Sunday, May 13

Review: Three Fourths Home [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Games that primarily revolve around a clever narrative, with a focus on branching dialogue over pretty well everything else, have certainly become a thing in the indie space. They’re also pretty challenging to review since to be too specific about their nature or storyline can defeat the purpose or magic. Three Fourths Home, which involves a discussion your character is having on the phone with her family while driving home in a storm, that is certainly compelling as it happens but also lacks some of the depth and punch of other genre titles already on the Switch.

In the game you’ll play the role of Kelly, a young woman in her 20s who has moved back into her parents’ house after some difficulties. As is the case with almost anyone there’s some tension, complex interpersonal relationships, baggage, etc when it comes to family and Kelly’s is no exception. Her mother and father have their own issues but it seems that Kelly’s relationship with her brother, who is disabled, also isn’t a simple one. To say more would ruin working it out yourself through the various dialogue options you’ll have, and different choices will reveal different aspects of the big picture.

What you’ll learn through this “slice of life” discussion on the way home is interesting, and all of the dialogue feels very real, but at the same time much of it feels like only a tease. That is, no doubt, the hook to have you play again and try different options to tease out more information. But, overall the runtime is only enough for you to get initially invested in the characters but then it is over before you have the chance to explore too much, which is a shame. In theory the Extended Edition’s Epilogue would help with this but it’s presence also messes with the proper game’s ending and I didn’t feel like it gave me more answers in line with what I wanted.

My apologies for the vagueness around the title but if you have an interest in exploring characters and seeing life through a different lens than your own you’re better off walking in knowing as little as possible. The dialogue in the game is well-crafted, and each family member really feels like a living and breathing person, making the experience all the more compelling. That said, it is really an interactive story of sorts that you’ll only be able to kick around for a few hours before you’ve exhausted it. If you enjoy this sort of experience it is worthwhile but among its competitors in the same space on the Switch I’d say there’s also better available overall.

Score: 6.5

  • What generally feels like authentic dialogue
  • Does some exploration of having a family member with a disability, though not very much
  • Replay is viable to explore other dialogue options

  • The epilogue is nice but in some ways doesn’t work in the overall scheme of things
  • Not good for more than a few hours