The Longing is an adventure game available to play on PC. The game is coming to Steam on 5th March 2020. It has been developed by Studio Seufz and published by Application Systems Heidelberg. Application Systems Heildelberg is also paired with Application Systems London.
A Waiting Game
The Longing is very well named. It is an extremely long game. When you begin the game, you are created as the last servant of an underworld king. He tells you that his powers have faded, and he needs to sleep for 400 days. It is your task to wake him up when the time comes. You can spend your days exploring the cave, creating a home for yourself, and a lot of the time you will just be waiting. You could draw some pictures to hang in your room, read one of the many books available to you, which includes a full copy of Moby Dick, or you can just sit and stare off into space.
As you explore the cave, you will learn that even gaining access to other areas takes time. You may need to wait for a rock to fall, for moss to grow or for a spider to build a web. This can take anywhere from a couple of days, to a week, or even a month. The whole concept of the game is extremely simple, but before playing it, I was so intrigued. I found myself asking so many questions, like “Why is he in this cave?”, “Is there a way of escaping the cave?” and, “if I leave him alone for too long, will he die?” Of course, if you want to know the answers to some of these questions, you will have to wait and find out for yourself.
Everything in The Longing is extremely slow-paced, which includes the movement of the character. He walks very slowly, and it takes quite a while to get anywhere. You can use point and click for the movement and to perform actions, or you can hold down the space bar to move as well. You just need to make sure that he is always looking in the direction you want him to walk. Another way of moving is to double click or press the space bar twice for him to auto walk. This way you don’t have to keep the buttons pressed.
There will be some areas of the cave that you want to remember. It could be that you will need to find them again because you are waiting for a specific thing to happen, or there may be something in a room that you can use more than once. Luckily, you will have the ability to remember these areas. When you reach an area that is worth remembering, you can add the area to a list to keep track of it. If you want to reach the area again, you can select it from the list, and your character will automatically walk there by taking the quickest route.
Patience Is a Virtue
The Longing definitely takes a lot of patience to play. The game doesn’t have any bugs, glitching or loading issues. The main issue with the game is that it can be extremely boring. Because it takes so long to actually get anywhere in the game, I found myself making a note of when stuff was happening and only playing it when this stuff has happened. You can spend quite a bit of time searching around the caves, but so far this has only brought me to items I can put in my room.
I am still intrigued to find out whether or not I can leave the cave, as well as what happens after the 400 days have ended, but it is likely that if I begin playing a different game, I will probably forget about The Longing. If you are not a fan of slow-paced games, then this game is definitely not for you. If you easily switch between games, this one is also probably not the best choice because it can be easily forgotten.
Longing for More
The best thing about The Longing is how full of mystery and intrigue it is. The concept of the game, the environments and the characters themselves leave you asking questions. I am absolutely bursting to know what happens, whether the main character escapes and leaves the caves, or if he has to wait the full 400 days. I would love to know what happens at the end of the 400 days, and if I can remember to check, I will be excited to find out.
It seems that there is a deeper meaning behind the game because it centres around loneliness and the character having a need to learn more about the world outside of the cave. This message and the worry for the well-being of the character definitely shines through. I found myself worrying about the character when I wasn’t playing. I didn’t want to leave him alone for too long. The trouble is, as I have mentioned, I found myself getting bored when something wasn’t happening. The Longing does present you with a lot of areas to explore, but you will need to wait around to access them. There is also an area where time stands still, and this leaves you feeling like you haven’t progressed at all.
Developer: Studio Seufz
Publisher: Application Systems Heidelberg
Release Date: 5th March 2020