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The Best Games Like Gone Home Worth Trying [Updated 2022]

We live in a gaming era of many flavors for every palate out there. We get from the most iconic and classic Mario platformers from Nintendo to indie games like Celeste and Transistor. As we improve in processing and graphical power, genres evolve and change as well. We now have FPS and open-world RPG games that couldn’t even be dreamt of before.

Videogames might be as simple as a collection of pixel art on screen or as complex as thousands of physically driven particles in a canvas. No matter how intricate or how basic a game is, it has a goal in mind since day one of its creation, and that is to immerse us in the vision that the developers had when they first conceived their project.

games like gone home

Immersion is a key element for enjoying a game, a game must be able to draw you back to it each and every time, else it will be a forgettable one. It might immerse you with its great mechanics, abundant lore, intricate crafting system, amazing narrative, great art design, or simply because it hits the right tone for your personal taste.

Gone Home is a critically acclaimed title that many of us remember for being an extremely well-crafted feat of immersion. Gone Home, along with a few other candidates on this list, are purely responsible for the surge in popularity in a genre of title known as Walking simulators.

Walking simulators are focused on a strong narrative and implement an overall game design that allows players to move at their own pace. These games allow players to stop and smell the rose and pack tonnes of environmental details and cues into the world to help tell the story.

Gone Home‘s atmosphere is as immersive as it gets, and the story unfolds with no shortage of mystery that keeps you hooked till the end. In this game, you play as Katie Greenbriar, a college student who returns to her family home only to find it empty. So it is your job to explore the Greenbriar estate and discover what has happened in your absence. It’s a captivating story with scandal, heartache, and a heartwarming ending which was very progressive for its time.

However, you may have sped through the short story Gone Home offers and find yourself hungry for more walking sim action. Well, here we compile a list of similar games that you should try out if you liked Gone Home. If walking sims are your thing or you simply would like to try a new gaming experience (trust me, you won’t regret it!). Here are our top picks for the best games like Gone Home.

Quick Overview

We will leave a helpful chart below, so you can easily choose on what platform you would like to play each of these titles. If you own multiple platforms, make sure you browse each store separately as sometimes you can find great discounts in one platform and full price on others.

Game

PC

PS4

Xbox One

Nintendo Switch

Price*

What’s Left of Edith Finch

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

$$$

The Stanley Parable

Yes

No

No

No

$$

Firewatch

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

$$$

The Survey

Yes

No

No

No

$

 

Conarium

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

$$$

Tacoma

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

$$$

 

Call of Cthulhu

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

$$$$

The Long Dark

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

$$$$

 

Narcosis

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

No

 

$$$

 

Dear Esther

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

No

 

$$

Everyone’s Gone to The Rapture

 

Yes

Yes

No

No

$$$

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

$$$

*All prices are considered at the time of writing and reflect the price of Steam’s Store, prices on all other platforms might vary.

1. What Remains of Edith Finch 

what remains of edit finch gone home

This Bafta Award Winner creation by developer Giant Sparrow is a genuine gem within the walking simulator genre. What Remains of Edith Finch is a recollection of stories as you explore the Finch mansion. The central premise of this title is uncovering the effects of the Finch curse and aiming to make sense of the tragic stories involving your extended family.

This game is a bitter-sweet one, as most of the stories tell tales of genuinely likable characters who sadly, all meet tragic ends one way or another. What Remains of Edith Finch masterfully delivers each of those memories in a surreal, yet, so effective way. This title will have you laughing and crying in equal measure as it expertly weaves together wacky and whimsical stories, outlandish game mechanics, and emotive narratives.

Giant Sparrow does an excellent job of marrying together the surreal and reality, offering stories that are fantastical, yet so relatable at their core. Even though the fantastic depictions of these memories might not be something for everyone, the overall atmosphere is relatable in most cases. This is a must-play title on our list.

2. The Stanley Parable

The Stanley Parable
This is one of those cases in which a friend asks: “What’s that game about?” and you have trouble answering without disclosing any details. Plus, if you try, it’s rather unlikely that you will do the game justice. The Stanley Parable offers more of an interactive story experience that breaks the mold offering a narrative that rewards players that think outside the box and break the rules.

It is a fully-fledged title based on a Source mod of the same name that was very famous among players on Steam. You play as Stanley, or more accurately, Stanley plays as you. In this walking simulator you have full control of your decisoo to make. All this paradoxical mumbo-jumbo is narrated step by step, like a GLaDOS in Portal type kind of narrator, bringing this madness to life.

This walking simulator will play you some real good pranks along the way. You’re guaranteed to get a good chuckle in some instances and feel somewhat fooled by the paradoxical yet hilarious narration style. We strongly recommend playing the demo available on Steam, so you can get a brief sense of what you’re getting into, all these words will make much more sense after you have experienced a bit of this mischievous game on your own.

3. Firewatch

firewatch like gone home

Firewatch, by developer Campo Santo, was an immediate success and struck a chord with critics when released. Its well-deserved scores are based on its atmospheric depiction of Wyoming wilderness. After some events in the life of Henry, the protagonist of this story, he decides to work as a fire lookout in the middle of a dry summer.

There, in the middle of nowhere, Henry’s only communication with other people happens through a small radio. His contact, Delilah, to whom he must report any incidents is always there chiming in with words of advice on how to do your job efficiently.

As the player completes the duties and explore a series of strange situations popping in the area, these conversations become more deep and personal, allowing the player to get to know the protagonist and those around them in the wilderness. The game gradually becomes less and less about completing Firewatch tasks and more like a beautifully crafted, animated film.

On top of the stellar script and natural conversation between these two characters, the plot thickens as weirder events and signs of human sabotage emerge, leading to an incredible finale. Firewatch is gaming narrative at its best and is worth every minute invested, it doesn’t last long, but it is worth the ride.

4. The Survey

the survey games like gone home

This short story experience developed by Robert Gammon is one of those games that haven’t been featured in mainstream gaming circles. However, that isn’t a reflection of the quality of this game. It’s a cult game that gradually makes it around gamers through word of mouth and in doing so, invites new players to enjoy this eerie and unsettling experience.

This short story game revolves around one simple premise. No matter what you do, no matter how much you try to bury something and forget your past. The inevitable truth is that it will always catch up with you.

This game takes place in a rather mundane setting. Most of the action takes place in the protagonist’s humble abode. However, the horrors of this game don’t occur here. They happen within the mind of our troubled character.

The story is delivered in the form of loose notes, audio logs, puzzles, and general exploration. Isolation becomes the new normal and while you are completely alone with your thoughts, this is exactly the problem. If you like a little bit of horror, this is a super game well worth checking out.

5. Conarium

cornarium gone home alternatives

With the rise of series like Stranger Things and the new Sabrina the Teenage Witch series, Lovecraftian horror is back in vogue. Conarium is a product of this, riding this wave of popularity and thankfully, sticking the landing. In fact, this game is loosely based on the popular novel, “At the Mountains of Madness”.

In this role, you play the role of Frank Gilman, the victim of a horrible experiment gone awry. You take the reigns after this experiment and your role is simple. Explore this creepy, Lovecraftian setting and uncover who did this to you and why.

The video game takes place in an Antarctic base called Upuat (based on the name of an Egyptian god that represented the winter solstice). So, if you were looking for a remote location, where no one can hear you scream. First of all, we worry about your motives, and secondly, Conarium has just what you are looking for.

This game much like the entry above, Conarium is primarily a psychological horror. The player will fight to retain their sanity as the effects of the experiment slowly take their toll. So it’s a race against the clock to uncover the evil secrets in this freezing base before you succumb to madness. In short, it’s a whole lot of spooky fun.

6. Tacoma

tacoma

We couldn’t leave this one out! This is another great title created by the same studio that gave us Gone Home. Tacoma is a departure from the purely narrative-driven experience of Gone Home but has its roots of exploration and amazing storytelling intact.

The setting is out of this world, literally. This time around, Fullbright gets you aboard a futuristic spaceship in the year 2088. Things haven’t exactly been peachy aboard this space station and you are in charge of recreating piece by piece what transpired was has become of the crew once aboard the vessel.

Much like Gone Home, Tacoma is a game that relies on exploring a quiet place and uncovering the secrets of the past. In this game, story is delivered through holo-recordings and this will help you piece together the enigmatic story, all at your own pace. Plus, you can rewind them and reconstruct every single step at your will, letting you have a close look at moments that can get emotional and sometimes even scary. Be sure to try this one when you get a chance!

 

7. Call of Cthulhu 

Call of Cthulhu 

Focus Entertainment may have been a young studio at the time, but they weren’t holding back on horror when they made Call of Cthulhu. This is a game, inspired by the pen and paper RPG game by Chaosium that also shares the same name. We spoke of Lovecraftian horror already but this one might be an even more apt time to mention the work of Mr. Lovecraft. 

This game does everything in its power to make you a paranoid mess. It has a gloomy, isolated, sinister and mysterious island setting and a chilling story where you must investigate a murder mystery that will explore the gritty and the surreal. In addition to that, throw in some cultists, conspiracies and the classic Lovecraftian Old Gods, and you have the recipe for a great game riddled with moments of anxiety and visceral psychological fear.

The narrative shows the fragility of the human psyche as Pierce, the main character, struggles to determine how far the rabbit hole goes in this murder investigation and what is real and possible anymore. Picture it kind of like the movie Shutter Island, but with a much more surreal, almost sci-fi twist. 

Do yourself a favour and descend into the darkness, you won’t regret it. 

8. The Long Dark 

the long dark

When you think of the term ‘Apocolypse’, you often think of craters in the ground, collapsed cities and general devastation. However, rarely to you think of a serene and quiet landscape, seemingly untouched by the end of days. Well, Hinterland Studio decided to show everyone their unique vision of the apocolypse in their title, The Long Dark.

This episodic walking simulator has survival elements and a uniquely fitting art direction for its storytelling style. You play as pilot Will McKenzie, traveling with Dr. Greenwood. After a geomagnetic disaster and a plane crash, it’s you against nature in a desperate search to find Dr. Greenwood.

The environment is eerie, yet you won’t truly find anything supernatural, what is unsettling and often dangerous is simply nature itself. The sheer anxiety that comes with enduring this snowy and quiet environment is enough to give you the creeps.

The Long Dark has so far released 4 chapters that have developed a great story and offered gameplay that marries narrative and survival-action together expertly. The most recent chapter was released in October 2021 and offers 7-10 hours of gaming bliss, so if you can handle the chilling silence, jump into this game very soon. 

9. Narcosis 

games like gone home narcosis

If Bioshock has taught us anything, it’s that an underwater setting is ripe for horror content. Narcosis takes this same premise and goes deep into under the sea to deliver a spectacular horror epic. In this game, every step you take inside your half-ton underwater dive suit could be your last

Literally immerse yourself underwater into a carefully designed and detailed ocean floor setting, and if you happen to have a VR headset you’ll be in for a treat as Narcosis supports both Oculus and HTC Headsets. The premise is simple, your oxygen (and sanity) is depleting rapidly as you struggle to return to the surface after an earthquake.

Nothing you find under sea level is going to be your buddy. In fact, every sea monster in this terrifying setting will stop at nothing to make that fact very clear indeed.  With a knife in hand and flashlight in the other, you’ll have to try and escape from the nightmare that Narcosis is. The narrative approach told through environemntal cues is sublime. Meanwhile, the game keeps the horror dialled to eleven with every camera shake, every ambient sound and a fantastic overall soundtrack. This is a great adventure game that will leave you satisfied for sure.

10. Dear Esther

Dear Esther
Dear Esther began it’s life as a Source mod and it is considered one of the first walking simulators. So, with the surge in popularity for games of this nature, it was only logical that The Chinese Room would adapt this project into a fully-fledged walking sim.

This can easily be defined as one of the purest walking simulator experiences out there. This ‘game’ takes removes any form of conventional gameplay, stripping back until all that’s left to do, is walk and exist within this incredible world based on the Scottish Highlands. 

The game features incredible vistas, a dynamic world and as you navigate through this world, text will appear on screen. This will tell a heartfelt, almost poetic story in a visual novel style. Meanwhile, a tranquil and calming soundtrack will play as you travel through this story.

It’s not so much of an interactive game, as it is an experience. Yet due to the incredible writing and presentation, this is one of the most profound and touching experiences that you will find within the genre. So we urge you to take this short walk at least once. 

11. Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture

Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture

So, as the title tells us, everyone has gone to the Rapture. However, in this Chinese Room produced title, the details of how and why are somewhat of a mystery. Good thing we are placed right in the middle of the Shropshire inspired setting to uncover the secrets of this small village and find out just why everyone is gone.

The world of Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture is beautiful and detailed, honestly, it’s probably the biggest draw the game has at its disposal. The incredible vistas, detailled textures and unique setting all culminate to offer what is easily the best looking walking sim out there in our eyes. 

The game feels eerie and unsettling. We imagine kind of like how walking through the halls of a school would feel during Summer break. Yet, there is never any danger, just stones to turn and secrets to uncover, all at you own pace as you stop to smell the roses. This is a quentessential walking sim and one you must try. 

12. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter 

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter 
In this title from The Astronauts, you take the role a detective that has an interest in the occult. The story revolves around a letter that your main character, detective Paul Prospero, receives from Ethan Carter himself. This letter would lead you to a place riddled with cryptic deaths, Red Creek Valley.

Once you arrive, you discover that everything is much worse than you thought, and Ethan is completely gone, or some might say he’s, ‘vanished’. Red Creek Valley is an evil place with many murders that seem to be related, all of this also seems to point to something supernatural and otherworldly. 

The game’s mechanics, as most walking simulators, revolve around you being able to explore the environment and search of clues as to what happened, or to trigger some sort of event. Paul has the supernatural ability to communicate with the dead, and through this power, you can slowly piece together how these dark events tie together and revolve around Ethan’s vanishing.

Red Creek Valley is a gorgeous and detailed landscape with a dark and sinister underbelly. The visuals in this title are nothing short of beautiful, but they also evoke some sort of odd feeling that something isn’t right, which fits perfectly with the overall tone of the narrative experience.

It’s not nescessarily a horror game, but it is as unsettling as reading an Edgar Allan Poe story with the lights off at 3 AM. There are some scary moments but nothing even a novice horror gamer can’t handle.

Honorable Mentions 

  • Kentucky Route Zero
  • Journey
  • The Unfinished Swan
  • Death Stranding
  • That Dragon, Cancer
  • SOMA

Final Thoughts

All the games above represent the best in their genre, and if you were into Gone Home, these will keep you busy for a while for sure. Walking simulators have only got better as this gaming trend gathered momentum, utilizing every technical resource available to deliver pristine storytelling, accompanied by outstanding animation and graphics.

There are so many debates about these experiences being games or not, as the gameplay trade-off for the narrative component is enormous in some cases. However, no matter what stance you take, you can’t deny that most of these experiences are incredibly well-made and blur the line between games and interactive fiction art in the best ways possible.

What is your favorite walking sim? Did we leave out any excellent alternatives to the BAFTA award winning, Gone Home? Let us know in the comments section below and as always, thank you for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is Gone Home a puzzle game?

Answer: Gone Home advertises itself as a game that focuses more on its interactive story rather than solving puzzle after puzzle. Throughout the game, you explore the Greenbriar family’s empty house and have to guide Kaitlin Greenbriar through the large estate through gathering clue after clue. There are puzzle adjacent elements, but this is far from a traditional puzzle game.

Question: Which Platforms is Gone Home available on?

Answer: As of writing, Gone Home is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Linux, Wii U, Mac OS, and Macintosh. 

Question: What kind of game is Gone Home?

Answer: Gone Home is a story exploration game that enforces interactive storytelling through environmental cues.

Further Comparisons

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