No Place Like Home PC Review

No Place Like Home epitomizes the relaxing nature of the farming game genre, but does it offer anything we haven't seen before?

By LG18, Posted 18 Mar 2022

It seems we can’t get enough of post-apocalyptic earth in our video games today, but No Place Like Home isn’t your typical depressing romp through a destitute world. 

Despite the fact that everyone but you, some chickens, and a couple of other humans have ditched the planet for a new life on Mars, this is a decidedly cheerful title.

No Place Like Home, PC, Review, Battery robot

It’s a farming sim through and through: we play as Ellen — an ambitious girl on a mission to clear the world of trash and sustain a modest way of life. That’s pretty much the extent of what is divulged in terms of story, though. Why exactly everyone had left the planet remained unclear, and as far as the player can tell, it was an unnecessary migration; Barring a few hostile robots, Ellen and the remaining humans seem to live a relatively peaceful life. 

This is a farming game, after all, so despite its initial dire assertions, it’s a mostly chill experience. Ellen is in possession of some sort of super vacuum: a machine that can suck up and dispel water, swiftly destroy solid rock, make quick work of enemy robots, and clear up masses of debris in a matter of seconds (had they given everyone one of these, maybe the entire population needn’t have blasted off to Mars).

This multitool makes the oft laborious practice of mining and grinding relatively straightforward, and that’s a good job, because you’ll be doing a lot of it. Your enjoyment of these sorts of farming simulation games – like Viva Pinata or Star Dew Valley – really depends on whether you find the process relaxing or boring.

No Place Like Home, PC, Review, Store front

There’s a certain mindful state that these types of games elicit, and No Place Like Home is no different. It’s appealing to take a space full of trash and turn it into a fully functioning ecosystem, and the crafting and upgrade systems the game has in place are, generally, satisfying and rewarding. There’s a wide array of animals to tame, structures to build, food to cook, and materials to recycle into something cool, but having said that, I struggled to find anything particularly unique. 

After a few hours, I took position on a vantage point and slowly panned the camera, surveying my now fully functioning farm that was once a mound of decaying detritus. “Job well done”, I thought, but what’s next? Sure I could keep upgrading and unlock a few more improvements, but I’d been here before. 

The problem is, It’s without the quirk of the aforementioned Viva Pinata or the social features of Star Dew Valley, and without that extra layer of depth, it feels a little bare bones. 

Had the game embraced the fact that most people had left for Mars – placing a focus on building relationships with the people left behind beyond them being simple devices to drive the gameplay forward – No Place Like Home would be a far more compelling experience. 

No Place Like Home, PC, Review, Clearing rubbish

And that’s the issue, really; the mechanics are good, the systems are robust, and the mining and building are appreciably streamlined, but the game doesn’t present the player with anything they haven’t done in other games. A farming sim veteran isn't going to find the depth they're most likely looking for, and there's not a lot to keep the unfamiliar player from getting sick of the grind. 

Having said that, No Place Like Home was a relaxing, chill experience owning to the above aspects that were well executed – it just didn’t give me much reason to keep coming back after I’d reached a certain point. I can see the game being great for kids, but if you’re an adult, I think you’ll be left wanting more. 

Linden Garcia
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Realms Distribution
Developer(s): Chicken Launcher
Genres: Simulation
Themes: Farming, Role-Playing, Strategy, Adventure, Post-Apocalyptic
Release Date: 2022-03-17

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