Arguably one of the harder achievements to get in Niche, the Homecoming achievement is unlocked by reaching Adam's home island in story mode with the Home island immunity gene. This is a long detailed guide explaining how to get this achievement.
First off I should mention this guide assumes you know what almost every gene does and know the dangers most if not all of the islands have.
When you get off your swamp starting island as Adam, use your hearing to try and locate Eve as soon as possible. All ears have a minimum of +3 hearing which is greater then your +2 sight so it shouldn't take long to find Eve. Next, if Eve has webbed hind legs, I recommend giving her the hind legs mutation to try and weed out those legs, as you are losing 1 speed in exchange for 2 swimming if you keep them. If you plan on trying to create a sea tribe then feel free to keep them, otherwise get rid of em.
After you've found Eve, have Adam mate with her and have Eve make a nest, unless you've already found a permanent nest. I wouldn't bother looking for one as 10 nesting material can be recovered easily and it's not worth spending days exploring when you could've already had 1 or 2 children. Other then that the island you find Eve on should be very easy and I recommend moving off when you have 50+ food and 5-6 pack members.
After that island, you are now officially on your way to finding Adam's home. This island is very similar to Eve's island, although it is larger and carnivores may occasionally attack, however you should be ok. After this island you'll have to options:
Run past islands as fast as you can collecting food along the way or take your time with each island, collecting a large food stash before heading off to the next island
The choice is entirely up to you and your play style, I find myself doing a mix of both, setting up a small camp and just trying to get off the island as soon as possible. If you decide to do 1), then I recommend spending a large amount of time collecting food on that small island found after Eve's island as to not slow down running form island to island. Runner's leg and cracker jaws would be best for this setup for speed and the collecting of nuts along the coastline. Every few islands you will have to stop in order to reproduce as your creatures will be getting old fast.
Before we jump into the islands, you'll want some special genes to help with your survival.
While on their own, a single wing is useless, however 2 wings will give you an insane amount of movement speed for a very low cost. At +8 flight, you can move 8 tiles per action space, however you cannot get more from having high speed. Flight also allows you to perch on trees, removing all threats except age, poison and sickness from your creatures. Rogue males can't mate with females, predators can't hurt you and food isn't an issue as you can collect nuts from the top of the tree, even without the cracking ability. By far the best gene you could have, although unless you have ungodly luck like me and get a winged creature on the 1st island, the odds of finding wings can be rather low. Bat wings work exactly like wings so either will work.
Easily the best collecting gene in the game due to berries being the best food source, nimble fingers are unlocked by picking berries which you probably already do anyways. Giving cracking is very useful as it opens up several new food sources, being clams, nuts and also increasing your efficiency when picking berries.
Scent is generally preferable to hearing, as you can scent berry bushes, termite hills, carnivorous plants and nuts along with other animals and predators. This is why is may be worth breeding out venomous fangs, as scent is just such an important stat for finding food.
Some players might prefer the generalist approach the medium body gives, however taking 1 less damage from creatures is very helpful, plus the ability to one shot rabbils is very convenient. Pair big body with wings and you've got high movement speed and one shotting rabbils, along with being able to swoop to a rabbil's position and kill them in one action, big bodied winged creatures are very powerful, their only downside being that they can't collect berries. While the bird beak does exist for this purpose, it's only one collecting and 1 scent, so it's still important to have berry collecters unless you plant to live in the trees.
Challenge Island #1 - Archipelago
In order to test your skills, the game will throw challenge islands at you, such as the archipelago, jungle islands or snow islands. The first one you'll come across will be the archipelago, not one island but a cluster of islands, all separated by the ocean.
This island is relatively peaceful, the only real challenge being crossing the seas to get to the next port. It should be mentioned that flower ports should be avoided, as those will only bring you to easy islands, so unless you're in a dire situation, ignore them.
You'll find the port to the archipelago on the 3rd island (not counting Adam and Eve's islands). A tip will pop up basically telling you to go north to find the archipelago. You should only be able to bring 10 creatures to the archipelago, so make sure you have a diverse immunity gene pool. a minimum of 6 genes should be brought, but the home island immunity must be brought. Do not lose this gene or you will not be able to befriend Adam's family and, more importantly, remain unable to get the achievement.
Helpful genes here:
- Wings: With a creature perched on a convenient tree, you may just be able to skip all of the ocean and fly over the water.
- Waterbody / gills: Yes these genes help, however they are rather inconvenient to get this early on. You pretty much need to drown your creatures to get the ability to breath under water, and it'd be much more efficient to just tank the small amount of drowning damage.
- Swimming / fishing tail / tail fin: Not much to say here, more swimming means less time spent in the ocean and fishing helps catch fish that stray too close to you.
Webbed paws and hind legs are still not recommended as they will slow down your land exploration rather significantly.
Make sure to have running legs / velvet paws / nimble fingers to collect berries to avoid starving.
When you get to the archipelago, look for a port that is covered in swamp tiles. That will be your goal. Head there to progress onto the next island. You'll want to send a group of creatures to the port while keeping a small tribe on the first island you spawned on as to keep food supplies up. Depending on the age of your creatures, you may want to breed a new generation before heading onto the next island.
The swamp port:
Intersection Island #1 - Swamp
Wait, whats an "intersection island"? Intersection islands are the islands in between challenge islands. The first one you'll encounter will be Swampy Hill, a medium difficulty island composed mainly of swamp with some forest and surprisingly jungle scattered about. The next port in terms of progression should be a port to either the burning savanna or a jungle, however don't quote me on that as islands are random and I haven't been here more then twice in story mode before.
What a swampy hill could look like:
Swampy hills can be a difficult island to survive on if you don't have toxic body, scorpion tail or venomous fangs due to toxic berry bushes being abundant, but poisoning anyone who picks their berries. If you are not adapted to swamp islands yet, I suggest running to the next. If you wish to unlock toxic body, invite any wanderers into your tribe and have the pick poison berries. If they come with poison genes then they'll last longer when picking berries due to being immune to poison.
Intersection Island #2 - Jungle
After travelling past swampy hill, you'll be met with the burning savanna or the jungle. I'll start with the jungle as the jungle is a much more detailed island then the savanna.
The jungle is a warm, dangerous island filled with smelly fruit, mud, monkeys, plants that eat you and an abundant amount of healing plants. The port to the jungle looks like this if you didn't already know what it looked like:
Those leaves on the port tiles? Those will decrease your stealth to zero if you step on one, as you are breaking twigs when you do.
Here is what the healing plant and mud looks like:
There are 3 main threats in the jungle:
1. Sense Apes: There are 3 apes who live in the jungle, each of them have a different sense. You know those stats you've seen in your creatures? Camouflage, stealth and scentless? The jungle is where these stats truly shine, as each stat will help you with a different ape. The 1st ape is the big eyed ape, who has a sight stat of 6. You'll need camouflage or distasteful appearance to have him avoid you. The 2nd ape is the big eared ape who has a hearing stat of 6. You'll want as much stealth as you can get to avoid him. Stepping on the previously mentioned flowers will remove all your stealth causing him to be able to find you easily. The 3rd and final ape is the big nosed ape. To avoid him, you'll either need to smell bad or not smell at all. All of these apes also have 3 strength and 4 defence, so brute force isn't an option unless you have really powerful ancient genes.
2. Carnivorous plants: There are unique plants that live in the jungle. Some will be harmless and can be harvested for food, or left open so that they can no longer go back into their dangerous form. The other version of this plant is identical to the peaceful version, so use your senses to determine if it's safe or not. If they are aggressive, they will eat your creatures when they get too close to it, paralyzing the creature and causing constant damage every day to it until it dies or is freed. In order to free your creature, you must have other creatures come and attack it.
3. The heat: While the heat is nowhere near as intense and in the savanna, it is still pretty strong, meaning you will eventually lose energy points due to the heat. The heat cannot kill you directly, however it can slow you down if you are running from an ape meaning the ape could catch up to you and kill you.
This might sound like a challenge island, and while it is difficult, nothing is stopping you from just speeding through it. The next challenge island is still a ways away.
Intersection island #3 - Savanna
The burning savanna is the other island you could find instead of the jungle.
A general idea of what the savanna looks like:
The burning savanna is a much hotter island then the jungle, so hot that fires can start randomly, consuming all in it's path. As you can see in the picture, the ocean is not an ocean, but more of an abyss. You can't shelter from the heat in the water as it is just too deep for your creatures. Only the shade of the trees can protect you from the heat. Speaking of which, the trees give no food.
So how does one survive here? For story mode you'll want to get off this island, as there is very little food and fires can entirely wipe out your tribe. If you do decide to settle down here, make sure to stay on the move, and check the map often for fires. Eventually you'll unlock lean body and big ears, 2 genes that give heat resistance and are very helpful for surviving on this island. However considering a winter island is just around the corner, it may not be wise to breed them, as soon the cold will be the biggest threat to your creatures. Claws can be very helpful as they can destroy berry bushes, and since those will normally only give one berry due to the almost constant drought, you can net yourself some nice nesting material and food. Be warned though, the twig berry bushes will NOT regrow when destroyed.
Intersection Island #4 - Whale Island
This island caught me entirely be surprise. I thought I'd found a snow island, but instead I found the whale island.
Anyways, the whale island is an island with moderate heat, some jungle and it's all situated on top of a whale. What's more is that you can select where you want to travel when you use the port on the whale's head. Keep in mind you can only travel to islands of the difficulties you've unlocked, meaning no skipping to the Home Island. If you happen to find a port with 15 blue tiles, you've found whale island. Head over there to grow a large tribe and store food or go to a snow island to unlock some amazing genes. The island we are looking for is a jungle island, but not a regular one, no we need to find an overgrown jungle.
Whale island port:
Intersection Island #5 - First Snow
First snow is, well, the first snow island. It's a mountain range surrounded by a ring of forested area. Rain is rather rare here, usually coming only after the first winter spent here. Toxic genes are helpful as poison berries never wilt and always give 2 berries a day no matter what. There will usually be 1-2 frozen creatures and I recommend breaking them for the chance at the armored body. This amazing gene will give you +3 defense allowing you to be immune to attacks from:
- The 3 great apes
- Bearyenas + Killer bearyenas
- Balance Bears
- Arctic Ramfoxes
- Cacti (when harvesting)
If you get mammoth feet, then for each foot you will have +1 defence, meaning a max of 5 defence can be attained with armored body and 2 mammoth feet. This combination allows defence from the new defender bears who have 5 attack, and only taking 1 damage from peaceful bears. However with this setup you will be unable to gather, but if you are living on a snow island such as long winter or frost lands, there is nothing to harvest there anyways so this doesn't really matter. This marks the end of the interesting medium islands. There are some others, however they are kind of boring and not really worth talking about as this is a guide about the Homecoming achievement, not every island ever.
Challenge Island #2 - Overgrown Jungle
After many days of exploration, you will come across a jungle port to the north (if where your creatures finish their travel over ports is south of the island).
Hint: I found my jungle port on a jungle island, so look there.
The port will be a blue-green colour most likely on jungle turf and should have bones on it. This island is almost entirely jungle, meaning apes will be a large threat the longer you spend on the island. Fret not though! Depending on your luck, you could end up escaping this island in a matter of days due to how the roots spawn.
Yes that's right, the northern port of this island is blocked off by thick brambles, and the only way to get rid of them is to destroy 5 of their roots scattered about the island. There are clearings in the jungle that often contain things like healing plants, carnivorous plants and you guessed it, vine roots. However, normally only 3 of these will spawn per island, so you'll need to find the last few yourself.
Note: it is not guaranteed for a vine root to spawn in each clearing, however they are often found in them. This jungle is also hot, so send any creatures who are not overheating to clear the vines. You'll want to get off this island ASAP if you did not breed stealth genes, and having one less turn per day can slow you down significantly.
The thick brambles:
Intersection Island #7 - Oasis
Yep, there are still more intersection islands.
Oasis! This island is basically the burning savanna, only the opposite. Instead of fires, you now have a beautiful lake in the middle of the island. There are fish swarms in here along with the occasional clown koi. This island is still hot, so don't think you've escaped the heat now. The water in the center of the island will help cool you off if you've decided to breed water dwelling creatures (why).
The lake found in the oasis:
Intersection Island #8 - Summer Mountains
A much more lush version of first snow, the summer mountains are a warmer variant of mountainous regions. This island is the only way to get to long winter, your final destination for your quest for the Homecoming achievement. Since this island is usually so lush, stock up on as much food as you can, and breed any genes that help with staying warm and hunting. If you've gotten it, I recommend a combination of armoured bodied and big bodied creatures, so you can have an impenetrable fighting force while also having creatures who can explore the frozen wastes. Just be aware that if you don't have enough cold resistance, you can still freeze on this island, although 1 is usually enough.
Summer mountains port:
You'll generally find the port to the long winter island here.
Long winter port:
Challenge Island #3 - Long Winter (The Final One)
Well you've made it, your final challenge lies before you. Go forth and brave the winter, for summer is far away.
Welcome to long winter, the final challenge island, the one thing stopping you from going home. Except there's no snow. Yet. As you'll quickly notice, there is absolutely no grass here whatsoever, meaning berries are not a food source you can rely on. This, this is the reason combat is the most important skill to have on this island. All your food will be coming from meat, and if you can't kill the creatures on this island, you'll have a pretty hard time feeding your creatures.
If you got the chance to breed with bearyenas, I'd avoid the carnivore hind legs as, like with webbed hind legs, movement is the best stat to have on hind legs. As you will soon notice, the northern port is blocked off by ice sculptures. How do you get rid of them? Why it's simple really, you've just got to survive until summer arrives. How long until summer? Around 20 days. After those 20 days when summer arrives, the ice will melt and you'll be free to leave, and to signify summer, the screen will gain an orange hue.
Intersection Island #9 - Crossing
This is the last intersection island, this island is basically the beginner island, the only difference being the ports. As you will notice, the ports on this island usually have full on animal skeletons on them. These are killer islands, the roughest of the rough, meanest of the mean, you get the point. Go here if you want to die. Alternatively, head north onto a special pink port to go somewhere much nicer than, well, death.
Port of happiness:
Home Island - The End
What's this? A popup in the bottom left corner of the screen? Oh boy is that what I think it is? You bet it is, it's the homecoming achievement. You made it! After hours of of playing you've made it back home! This island is basically the best island in the game to set up on. There are tons of berries, the trees give plenty of nuts and predators are basically non-existent. Assuming you've managed to keep the home island immunity gene, you'll be allowed to invite the Adam's family into your tribe.