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A great work in progress

  • SmashyQ
  • 05/31/2014 11:20 PM
As of this writing, Home is in version 0.7.0.

Those who have played OFF before might think at first glance that Home is pretty close to how the original game went. In some respects, it is. You still go through Zones 1 - 3 and fight the Guardians who rule over them. Zacharie the fourth-wall breaking merchant is still around, the Batter has his sacred mission, three companions join you, and the layouts of the zones are almost the same. These aren't the sort of things that can change all that much when you're at the beginning of the events in OFF.

That's where the similarities, for the most part, stop.

You have the expected: new enemies, bosses, areas, items, and music. Oh my goodness the music. It's fitting and you're bound to have a favorite sooner or later. There are also some new faces who join The Judge in his adventure. The original characters really feel like they belong in this world of smoke, plastic, meat, and metal.

Now, if you're a fan of cats, well good news: while the Batter had rings backing him up, The Judge gets fellow felines. There are cat spectres, too, and even Zacharie gets in on the theme when you first meet him.

Surprisingly, one of the most significant changes occurs at the end of zone 1. I would love to say what, but the effect it has would be lessened. Suffice to say fans of OFF may find this refreshing, giving a spot of hope for what lies ahead.

What I don't mind saying is that there's a second merchant who is hidden in almost every zone. It's worth tracking him down if you can. Some of the other things that were changed include: the first Guardian being meaner (really); the first boss seeming like he stepped straight out of a horror film; a tad easier minigame replacing the unexpected one from OFF that most players found difficult; the amusement park having a tunnel of love; and the Batter being almost useless. There's a bunch more, although it's better to see them than hear about them.

The game goes pretty much how you'd expect it to up until Zone 4. After that, it's like a switch is flipped and the unsettling atmosphere increases. All bets are off. You're walking into the unknown blind without a clue of what you'll be going up against. The zone itself is pretty long - granted, it has been a few updates since zone 4 was introduced and the zone's only recently been finished so it's been slow going to see it through - and the curve balls Felix sends towards the player are bound to leave a few jaws dropping.

Right now Home is in beta. There's dialogue to fix and minor bugs to iron out, but it's well worth checking out right now. Most people don't want to touch it until it's done. Having played each version since 0.4.0, I can safely say that this game has gone through some great changes and I encourage anyone interested in it to download the game and give it a try. Besides, save files can always be copied and pasted into an updated game folder. What's there to lose?


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Fantastic review. I'm so glad Zone 4 impacted you as much as it did. That means my design direction is working as intended.
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