Before getting a bit more negative I wanted to be clear I absolutely have respect for developers who dare to tackle the challenge of coming up with something unique. The Longing, aside from its signature hand-drawn look is inherently meditative and calm in its nature, and we don’t always need yet another high-octane experience to get our adrenaline pumping. In fact, with the timeframe you’re given of 400 days until your slumbering king is to awaken, the game itself poses little to no urgency on you. While I’m sure there’s a message here of the need to relish the smaller things in life and to not be so constantly beholden to the clock there are some elements in The Longing that I think push a bit too far. Most of all what’s so aggravating is the snail’s pace your character moves at during initial exploration. Granted, once you set a marker to a spot you’ve been to it is pretty quick and easy to get there but the kingdom you’re in is labyrinthine and mapping out where everything is gets positively brutal if you value your time in the least. The thing is, I absolutely could see how this experience would work quite well on a mobile device, with you setting some things into motion and then leaving for a few hours until they complete in some way. On a dedicated gaming device where you’re unable to swipe between running programs though? It’s a big too much of a slog, and that’s purely a design choice, even if there are some great moments in store in this experience for people with more patience and time they’re willing to eat up simply waiting on things to happen.
Justin Nation, Score: