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Review

No Longer Home (Switch) Review

You’re a broke twenty-something living out of home. With little money in your bank account and a lot on your mind, you’re just trying to live your best life without getting weighed down. This familiar period of one’s life is the space in which No Longer Home exists.

Created by the small team at Humble Grove, (and published by Melbourne-based label Fellow Traveller!) No Longer Home sees you in the shoes of Ao and Bo, navigating their lives as they reach a juncture. After forming a relationship during their studies at University, they are now faced with moving out of their London flat and having to live apart from each other for the first time – the end of an era. No Longer Home acts as a window into their world as you navigate this ending, both emotionally through the characters, and physically through their home.

As a semi-autobiographical work, No Longer Home is representative of the lead developers Hana and Cel, who experienced similar situations in their lives as Uni finished up. And you can really see this in Ao and Bo’s conversations throughout the game. The writing is very real. It feels as if you’ve awkwardly walked in on two friends having a deep and meaningful late night convo in the backroom of a party. But No Longer Home allows you to stay and listen to the heart-to-hearts and the inner most thoughts. One addition that comes out of left-field is the addition of some supernatural stuff acting as metaphors for Ao and Bo’s uneasy situation, including big monsters in place of housemates. It’s a great idea and I was hoping to see more of it, however by the end of the game it turned out to have been just a sliver, and I was sad to not see it expanded further.

The gameplay is very minimalistic, basically consisting of just walking around the flat, interacting with objects, talking to characters, and making dialogue choices. There isn’t much to it, meaning it’s easy to jump into if you’re not a video game person, or you just want a laidback game at the end of a big day. You are in control of both Ao and Bo through the course of the game, but interestingly, when the two are talking with each other you’ll be able to lead the conversation in favour of one or the other, choosing who speaks what line next, and which line will be omitted from the conversation. It’s a neat mechanic that really emulates two polite, considerate or awkward people talking, waiting for the next chance to speak in a conversation. 

The cel-shaded artstyle is brilliant too. It seems an odd comparison to make considering how different in tone the two games are, but it reminded me a lot of Untitled Goose Game’s graphics. Ao and Bo’s flat also feels very lived in, while simultaneously feeling like a little diorama. And when and the walls of the flat begin to shift around mid-chat, revealing a starry sky in all directions, the game begins to have an otherworldy feel, while still being very grounded by the characters and their situation. It gives the game a real unique charm. The audio adds greatly to this too, being very understated, giving the game a very still, almost meditative atmosphere.


As the credits rolled I found myself thinking the game could’ve done with a bit of length. If you charge through it, you could probably finish No Longer Home in less than two hours. And that’s not to say I would prefer some padding but I wanted some more resolution. But perhaps this is just the length and type of story that Humble Grove wanted to tell, and that’s okay. No Longer Home is a great game regardless, and if you’ve been in a similarly uncertain situation to Ao and Bo’s (or Hana and Cel’s) you’ll be sure get some enjoyment here.

Rating: 3.5/5

The Good

+ A semi-autobiographical story which feels very real
+ Really pretty cel-shaded art and soundtrack
+ Emotional beats that’ll tug at your heartstrings

The Bad

- Pretty short in its entirety
- Metaphorical supernatural stuff not as fleshed out as it could’ve been
- Walking around and interacting with the world is a bit clunky

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As the credits rolled I found myself thinking the game could’ve done with a bit of length. If you charge through it, you could probably finish No Longer Home in less than two hours. And that’s not to say I would prefer some padding but I wanted some more resolution. But perhaps this is just the length and type of story that Humble Grove wanted to tell, and that’s okay. No Longer Home is a great game regardless, and if you’ve been in a similarly uncertain situation to Ao and Bo’s (or Hana and Cel’s) you’ll be sure get some enjoyment here.

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About The Author
Sam Williams
Longtime Nintendo and Vooks enthusiast turned contributor. Full-time funny guy.

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