The Longing Review
Developer: Studio Seufz
Publisher: Application Systems Heidelberg
Genre: Adventure, RPG
Age Rating: PEGI 13
Release Date: 05/03/2020
Price: £ 14.99
A code was provided for review purposes.
“There must be more in life than waiting for something to happen.”
One of many sentences the main character in The Longing said to me. The indie title from Studio Seufz intrigued me for so many aspects. First of all, it’s a title from Germany, the country I was born, raised, and still living in. It originates from the same state as I am from, which was another reason why I wanted to try it out.
The most original and interesting was the overall game concept though. In The Longing, you wait. For what? For your king to wake up. That cannot be so bad, right?
It sounds simple, but… His Majesty has a long beauty sleep routine, he’s not supposed to be awakened before 400 days had passed.
Need more information? Keep reading and find out at the same time if that waiting game is worth it – or not!
A Simple Task
Sitting down at this review and finding an appropriate start is harder than I thought. My mind is constantly occupied by what to say and what to make of this game so far. That is the impact that game made on me. Several days later, I did not skip to the end – even though you can do that – but I surely took my time. You are doomed to wait in the shape of a little shade in The Longing. Or… are you really?
The choice is yours how you want to play this game. Originally it seems that you must wait for those damn 400 days to pass – that is over a year! Sure, we all started a game and then got distracted so it might have taken us that long to finish it in that time as well. The Longing requires you to wait in a cave to wake up your king for that long, though. But you do not have to wait this long to reach an end. Is that ending worthwhile, though…?
To be fair, the game is far from being intuitive; you are all alone in a cave that is, by the way, hand-drawn and quite large. You can explore or immediately turn off that game and never touch it again. That would be quite easy, but also a bit boring. Despite you wandering around and having no clue what to do besides walking, there is a lot to discover on the way.
Waiting and Walking
The cave resembles a labyrinth that is well worth exploring. Along the way you can find useful objects to decorate your own home (yes, you have a home where you wake up every time you start the game). You can draw pictures, read books in real-time (yes, they incorporated full books into the game!), build a bed and much more.
Most of the time you…wait, though.
Be it for things to change so you can progress on a certain path, for the 400 days to be over or for your character to walk. Of course, that guy has all the time in the world. A button so you can run? Discard that thought. You watch that gnome-like figure walk through various screens at a leisurely pace.
Stop for a minute… Didn’t I make some hints that there is a way to end the game before the time runs out? Well, yes, there are multiple ways. There are at least 4 endings for people that cannot or do not want to wait. Additionally, I read online that there is at least a new ending after an update. I had to do some research because I have not the nerve to wait for 400 days to finish this review.
And like in Animal Crossing or real life, I’m not time travelling!
Can You Wait Or…?
You can end The Longing by triggering some endings earlier, yes. The question is if you want to risk something and lose the progress you’ve made… Or you’ll wait and see. Studio Seufz also made an option to pass time quicker… Which happened in an update. How? Find that out yourself!
Closing the game will result in it being idle and it’s auto-saving when you do. That made me wonder what the Shade is doing all by himself and I turned on the game to check on that poor lonely thing just to check up on him occasionally.
Within that unusual indie title is a lot to do – and often not much at all. It is a test of your patience, waiting for your point where you break – will you wait or will curiosity “kill” the shade? It’s all in your hands.
And How About the Other Things?
The atmosphere the developer creates is outstanding. The sound effects when the wind is blowing through the massive stone formations and cave paths is truly realistic. The walking sounds of the nameless main character are sharp, and the dripping of water is also lifelike. You can play with or without sound effects, music and even adjust the brightness. The buttons for all those settings are designed with love as well.
Music is also there, but I preferred to play with sound effects only since there is no variation whatsoever. Fitting the theme, but nothing I missed too much.
Your little shape is also often following around your mouse when you play with his big yellow eyes, which I found very enchanting and adorable.
You Can’t Control Time, But…
The controls are rather simple, you can play with keyboard and mouse alike. You have a menu as well where you can save locations you’d like to return to. Once selecting it in the future, the character will walk automatically on its own to the destination. A fun little thing was also that you could allow the hero of this game to walk by his own – and see which location you end up in.
Before we come to my final words about this game, I want to mention that the game, unfortunately, crashed several times during my test phase. A bit of progress was lost, but nothing too major. I contacted the developer team and sent in the screenshots and, thankfully since we got provided with the code way in advance, the update fixed any issues I had, so don’t be afraid to have this happen to you either. The game runs smoothly and I never ran into troubles again after that.
You long for the summary and my verdict, so here it is: Is The Longing worth your time?
The Verdict You All Were Longing For
It sure is. I had and will still have fun with the game. I chose the path to wait the entire time to wake the king, but after that, I’ll return to see other options. The indie title is refreshing, yet, in its way, oppressive alike. I was occupied thinking about the things I found along the way and what to make of it way longer than the game ran actively on my screen.
The Longing is an experience I recommend to anyone since the exploring and the whole game was so much fun – and I am not even at the end. We all could use a game that slows the hectic world down and distracts us from the chaos going on… and Studio Seufz accomplishes it with this title.
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Rapid Reviews Rating
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Do you know why it has a PEGI 13 rating? I have a younger child who I think would live this, if it’s appropriate.
This is Jen, the writer of the review.
I think the Pegi 13 rating is because ‘The Longing” can be pretty grim. I advise against getting it for your younger child since the shade often says stuff like “I am all alone…” or “What is the sense of this all?” that can make a child uncomfortable.
Since I also don’t know yet what the ending holds, I would advise against it getting for a younger child than the rating suggests.
May I ask how old your child is and a girl/boy? Maybe I have another suggestion for her or him.
Happy new year 2021!