A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While there are messages of friendship, love, and support amongst the characters, there's also an overshadowing feeling of dread, despair, and depression for their circumstances, which they don’t have any control over.
Positive Role Models
Ao and Bo are two queer, non-binary students that have just graduated from university and are trying to figure out what to do with their lives. While they fully embrace who they are, such as Bo's struggles with Dyspraxia and Dyslexia, and Ao's concerns about her religion and multi-national identity, they also tend to not be overly motivated to seek solutions to their problems.
Ease of Play
Gameplay is a mix of point and click interactions with the environment, along with rotating the scenes with two keys to discover new areas to interact with in locations. It's possible to miss a number of things because the you haven't rotated a location or explored thoroughly enough. Also, it's not always easy to figure out who's talking in group scenes. Other story elements remain completely unexplained and are up for personal interpretation.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
While Ao and Bo call each other lover and sleep in the same bed, nothing's ever shown and there’s nothing sexual shown during the game.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There are bottles that represent alcohol and the characters talk about making drinks or being hungover.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that No Longer Home is a downloadable point and click adventure for Windows PCs. The game centers around two students that have just graduated from university in England, who are dealing with the emotional baggage that comes with their next steps in their lives and how it will affect or change their relationship. Gameplay's relatively easy to control thanks to its point and click nature, along with the use of only two buttons to rotate the camera around the location you’re in to discover new items to interact with or observe. It’s entirely possible to completely miss elements because you haven't explored enough or rotated the camera. It's also possible to misunderstand conversations because figuring out who’s talking, particularly in group scenes, isn't entirely clear. While nothing's shown, there’s some potential dialogue revolving around stabbing and suicidal ideation. Similarly, there’s discussions about things like depression and disassociation in conversations which could affect some players. There are also some sequences where alcoholic bottles are shown and comments are made about drinking and being hungover, but these events aren’t seen by players.
Is It Any Good?
This is a short, touching emotional tale of two students, but the missing resolution of any story points can leave you disappointed and frustrated with the tale. No Longer Home will strike a nerve with older gamers, especially those that have been in college or had older siblings that struggled with what they wanted to do with their lives when they graduated. In fact, the emotional tone the game strikes with the handling of anxiety and fears for Ao, Bo, and their friends feels genuine. It's touching to know that Ao and Bo have found each other as queer, non-binary people that care for each other, and also have a group of friends that support them and their choices. It's also what makes the exploration of their lives through their South London flat so heartbreaking, because you're constantly reminded of the life that they're both losing due to the expired student visa. While you sincerely hope they'll both find happiness, ideally with each other, there's a sense and dread that this might not actually work out in the end, which feels realistic, because not every story ends happily.
Unfortunately, while this feels like it's handled just right, far too many items are unexplained. For example, the game introduces magical realism elements like odd monster-like creatures or plants that grow in unexpected places in the flat, without any explanation of why they're in the story. If the game included them as a manifestation of the character's fears, or even explained their presence as a metaphor, this would make sense. Instead, there's no explanation, and no outcome when you interact with these elements. Similarly, while Ao, Bo, and their friends talk to each other, the dialogue feels a bit shallow, and right as a conversation seems like it's going to reach a deep moment, it shifts to a new scene. Unfortunately, that means important topics are raised but are never resolved, conversations fall flat, and before you know it, the game ends abruptly. It's bittersweet, because No Longer Home had a lot of promise, but it leaves you wanting a lot more.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.