No Longer Home: A Beautifully Bleak Portrayal Of Life – Demo Preview
If this year’s LudoNarraCon event has taught me anything, it’s that narrative-heavy games are my bread and butter. I love them all, from the downright quirky to the solemnly poignant. No Longer Home fits into the latter category. Despite being a bleak portrayal of the downtrodden youth culture in the UK, something I am all too familiar with, No Longer Home still manages to feel like a seminal indie title that is absolutely worth playing.
“There are all sorts of thematic and striking abstract visuals. You’ll see levels shifting in design, characters floating up toward the stars and giant warping balls of matter gingerly hovering above your bed.”
After playing a series of wacky and fantastical narrative-based games, it felt all too fitting to play No Longer Home. Despite all its abstract themes and visual style, No Longer Home is a rather grounding and relatable narrative title. It also has a lot to say about the trials and tribulations of youth. The demo’s focus on Bo and their lack of motivation and lustre felt strikingly relatable on a deeply uncomfortable level. And that’s not a criticism being levied against No Longer Home. Rather, I found the setting and writing to be satisfyingly realistic and exceptionally well-written.
To create a sense of intrigue and prevent the game from becoming altogether bleak, No Longer Home intertwines its grounded narrative with abstract themes. There are all sorts of thematic and striking abstract visuals. You’ll see levels shifting in design, characters floating up toward the stars and giant warping balls of matter gingerly hovering above your bed. It captures the essence of a depressed British adult struggling to find their way in life by cleverly contrasting the mundane with the incomprehensible.
“No Longer Home is a little more depressing than the previous titles that I have had the chance to play, but that in no way diminishes its value as an incredibly evocative and poignant indie title.”
Aside from the semiosis of the game’s core narrative, the game’s visual and auditory design help bring to life its claustrophobic and dark tone. There is a wonderfully ethereal soundtrack underscoring the low-poly visuals. The combination of the two adds to the overall unsettling nature of the game’s world and characters. It also affords it a floaty, dreamlike quality. It’s certainly one of the more unique uses of a soundscape that I’ve experienced in recent memory.
No Longer Home is a little more depressing than the previous titles I have had the chance to play. But that in no way diminishes its value as an incredibly evocative and poignant indie title. This is a bleak and abstract portrayal of the inner workings of a young adult’s mind as they attempt to figure out what is next in their life. It’s an incredibly complex issue and one that is handled expertly here. I cannot wait to experience the rest of Bo and Ao’s story when the game launches later this year.
Be sure to head on over to No Longer Home’sSteam store page to try the demo out for yourself. You can also wishlist it on Steam to be notified of any future updates.