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No Place Like Home Review

No Place Like Home is a post-apocalyptic farm game. You are one of the last remaining people on earth after humanity trashed the planet with garbage and abandoned it to start a new life on Mars. Your life mission is to clean the environment, rebuild the village and run your own farm in order to survive.

The immediate first thing I noticed is that there is no running or jumping in this game which felt really weird and made collectibles hidden behind piles of garbage a chore to get to. That said I don’t mind it much as that’s sorta the whole deal of the game! Besides that the gameplay feels a bit cumbersome, things like picking up structures is finicky and you can’t pick up anything because you must use the vacuum to do that and with everything going flying when you hit it a wild goose chase happens every time. And if your inventory is full you do pay for an item in the shop but don’t get it, kinda annoying you need to check that. That said this game does perfectly satisfy that itch of taking care of a big task and just ‘mindlessly’ going at it bit by bit while listening to relaxing music (and getting to grab items you shouldn’t be able to because the vacuum is stronger than the barriers). As a small minus I’d say that the combat is absolutely terrible, you’re wielding a long huge shovel, yet your range is 0, you have to touch the enemy to hit them. Lastly I’m impressed at how big the world already is, how many decorating options there are and how unique and fleshed out the upgrade trees are even in this early state.

The visuals are quite good looking with pretty (as far as literal garbage can be pretty) cartoony styled graphics and quite a lot of attention to detail in for example foliage, trees and creatures. As for the mechanics in No Place Like Home you wield a shovel (and later upgrades), vacuum cleaner and water sprayer to clean up whatever is in your way. Most notably, there is no jump or dash! The soundtrack to No Place Like Home is quite calming and relaxing but it doesn’t feel all that unique or especially varied, it absolutely functions for what it needs to do but it does get stale quite quickly. As for the sound design I like what they’ve done so far, the sounds of whacking dirt piles or vacuuming isn’t annoying and just straight up satisfying.

Overall, I’d describe this game as Stardew Valley with Minecraft elements, but in third-person perspective. It’s a fun casual game if you just want to unwind. You don’t need to think too much about stuff, it’s very straightforward and quests aren’t hard to complete. The part of vaccuming all the trash is what makes me want to play this more because it’s just feels so satisfying.

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