While last week’s featured indie was the cyberpunk action RPG The Ascent, we’re dialling it back a bit this time by taking a look at the heartfelt slice-of-life story, No Longer Home.
Developed by non-binary developers Hana Lee and Cel Davison, No Longer Home explores many aspects of modern life for young people including class, university, immigration, sexuality and identity. It’s set in a London flat and follows Bo and Ao, two student flatmates who are preparing to move out as they reach the end of their studies.
No Longer Home is intended to be a semi-autobiographical piece, with both developers from Humble Grove inserting events from their lives into the game. Their hope is to tell a story that will ring familiar to young people who are currently experiencing the same kind of things as Bo and Ao do.
The game begins with a prologue featuring the two protagonists meeting for the first time, and we immediately begin to see them explore their identity as they question whether they feel like they fit into the “gender binary”.
Fast forward a year. Bo and Ao have built a life as flatmates inside a tiny Peckham flat. Graduation is coming up, and the two will be forced to say goodbye to this place due to circumstances beyond their control.
Ao is forced to return to their home country of Japan, while Bo is disillusioned by whatever post-educational life awaits them. This short game explores their final few days inside the house as they try to come to terms with their uncertain futures.
No Longer Home is a point-and-click adventure, meaning you control a character by using your mouse to click around the screen. As you explore the flat, you’ll be able to click on different objects to interact with them, such as playing a video game or speaking to other characters. And yes, you can even pet the cat!
While the gameplay isn’t deep, it doesn’t exactly need to be. In fact, I’d say it’s perfect to allow the story to become the key focus here. There are many scenes which involve the characters just talking, allowing you to get to know them, their goals, and their insecurities.
The game isn’t super long either. It’s about the length of a film. It took me about 90 minutes to finish, but you could easily spend more time exploring the flat and discovering new things about it.
No Longer Home is already quite an accessible game. You use the mouse click to move around and interact with things, while the ‘A’ and ‘D’ keys rotate your screen. It’s not a fast-paced game at all either, and everything will wait for you if you need time to take in each scene.
It also features content warnings on the menu for the themes explored, which includes conversations about gender and mental health. For anyone who may find these themes hard to talk about due to personal matters, you will at least be able to prepare for it this way.
Ultimately, this makes the game very accessible to as many people as possible. I played through it last night and had a lovely time. Ao and Bo are very relatable characters to anyone in their twenties, and the LGBTQ representation makes it a fantastic piece to play through for anyone who belongs to that community.
Have you played No Longer Home? Let us know your thoughts on it across our social channels!
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Featured Image Credit: Humble Grove