A lot of folks tend to go to the J-Horror spectrum when talking about the wave of otherworldly and petrifying Asian horror picks. But truth be told, Thailand has some of the most intensely terrifying horror experiences around, and Home Sweet Home brings all that terror usually spread out in film and instead sets it up in an interactive, claustrophobic nightmare.
You take on the role of Tim, a poor fella, who is in an emotional spiral since the disappearance of his wife. When he wakes up in a dilapidated building with no idea how he got there, he finds that he is going to have to piece together clues while surviving against supernatural forces to discover the truth behind his wife’s disappearance.
Home Sweet Home is steeped in Thailand’s rich, supernatural folklore in every beat. Those familiar with Thailand ghosts know that the terror behind each of the ghosts comes from the believable, organic – almost corporeal presence their tales can psychologically manifest.
While the game is primarily a stealth survival horror akin to Soma and Outlast, it mixes in a fair variety of action and puzzles to keep things interesting along the way.
For the most part, you are tasked with going about finding letter, books and other clues to piece together the pendulous mystery. Keep in mind, you have to do all that while avoiding a creepy box cutter-wielding ghost that keeps entering our dimension through dark portals and hunting for you. Hearing the clicking of a box cutter slowly extending and retracting unexpectedly in your immediate vicinity is hair-raising.
In fact, the sound design entirely works when it is being subtle. The faint sound of footsteps, or the sound of a weeping, tormented ghost is great, but sadly overpowered by louder auditory shocks that at times feel too heavy handed. Certain shrieks are more annoying than they are effective jump scares.
Home Sweet Home’s attention to Thai myth and belief is really what makes this game sincerely interesting. There is something entirely both terrifying and beautiful about this particular sub-genre and it’s really nice to see it represented so lovely in game.
I was able to check this out on both Xbox One X and PSVR and I gotta say that while both were frightening experiences, VR is definitely the way this game should be played. It is cranks the scares and the claustrophobic atmosphere up to 10.