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The Long Wait in a Game Called The Longing

Imagine a game that asks of you almost nothing but time – a whole lot of it. “The Longing” is not your everyday game. With a task to simply wait for 400 real days, it sets you on a path that’s as slow as a snail but surprisingly, it hooks you in.

You start off as a little guy called a Shade, and your king, a big figure who’s like a statue, needs to sleep for 400 days to get his power back. He tells you to stick around until he’s up, and that’s what you do. The catch is that every second in the game is a real second in your life, and you see it counting down always.

A Home Under the Ground

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The king’s palace is deep under the earth – a maze of stairs and doors going every which way. My task seemed simple: make this lonely space a home, find ways to pass time, and try not to lose my mind wandering around. The Shade moves super slow – there’s no button to make it run. It’s almost funny how slow it is.

Once in a while, you find something cool like a book or a drawing tool. These little things are a big deal here. They make the place feel less empty. Decorating your small room beside the king feels good. Time even moves faster when you’re at home, thanks to the game’s unique magic.

Slow and Steady

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Moving around in this game has a calm feeling to it. Most of the time, nothing happens. But those rare finds? They’re like treasures. You meet a spider that becomes a buddy, chat with a rock wall — these moments are your high points.

I’ve spent days just wandering, hoping for something new. Sometimes I bump into walls with weird signs or climb stairs that go nowhere. It’s odd but once you start, it’s hard to stop.

Feel the Loneliness

“The Longing” was made to reflect loneliness, being stuck, and the search for hope. It’s like the game knew what’s it’s like to be trapped inside, waiting for the world to get better. It tells a simple but deep story. The Shade doesn’t know much, and that’s the point. The game is about what you decide to do in this vast, silent kingdom.

You could make your little corner cozy, or go explore the unknown. It’s up to you. You’re not just playing; you’re living the Shade’s life of waiting and wondering.

Choices That Matter

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In most games, choices lead you down different paths. But here in “The Longing,” it feels even more personal. Not just because of what you can do, but how you spend your time. Finding books to make the countdown go faster or simply walking the king’s huge, dark halls – it feels like your choice and yours alone.

Heartbeat of the Game

The music and sounds? They’re huge and match the feel of the lonely, big world around you. Even the echoes of the Shade’s feet add to the mood. The tunes give a sense of awe, sadness, and sometimes fear. It’s like the game is saying, “Hey, it’s big out there, and you’re just a tiny part of it.”

Simple Yet Deep

There are puzzles, but they’re really simple. The game’s not about being smart or fast; it’s about watching things grow and change slowly. There’s no hurry-up button, and if you’re faced with a problem, sometimes you just wait it out — a day, a week, even a full month.

Different Endings

How you end the game can be different each time. While I only saw one ending, I heard there are quite a few. And, since the game goes on all in one go, no rewinds, I can’t just jump back to see another ending without starting all over.

The ending I got felt quick, almost out of place with the slowness of everything else. While it wasn’t perfect, the endings are meant to make you feel like whatever happened was because of the path you chose.

A Year Like No Other

I spent an in-game year living out this Shade’s life. That’s a lot and it’s not something everyone will want to do. But, living in our own kind of waiting game with the world all shut down, I found something special in “The Longing.”

Is “The Longing” Worth Your Time?

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Absolutely. If you’ve got the patience, want to try something totally different, and are okay with being alone for a while, “The Longing” is worth a shot. And even though I finished my first playthrough, I’m ready to go back in. There are secrets I didn’t discover and places I didn’t see. Who knows what I’ll find or how I’ll feel after my next 400 days are up. But I’m curious.

A Digital Pet in My Computer

I didn’t just play this game; I felt like I was looking after the Shade, decorating his place, bringing him books. It became a sort of care-taking job. Closing the game, I knew; he was still there, waiting.

Slowness as a Feature

These days, we want everything fast – like, yesterday fast. “The Longing” turns that upside down. Sure, it’s built with the look of a simple game, but it brings you down to a slow, thoughtful pace. Last time I turned it on, I just sat with the Shade, both of us still, sharing a silent moment, just longing.

In a world rushing by, “The Longing” is a pause button. It’s a journey through time and patience. And it’s a reminder that sometimes, the longest waits bring the most thoughtful reflections. It’s not for everyone, but for those looking to slow down, it might just be the perfect game.

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.