Reaching the end of this adventure takes 400 days – in real time!
The Longing makes me think of Treebeard i Lord of the rings: The Two Towers:
“You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say. ”
Today’s consideration, The Longing, may well be developed by Treebeard and his Enter. For a slower game than this hardly exists, has probably never existed and will probably never exist again. But for that matter, it’s not bad.
We live underground and our king has just begun his 400 day long sleep. We are now facing the choice to build a comfortable life down here in the underworld. Collect new books, find musical instruments, paint drawings that we can hang on the walls and other goodies. Simply make it cozy before the King’s Return. Or, so we can choose to find out and simply break our promise. So there are a whole host of different endings The Longing.
The 400 days pass in real time so if you do nothing at all, you can simply wait a little over a year for the king to wake up. It’s an end. However, it does not sound so fun, so then it is more fun to examine all the passages in the cave that you are in. You can not run, you move slowly and the most exciting thing that happens is when a piece of coal falls from the roof, which you can take it home to your house and fire with it. Assuming you found two pieces of flint then. Fortunately, you can “remember” places you visit so you can go there again. Because it’s so that some things take their little time to get past.
For example: in one place you want to get to another ledge, but it is too far to jump. But if you wait a week (in real time !!!!) the stalactite has fallen down and you can go over. In another place you can land softly in moss – but it takes two weeks for it to grow…
Once you have walked away, far into the tunnel, you can always return home to be able to place what you have found on the shelves or maybe play an instrument, if you have managed to find all the pieces. You go back, in real time… There is no such thing as quick-travel in this game. You can also ask the avatar to just go somewhere completely random, if you are stuck and go in circles.
You can sit in your armchair and read a book; one TRUE book of 2500 pages. All this together may sound completely absurd, but what I still like The Longing is how the developers have gone all-in on making a game as slow as possible, but still with a kind of personal soul. A game that forces you to unwind and take it easy, because our avatar does nothing fast. Ever. The Longing works just as well in portable mode as in docked on Switch. There is nothing in the graphics or text that gets too small.
In summary, that is The Longing completely unique in its design and it can be yours for a decent little money. It’s so odd that I actually still want to recommend it, because after a while you want to know what happens when the king wakes up. You end up being curious about what’s in the tunnels. What I can say as a negative is that while the avatar walks to a place he remembers, or when he goes home, you almost want to play another game or do something else in the meantime…