Inspired by Thai myths, Home Sweet Home is a horror game that is perfect for Halloween as you play on the edge of your seat on PS4 or PS VR. Will it freak you out in a good or bad way? Find out in our Home Sweet Home review!
The story starts off in the dark, with a one-way dialog from your wife, telling you to get up. Upon opening your eyes, you find yourself in a room you don’t recognize. Leaving that room gets you to a place you don’t recognize either, so you’ll obviously panic and want to leave that place as soon as you can. On your way out, you’ll notice someone, who you’ll try to catch, only to find a young girl covered in blood, who tries to come at you with a sharp blade! From there, escaping the place, finding your wife and staying alive are going to be your main objectives. Are you up for the challenge?
To do this, you’ll be playing in the first-person perspective in what could fall into the category of a “walking simulator” game. There is no way for you to fight back anything that comes at you, so the only way to survive those creatures will be to hide in, say, lockers until the creatures leave the are through a door or in a bloody magic hole in the wall. One thing you’ll have to consider when exploring is that rooms change places, doors that led to other rooms you’ve visited sometimes change to present you with a brick wall, so you’ll have to tread carefully around the place and remember where you can hide or else it’s game over for you!
Other than hiding from these creatures, you’ll be presented with the typical formula that blocks your progress at different points so you’ll have to go back and find the object that will help you advance a bit further. And since the rooms are almost always never the same, it’s not a matter of carefully looking around each room to find those objects as you progress, since sometimes they won’t be there (or the room itself won’t be there) until you’ve reached a location that requires an additional object. During your exploration, you’ll also find collectibles like diaries, newspapers and other stuff that will provide you with hints as to what’s happening. You’ll sometimes find documents that describe how to perform certain jynx, again helping you figure out the events that led to your current situation.
The horror aspect of the game is nicely done, with a mostly dark environment where you have to turn your flashlight on to see something, and with scattered objects like creepy dolls and blood-soaked items, all to make the atmosphere stressful. There’s also close to no sound in the game, so when you hear a noise, your stress level quickly increases. When you hide from those spirits, the sound of your heartbeat goes through the roof to emphasize the stressful situation, but, unfortunately, there’s is no controller vibration to match this. A small detail maybe, but one that can really help to get you immersed, like the excellent Yomawari did.
I started the game with no other expectations than to have a good fright, and I got served on that matter! The atmosphere is really creepy, and with the always changing rooms and doors, you can never really be sure you’re safe, so for that, it was great.
Further on though, the pattern started to repeat itself and wasn’t as thrilling as it was in the beginning. It was always a matter of noticing the spirit (which was easy because it was always after the autosave icon flashed), having her notice you, run to the closest hiding spot, wait until she leaves, and then continue as if nothing happened. Oh and at times I was literally behind the spirit, pointing my flashlight right at her, and she just kept walking away as if I wasn’t there.
Also, one thing that truly bugged me is the fact that there was no option to adjust either the sensitivity or the y-axis (for that matter, the x-axis was also not adjustable). This is something that’s pretty standard in a first-person game, and I honestly can’t remember the last time I played one that didn’t give me this option, so that was a letdown for me – and made it harder to play the game since I’m an inverted y-axis kinda guy.
As for the trophies, the game shouldn’t be that much of a challenge to 100% (no platinum, sorry!). There are a couple of trophies related to finding all collectibles, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue if you take the time to explore every room you come across – you know, even with the changing rooms and moving objects.
In the end, this game gave me some scary moments, but it did left me wanting a bit more out of the experience. I would’ve liked a bit less predictability in the whole game’s gameplay cycle, and my inverted y-axis access. But if you’re looking for a spooky Halloween game on PS4, then this one is going to scratch that itch. The game is available digitally on PSN, and there’s also a physical copy available exclusive at Gamestop.
This Home Sweet Home review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Mastiff.