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Review: THE LONGING (PC)By Ofisil At 24.03.2020 18:24

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In THE LONGING the protagonist is a Shade; a cute, charcoal-coloured creature born from the will of a mysterious king of the underworld, which is basically a subterranean collection of caverns where not much is happening. It is given the task to wait for 400 days before finally awakening his lordship's behinds, and being rewarded… with what exactly? This is actually the first thing that Studio Seufz's creation is great at. You are thrown into a world, with not much on your hands to work with, and that manages to play with your mind in ways most games can't.

Should you wait, and if so why? Is there a point in exploring around, or is this a prison that you can't escape from? And so on and forth. The one who'll play this bizarre blend of adventure and "idle game" will have to wait 400 actual days before getting any questions answered. What can anyone do while waiting, though? Well, the first instinct of any gamer will be to search around for clues about what's going on, and items to collect; whether they are useful or not. Doing so, however, will make something very clear to everyone. This is a slow affair.

The Shade walks as if he has… err, all the time in the world to do so. Well, this is what the "idle game" thing is all about. THE LONGING doesn't need much interactivity from you. In fact, even when having to solve a puzzle, the solution will usually be to… wait for something to happen, like the ground to crumble, for example, so as to reach a lower level. Most importantly, this is not fun if approached like any other game. You are meant to play a little, and then… and then do something else. Minimise the window, turn off the PC, have some dinner, whatever.

You can find - actual - books to read, colours to fill your humble cave with paintings, tools to craft a bed, objects that will help you go deeper (or higher) in the labyrinth, and many more. Well, not many to be honest. For something that can take more than a year, this is in some dire need for additional content, whether that's more areas to explore, items to find, and pieces of "plot" to ponder on. Sadly, nothing has changed from the pre-release version. There are simply not many things to do here, apart from, well, waiting around for stuff to happen.

The real magic of THE LONGING of course, was never the puzzle-solving, the exploration, the plot, and the multiple (yes, multiple) endings. This is all about getting immersed into the experience, becoming one with the Shade, and feeling its loneliness, boredom, but also its intrigued mind. This is a game that plays with your psyche; your inner thoughts, and your imagination - and it's really good at that, to be honest, not to mention that the hand-painted, German fairytale-like visuals look great, and the music and sound are top-notch. Admittedly, this isn't for just anyone.

Well, their loss.

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Final Score
No, [i]THE LONGING[/i] isn't perfect. It could definitely be so much more than what it is. More specifically, for something that's supposed to last for more than an actual year, you won't exactly swim in content while playing it. On the other hand, of course, this was never about "content," but about getting engrossed into it all, and letting the dark, empty caves become part of you. It's hard to verbally explain how something so… non-gamey achieves that, and, yeah, it won't satisfy just about anyone, but lovers of indie titles with unique concepts are advised to try this out.



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