I just got done playing Gone Home after hearing all the praise and I've got to say, I have that "the emperor has no clothes feeling." What a great big nothing of a game.
I'm not even going to get into the whole $20 valuation thing, because that's been talked to death, but I did expect a whole lot more out of the game's short time than what I got. The game's mechanics are all very standard and there really isn't anything all that new the idea of a game placing you in a situation and making you piece together how that situation came to pass. In its own infinitely more fun way Bioshock did more or less the same thing years ago by putting you in a crazy environment and making you trace how things got that way through audiologs. All this game did was take that format and then suck out all the gameplay, all the action, all the production values, and all the fantastical elements.
As for the story itself... meh. If all you've ever done is play video games all your life, then I suppose this story might interest you, but it seemed like a pretty standard issue "coming out"/gay teen romance to me and a thin one at that. For less than half the price you can buy a ticket to Blue is the Warmest Color and get a deeper and more fully realized story about similar issues... and its about twice as long. No, this story is only good in that "for a game" type way, and yet it offers none of the added fun stuff that usually accompanies stories that are good "for a game."
So, yeah... If Gone Home actually had a real barn-burner of a story it might have worked... or if it even had the slightest bit of game play as a hook it might have worked, but it has neither. Why the hell is this getting rave notices? Are people just that enamored with the indie game spirit? Are they just this happy to see LBGT issues getting addressed in games? Are they just that nostalgic about 90s furniture? Maybe its a combination of the three. One could almost see this as an experiment to see how a single game could push all the right buttons in order get a certain breed of critics who are desperate for examples of "intellectual" storytelling in games to give plaudits to something that is, in fact, completely empty.