like Home! By building their homes and giving them the food they crave, you can gain their trust and lead them back to your farm. They will prove to be useful and grant you items in return. For example, chickens give you eggs and cows give you milk. You can then make other dishes with the ingredients your animals give you, like mayo from a couple of eggs. My favorite animal to keep? The dogs, of course! For a more personalized experience, you can name every animal that finds its way to your farm and you can even give them funny hats and throw parties. Super random but so much fun!
- Customize your own place | Of course, there is no place like home so obviously, the game lets you turn your own into your own cute little corner of the world. I’m the kind of person that always spends too much time decorating their own place in games. No wonder I was excited when I found out I could craft items and decorate my house however I please! As if this game didn’t have enough content already, they go ahead and add even more awesome things to focus on. You start with one room and a simple, boring bed but you can start making this into a cozy little place in no time. Beds, couches, lamps, all kinds of decorations, the choice is yours.
- Clear guidance and quests | When launching No Place Like Home and starting a new save, you can pick between adventure and creative mode. The former lets you play the game in an easy and casual way, allowing you to progress in the game step by step. The latter offers a more laidback experience where everything is free and available from the start. Both modes definitely have their charm so it’s up to you what you pick, depending on what playstyle you like most. Anyway, when you start a new game, you first go through the tutorial. This was pretty much one of the best tutorials I’ve ever seen. You walk a linear way and come across various wooden boards that each have drawings on them showing you what to do. Everything was clear from the getgo, allowing the player to understand the basics of the game without effort. The clear guidance doesn’t stop after the tutorial. In your overall menu, you can find a tab with quests. All quests are very simple and straight to the point. Of course, they don’t point to exactly where you need to go, but they are very explanatory and after adventuring for a little while, you can, without a doubt, solve every quest.
- A beautiful world to explore | No Place Like Home has a beautiful world with various areas to explore. When I first started playing this game, I was amazed at how large the map is. It doesn’t look that big, but once you start traveling, you’ll see that it’ll take you some time to get everywhere. You start at the farm but will soon walk, and later fast travel, to all kinds of zones. From snowy and icy mountains to a desert craving water, everything looks quite magnificent. Especially because you discover each new area when it’s still covered in trash. Making your way through this trash, and slowly opening up a new area is quite the experience! Even though the graphics aren’t perfect, the art style is colorful and adorable and compliments the gameplay. So does the sound provided by this game, by the way. Graphics and sound come together creating a very relaxing gaming experience.
- More to come | One thing I really love about No Place Like Home is the very active involvement of the developers. They are very communicative and follow up with the game. Even after the release. And they are still working on a lot. First of all, they are currently trying to follow up on all the bug reports and aim to fix them as soon as possible. Second, we are promised more underground areas to explore. The patch will bring new zone to explore with a few new items, trash to clean and obstacles to overcome. On top of that, the developers are also working on introducing a hard mode. Even though this is a relaxing sim, players looking for a little more challenge will definitely benefit from this update. And then most importantly: the major fishing patch! As of right now, there is no fishing possibility in No Place Like Home. I wasn’t really missing this, as there is plenty to do already, but I also know I’m going to be enjoying the fishing! If you’re curious what the patch will include: a new farm zone with ponds, a brand new NPC, new items and various fishing challenges. Stay tuned!
- Enemies disturb the peace | When you’re digging your way through all of the trash that has taken over the planet, you’ll often bump into robot-like enemies of all sorts. In the beginning, I found the enemies to be quite charming. A fun way to introduce some combat into an otherwise relaxing sim. But the further you get in the game, the more difficult these enemies become. And that’s where the game fucked up a little, I believe. It’s not that the combat is horrible, it’s just that, when it becomes too difficult, it kind of goes against the whole ‘relaxing sim’ idea.
- Story | In No Place Like Home we follow the story of Ellen Newland. After the world has gone to shit, everyone has moved to Mars. However, Ellen’s grandfather is still on Earth so she decides to visit him one last time before she makes the trip to Mars. When she arrives, she finds out that her grandpa is nowhere to be found and that his farm was completely destroyed. Of course, Ellen cannot possibly leave the planet without knowing what happened and finding her dear old grandpa. She sets out on an adventure to find him, help the community, clean the planet and repopulate the farm. It sounds like a good enough story, and it is. But I quickly found myself focusing on the gameplay a lot more than the story, even though I’m someone that’s always ready for a good story. I found the storyline in No Place Like Home to be mediocre and definitely preferred the overall gameplay over it.
What we Disliked
- Bugs | Unfortunately, this came does not come without its bugs. For example, when drilling through garbage, most of it ended up on the ground in big piles. However, sometimes, trash was just floating around for some reason. Well, as far as I know, this is not a science-fiction game or anything so I’m pretty sure this counts as a bug. Then there was also an issue with the menu. You can access your map, inventory, quests and things like this in your menu. Each of these has its own tab. However, when I clicked the quests tab, the tab itself disappeared, while this did not happen with other tabs. It’s not something that gets in the way of players enjoying the game, but it’s still a very obvious bug. On top of that, the game still gets multiple bug reports on Steam on a daily basis. Luckily, the developers are actively fixing everything. There are, however, still quite a few spelling errors that are annoying players very much and need to be fixed as soon as possible.
How long to beat the story | 20 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | This game does not have any achievements.
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂