If Only I Could Go Home Early: Puzzling Murder She Wrote

I don’t think I’ve ever connected with a game title as much as I have with If Only I Could Go Home Early. After a particularly agonizing and hot as hell week at work, not writing, but I’m a machinist for my day job, but that’s beside the point. So I sat down to pursue the new horror games over at Itch.io. The second I saw the name, I knew immediately I had to play it. We have all been there. You start work, feel like you’ve already been there for hours, and look up at the clock to see it has only been an hour. Staring down the barrel at another ten hours, my mornings usually start with me daydreaming about going home early. So it was nice to see a title jump out at me so quickly. The version on Itch.io has eight levels which you can run right in the browser. But you can pick up the game on android or Itunes for phones.

The main thrust of If Only I Could Go Home Early is that you are an overworked, unhappy office worker. After coming home from work one day after some serious overtime, you come to find your wife dead, or so it seems. This apparently isn’t her first time playing dead, and it is up to us, the player, to figure out how to wake her up. Why? Because as the game page states. The floor is cold, and you love her.

As you come home, your character sees his wife with a giant sword plunged into her back. As you pull the sword out, she arises. Over the next day or two, the character admits to a forum that, while he loves his wife, she has an interesting hobby. To play dead. Over the course of the eight levels, we can play through itch.io. She finds unique and interesting ways to play dead. It boils down to playing out like a good old-school point-and-click adventure, like Maniac Mansion or Monkey Island. With an underlying tone of seeing the wife struggling with everyday life but having these brief glimpses of excitement and joy planning out these puzzles.

There are a few flashes early on that hint at a deeper and darker plot at play here. I am going to be diving into the android game to find out exactly how it plays out. And while it is the lightest game I’ve covered on here, it doesn’t focus on the blood or gore and doesn’t have any jump scares or monsters. It has very bleak undertones of mental illness and almost wants to tackle the fear of abandonment. Again I am very interested to see how it plays out or evolves.

Developer Wushigames has done a great job of making an old-school point-and-click adventure around having to solve your wife’s fake death every day. They do get more elaborate and wild as the days go on. Eventually, you will see the Robot Chicken, so I can only imagine how wild the full release gets. The music in If Only I Could Go Home Early is subtle and mostly left to a background tracking as you adventure through the liminal space of the apartment. I do hope in the fuller android release, I get to learn more about the cave and witch scene that takes place early on. The fact that we will face a dragon in the screenshots on the itch page has me excited.

If Only I Could Go Home Early is a fun shorter game, and I really hope Wushigames enjoyed working on it to make a full-fledged couple-hour game because it was a lot of fun, and I want more, which is always a good thing. Be sure to head over to the games itch.io page and try it for yourself and check out wushigames website to learn more about them!

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