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Homebody is a time loop throwback to PlayStation horror games

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Horror is a vast genre, ranging from blood-soaked slasher movies to weird and gory campfire stories. homebodyPublished by Rogue Games and Developed by Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator Studio Game Grumps, tends toward the latter. I take on the role of Emily, a young woman with agoraphobia – an isolated, suffocating fear of leaving your safe space and experiencing awkward, embarrassing or uncomfortable experiences.

I’m in an isolated house full of friends, rented for years by an eccentric writer, when the power unexpectedly cuts out. After a few jokes about horror movie atmosphere, I check the power box, which is strangely empty—there are only two cords, one going up to the attic and one going down to the basement. These are also the areas of the home that we are forbidden from entering by the absentee homeowner. As I resign myself to checking out the basement, I am stabbed by a mysterious masked man.

But then the clock turns, and I’ve just come home again. I try to bring up this experience with my friends through the dialogue tree when we chat, but no matter how much I try to warn them – it just filters through in small talk. It happens. homebody Combines primal fear for one’s life with the much less intense (but more relatable) fear of awkward conversations, strained friendships, and people being mad at you.

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Emily, the protagonist of Homebody, explores the large and surreal rental home where her friends are vacationing, which opens into a mall-like structure.

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Image: Game Grumps / Wicked Games

homebody Delightfully takes inspiration from PlayStation-era survival-horror games with fixed camera angles and polygonal graphics. Emily is not gifted in combat, and as such, my best options for dealing with the killer are to simply hide in a closet or run away. Punctuates cutscenes and flashbacks homebody, depicting Emily’s social anxiety. She has been isolating herself for the past year, and it is a growing source of resentment for her friends.

Making matters worse, the gentleman who owns the house my friends rent is eccentric. There are locks and keypads everywhere. I find a note on a desk that matches a letterbox; If I open it, I get a color code that can be used to adjust a machine in the basement to open another door.

These puzzle series create challenge homebody, I must find clues and solve puzzles while dealing with the pressure of escaping a masked killer. When I die, the clock turns back to the beginning of the night. However, I do maintain my memories, which are helpfully sorted and cataloged in a memory log. As I progress, the time loop starts to break. Other characters indicate that they too are aware of the terrible fate they are about to endure. The killer appears earlier in the night, breaking the routine.

A group of friends hang out at Homebodies.  One of them is perched atop a massive hot dog statue and poses with his arms outstretched, shadowed by the moon.

Image: Game Grumps / Wicked Games

The masked murderer and creepy house are just one reason to explore the tension between Emily, her agoraphobia, and her friends. for example, homebody is not about the immediate terror of being stabbed, but about the slow decay and isolation brought on by his agoraphobia. The game plays on the anxiety of reuniting with people who may be mad at you, and worse, their feelings may be justified. As Emily struggles to escape the killer, she is also put to the test of honest relationships with her friends.

While the writing is intriguing, the mechanics can be awkward at times. The fixed camera and tanky controls meant I often found myself walking around a door, unintentionally going back and forth between two rooms. There’s only one master volume bar in the settings, which is odd when the sound effects are a bit too loud. Half of Emily’s friend group feels a little unnecessary, like they’re there to round out the cast. Certain friends are playing a major role in Emily’s past, and her catharsis comes from exploring those relationships. The others in the house are just there to comment on the relationship that matters, before committing the murder to ease the tension. Thus, there seems to be a bit of filler between the setup and payoff of this particular story.

These small but frequent issues aren’t deal breakers, but they do add to the tension. homebody Didn’t terrify me at its core, but I still found myself compelled to uncover its secrets, and it only takes a few hours to complete. The plot leaves important points up for interpretation, and as such, this is a game I’ve been digesting for quite some time. It’s not the same brand of horror as jump scares or gory deaths, but it’s chilling all the same.

homebody was released on June 1 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. The game was reviewed on PC using a download code provided by Rogue Games. Vox Media is an affiliated partnership. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. You can find Additional information about Play Gamez’s ethics policy here,

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