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Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Three Fourths Home is a stylish graphic interactive short story starring a troubled girl driving home in a terrible storm. While it may sound flippant to call this a phone simulator, that's exactly what it is. The story in interesting and the writing is strong, but this brand new console game is definitely not for everybody. Rating: 64%
Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition
Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition
  • Review Score:

  • B-
As fun as it is to go into a new game without any expectations, there are times when it's important to know what you're getting yourself into. That's the case with Three Fourths Home, a stylish interactive novel new to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. I'm not sure what I expected when I loaded up the game, but it certainly wasn't hours of watching people talk about their person problems.

Told through a series of interactive short stories, Three Fourths Home stars a twentysomething college student named Kelly who has been having a rough go of it lately. With friends moving away and a family slowly growing apart, life has not gone the way Kelly planned. And to make matters worse, now the emotionally tortured star is stuck driving through one of Nebraska's worst storms.

It sounds flippant to label this a phone call simulator, but that's exactly what it is. Whether you're driving through a terrible storm or simply waiting around for the bus, the story plays out through a series of intense phone conversations. This is where we learn about Kelly's home life, her father's failing health and her brother's bouts with creativity. And because this is a video game, we control the way Kelly answers and the direction the story takes.

Since so much of the narrative is wrapped up in the phone conversations, it's best to let you discover where they go. What I will tell you is that players will do more than drive through a thunder storm. After completing that short story, the game offers an added epilogue that helps fill in some of the gaps. This is a prequel of sorts, giving players a chance to understand Kelly's plight before the storm. These short stories work together to create an emotionally satisfying narrative that will stick with you long after the credits roll.

Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition (Xbox One)Click For the Full Picture Archive

It would be one thing if the story was confined to a series of phone calls, but this game goes one step further by giving players more content to explore. For example, we can look through photographs Kelly took for a college final. The game also packages a number of short stories written by Kelly's brother, Benji. All this plays into the mystery that is at the center of Three Fourths Home.

While it's easy to look at this as little more than a series of conversations, the truth is that players have more control over the outcome than they realize. Your actions will change the way the story unfolds and whether or not you learn what is really going on. With only a couple of simple locations, the developers hope you'll be engrossed in the family drama.

Between Kelly's bad attitude and the intense nature of the phone calls, I went into Three Fourths Home unprepared. I initially found myself wanting more interaction, but was eventually won over by the emotional conversations. There's a lot to like about the writing, even if you find some of the characters to be loathsome.

Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition (Xbox One)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The presentation is purposely simple. The graphics are minimal and are only there to help add context to the conversations. There's no voice acting, so players will spend most of the game reading the back and forth discussions between Kelly and her family. These phone calls are punctuated with the ambient sound of the storm and the car radio.

Although I found the story gripping, Three Fourths Home is a weird fit on home console. Perhaps it's the game's mobile roots showing through, but this is the kind of game that works best on a portable system. Of course, if you're not ready to dig through lengthy phone conversations, then chances are this won't appeal to you on any system. But I found story captivating, even if it's ultimately short-lived.
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