Three Fourths Home Review: Its Genre's Game of the Year

Three Fourths Home is an immersive narrative game with a female protagonist and a family that leads to an unforgettable experience.

When playing a video game, I always focus on several factors, like most reviewers do. The thing with narrative games though, is that various aspects of the game are cut down in order to focus more on the story and the characters. There nothing wrong with this; it’s just a different kind of game, and one that I really enjoy playing on occasion.

Three Fourths Home is by far one of the best narrative games that I have ever played, bar none.  The game, which is only an hour long, and around the price you would pay to rent a movie from Amazon, impacted me more than some games that are several hours long.

A simple yet masterful design

Three Fourths Home was made by [bracket]games, who designed the game after their own personal experiences. The game focuses on Kelly, a young woman in her mid-20s who has returned home for the first time in years. When the game starts out, she’s in the middle of nowhere. It starts to rain. She begins to drive when her phone rings. And so the story begins.

The game is focused around driving and talking on the phone with your family. The only way you can talk on the phone and forward the story is by driving in order to get closer to home. The game really does feel like you are driving down a Nebraskan road in the middle of nowhere, with the scenery constantly changing as you further the story.

You can keep your foot on the gas to keep driving, fiddle with the various things in the car and finally talk on the phone.   You need to continue your conversation with your family in order to forward the story. This is a simple concept, and may not seem like much.But with the black and white art style, combined with the overall tone of the story, it really feels as if you are absorbed in this melancholic story of family drama.

Every piece of dialogue actually means something

Your family is a big part of your interactions in Three Fourths Home; it’s the entire reason Kelly was out in the middle of nowhere in the first place. Part of the gameplay focusses on Kelly answering her family members on the phone, each answer determining what sort of relationship you have with them.

According to the website, there are over 500 dialogue choices. Each choice, everything you say, shapes the story that you have with your family. Kelly is a somewhat blank slate when it comes to her family life, and your choices fill those blanks in. Kelly becomes a three-dimensional character because of you and how you answer her family. It’s a very immersive way of determining just who Kelly really is.

All of the family members act like real people

Unlike other entries in the Narrative Games genre, Three Fourths Home stands out because it actually develops all of its characters. You learn about your mother, father, and younger brother in equal doses - not forsaking one character's development for the other. Everyone has story, it’s just a matter of whether or not you’re interested in hearing it.

The characters aren’t clichéd stereotypes. They talk and react just like normal human beings when something happens. You can feel the warmth when you father calls you baby doll over the phone, the disappointment when your mother talks to you about getting a job, and the utter confusion of your brother reacting to various aspects of the world around him. During each of these conversations, you can respond in a variety of ways and with each response they return an answer you’d expect from family members in real life. They have real problems and traits that you can relate to.

This isn’t just any family; depending on your answers this can actually feel like your own family.

Brillantly woven together like a short story

Three Fourths Home was written by a group of people who are able to relate to these kinds of aspects of family. With all of the joys, there comes an equal amount of sorrow, and that is what they express in this game.  This game very much resembles a short story, leaving the player at a place of confusion and turmoil by the very end of it all.

If you enjoy games based on narrative or if you just enjoy brilliantly written family based stories in general I’d highly recommend you pick this up. It is worth the emotional roller coaster it provides.  It is by far the most immerseive of these narrative games that I've ever played and if there was one game from this genre that deserves to win Game of the Year it's this one.

Three Fourths Home is available on the [bracket]games website and at the Humble Store for only $ 3.39.

Our Rating
Three Fourths Home is an immersive narrative game with a female protagonist and a family that leads to an unforgettable experience.

Featured Correspondent

Angelina Bonilla, also known as Red Angel, is a writer with a Bachelor's degree in Humanities, as well as a passion for various other topics such as life sciences and psychology. Video games have been a big part of her life since childhood and she writes about them with the same passion that she writes about books.

Published Jun. 9th 2020
  • Leandro_4946
    I bought this game because of this review. I should've paid more attention to the "leaving the player at a place of confusion and turmoil by the very end of it all" part. It really left me at a place of confusion, but not in a good sense. It was just "what? Is that all?". I actually kept looking for a walkthrough after I finished it to see if I could get some answers - any answers - by choosing different options, but it looks like that was really all.

    I started looking for information about this game after reading an article that complained about Gone Home and the writer said how Three Fourths Home was so much better. Your review closed the deal. As much as I don't think Gone Home deserves all the praise it got, in my opinion Three Fourths Home is much worse. It simply goes nowhere. It doesn't answer anything. I found it very difficult to feel any empathy for the characters when we don't know anything about them - and they flat out refuse to explain anything when we ask.

    Maybe the player needs to fill the gaps with personal memories, but "unfortunately" I have a normal family, my father didn't get into an unknown accident and lost a limb and neither got a little crazy, I don't have a brother with mental problems, I don't even live in a country that gets hit by tornadoes. So this game fell into my "now there's time and money I won't get back" category.
  • Angelina Bonilla
    Featured Correspondent
    I'm sorry you were unhappy with the game, It seems that we both had drastically different experiences with the game which makes this quite interesting. I also came from a normal family but in some way every family is a little dysfunctional so I suppose that's where we are supposed to be thinking from. The dysfunctional side of our families.

    I feel as if most of the characters development came from the dialogue and the reason why I cited Three Fourths Home in my Gone Home article (thank you for reading that by the way) was because I ended up connected to all the characters in a different way. I felt as if the dialogue was strong and with my own choices from my three or four run throughs, most of them showed different aspects of the characters.

    That said, there are a lot of dialogue choices and it makes me wonder if I just either was extremely lucky with mine. That and I'm a bit of an odd duck when it comes to the games I end up liking, so having someone not a game that I like isn't really surprising to me.

    To each his or her own, I really do appreciate you reading this article, the other article and taking the time to comment on your own experiences.

    It really means a lot to know that you read the articles on the site and I hope to see you commenting on other articles again. :)
  • Yasmin Curren
    Featured Correspondent
    Great review! I am definitely trying out this game now!

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