The Average Gamer

Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition Review (PC)

Three Fourths Home Logo
The Extended Edition of Three Fourths Home is out today. Coming from Bracket Games, it”s a visual novel of sorts that has you holding down the “drive” button in a car while choosing dialogue options.

It”s… not my style of game, nor of storytelling. Everything is told as a conversation between your character, Kelly, and various members of her family. My problem is that you”re presented with dialogue options and no indication of whether you”re being honest or lying. At one point, I was asked about my old friend Kyle and my options were Kyle really liked Jessie or Kyle really hated Jessie or something else entirely. I have no idea. I don”t even know who Kyle is. Am I being asking to define a backstory into this game? Make uninformed commentary on an as-yet-unrevealed canon backstory? Could it be a commentary on how other people, like your family, might only see a version of the truth as presented through your lens?

Ultimately, it doesn”t matter. I played through the original game and the new epilogue. Very little of the hinted backstory was eventually revealed, instead focusing on Kelly”s relationship with her dismissive mother and her own sadness. Being someone who lives with chronic pain myself, I tried to be accepting of her injured dad”s choice to drink alcohol on bad casino online days, since he doesn”t take pain meds. Later, the game still forced me into an awkward moment of judging him, negating my careful choices.

The new epilogue uses a different narrative style from the main game, that changes at least twice throughout, making the whole thing feel rather a mess. Rather than being set in the original game”s “reality” it seems to partly a memory of an actual conversation, partly internal reactions from Kelly but presented as the memory of a conversation and partly Kelly just berating herself through the voice of her mother.

Three Fourths Home StoryThe visual section is pleasing, in a minimalist, monochrome way, if you happen to look away from the dialogue at the right time. The story however, stays too close to the banalities of disconnected family to be particularly thought-provoking. I can”t stand listening to my parents talk to each other about nothing when I call them on Skype, so I certainly don”t need to click through it in a game. The best part of Three Fourths Home is a story written by Kelly”s brother Ben, and even that finishes with an empty and unfulfilling conclusion.

Three Fourths Home is advertised as having hundreds of choices that affect outcomes. By the time I”d clicked through 75 minutes of criticism from her mother, breezy nothing from her father and intensive fact-dump from her brother, I simply didn”t care about Kelly, nor her dysfunctional familial relationships. Given the amount of padding I found on my first playthrough, along with my alcohol-acceptance being overturned, I just don”t have any interest in playing it through again.

Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition will be out today on Steam. This edition includes the soundtrack, a series of photos related to the story and four new stories by in-game character Ben.

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2 Comments

  1. Stuart luff

    22nd Mar, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Nice read, would it be fair to say that when you do a game with a minimalist visual style it’s very important to make sure that your characters/plot/method of storytelling is appealing to the player? I can’t help but think that if you get that wrong then you’re not really leaving the player with anything to like.

    • Debbie Timmins (Weefz)

      27th Mar, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      Well, every player is different. I get that they were trying to ground the story in realism. It’s not the kind of thing I enjoy, though worked well for Gone Home, etc.