Three Fourths Home (Extended Edition) - Switch Review
Three Fourths Home is a narrative-driven game about a young girl named Kelly who is driving home in the midst of a terrible storm whilst talking to her family on the phone. Its simplistic art style and flat presentation may be a deterrence to some, but the real question is whether we can say the same things about the game’s plot.
You’re not going to want to go in to Three Fourths Home for the gameplay. The game is pretty straightforward, sifting through text and responding to each statement as you see fit to progress the story.
The entire game consists of you driving home, so you need to hold down the ZR button to keep your foot on the accelerator. It’s a surprising gameplay mechanic choice considering you need to have the trigger held down for the entirety of the game.
The HD Rumble is a nice touch, with rumbles happening when thunder hits. This feature adds more depth to a game that may appear 2D on the surface.
Three Fourths Home’s story is touching in a way that makes you reflect on the people in your own life. It deals with real issues and anxieties by showing rather than telling. The game’s story is told through first-person narration which not only makes it easier for the player to digest and react to the dialogue, but is a powerful method of storytelling.
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The dialogue is very well written, really capturing the emotions of the characters. Like every good storywriter, having the characters be relatable is critical to its success, and Three Fourths Home absolutely succeeds in that aspect.
Graphics / Art Direction
The art style choices is purposefully minimalistic, putting more focus on the dialogue. It certainly plays to its strengths and its used effectively, however it gets old pretty quickly.
There is recurring visual symbolism that plays a deep part of the game’s plot. We won’t spoil anything, but the main logo of the floating house with its roots showing says a lot if you enjoy analysing that sort of thing.
For graphical effect, the rain falls through the text. Whilst this is a clever artistic choice, it being black and white just means that there’s flashing lines through the text, which is quite distracting when reading it is 95% of the game. However, it does reinforce the feeling of driving in the rain, so that’s kind of cool…
Music / Sound Design
The soundtrack is relatively simplistic so as to not be distracting whilst reading the dialogue. The music isn’t all that exciting, but this may be a rare moment where that’s actually a good thing.
What’s more prevalent is the sound effects, such as the rain and thunder from the storm. Hearing a big bang of thunder happen suddenly reinforces the danger that the storm represents, and they may have even made me jump once or twice.
Final Score: 67%
Three Fourths Home isn’t a long game, it can easily be completed within a single hour. That being said, what is there is a beautifully told story about youth and family struggles. The US$8.99 price tag may be a hard pill to swallow for how little there is content-wise, but it’s definitely a great example of how video games can be so much more.