Have You Tried… making friends with pigs in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in No Place Like Home?

My God, there is so much garbage. Towering monoliths of earth, plastic bottles, rubber duckies, bags and other disposable objects are almost the only visual language of the Earth you land on in No Place Like Home. You play as Ellen, a young woman who has returned to Earth from her spaceship to try to find her grandfather. But, what she returns to is a dilapidated farmhouse that has basically been leveled by a garbage storm that has left nothing but garbage in its wake.

While it may seem like a nightmare, and an unsubtle commentary on the current state of the world and our pollutants, underneath the trash there are still remnants of life. A house here, a fox den there, and even a few humans trying to subsist on the rubbish-strewn barricades. And luckily, you have the tools to help you.

Nothing better than being at home

(Image credit: Kingdom Distribution)

Ellen is armed with what is essentially a backpack containing a vacuum cleaner, a garden hose, and a drill. While only video game logic will explain how it all fits into a package you can carry on your back, that’s all you need to start cleaning up all that junk. I’m sure we can all agree that, in real life, taking out the trash is a job we all put off, but there’s such a satisfying loop of debris clearing in No Place Like Home that I’m looking forward to it. . Each new area you discover is full of stuff, mountains of mud that you’ll need to dig up into its parts and then vacuum up with your vacuum cleaner. It’s exactly the kind of thing anyone who loves House Flipper will enjoy, as it’s a wonderfully mundane and meditative work, backed by a soothing soundtrack. And you have to get every little bit, otherwise you will only make the animals sad.

here little pig

Nothing better than being at home

(Image credit: Kingdom Distribution)

Because it’s not just garbage. Beneath (literally) the trash lies a world waiting to be revitalized. Among the earth, you will find seeds and animals that are desperately looking for a palace where they can settle. So, using the things and creatures you find, you’ll start turning the land around your grandpa’s house into your own farm, with just crops at first. , but then chickens, pigs and even chickens. cute little robots and mechanical llamas that will bring you building materials and other useful items. There are also some nice little details for your home base, like the ability to give your creatures names and little hats, ranging from bunny ears and hats to propeller caps and flower crowns.

The more you explore, the more humans you’ll find: residents who decided to stay when the rest of the world was evacuated to Mars. It’s quite funny when you’re vacuuming up trash and suddenly you come across an architect trapped by a tree surrounded by piles of trash. He also doesn’t acknowledge his situation, which makes it even more strange. These NPCs will give you other quests to undertake along with your quest to find your grandfather and build your farming idyll. They can range from cleaning an area of ​​toxic waste and building weird creations, to rescuing foxes or befriending ducks.

Nothing better than being at home

(Image credit: Kingdom Distribution)

There are also fights. Evil robots looking to poison you or kick your legs are also lurking in trash cans. There’s not a lot of nuance to this, beyond a few hits from your drill and a little dodge and dodge, but there’s something quite endearing about always feeling in control. A kind of skill tree allows you to become more powerful and also allows you to progress in the world, and as you unlock new areas, the enemies get a bit tougher.

It’s also a great place to explore, with an incredible variety of biomes. I’m about 20 hours in and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s in between the piles of trash. There’s so much to see and do, and it’s all geared towards that “oh, just one more day” or “another mysterious mushroom” mentality that makes games like this and Stardew Valley so much more.

I admit that this is not the most successful game. There are misspellings in the text, awkward camera angles, and some garbage stains that just won’t go away. It’s also often hard to explain how to make money or do some of the more basic things in the game. However, anyone looking to scratch a very specific gaming itch will somehow see their gaming sessions go from minutes to hours. I blame the garbage.

No Place Like Home is now available for PC.

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