“The Long Reach is an intricate adventure, where you solve puzzles, run, and hide. The story takes place in Baervox, fictional American town. The scientific institute designs a revolutionary system of accelerated knowledge transferring. As it usually happens, everything went wrong. Technology went out of control. As an aftermath, Institute, and the whole town turned into a real nightmare, and the experiment participants grew into… well, we cannot tell you that for now, because we hate spoilers!:)”
-Press Release from Painted Black Games-
Available on all major platforms The Long Reach is a horror game that is rather different from many of the experiences that we have had over the past few years, with most games taking a very in shocking tone with jump scares a plenty this game takes it back a little bit adding more of a psychological thriller aspect to the game. The story is quite intriguing with there being multiple branches to conversation, characters with their own personalities and deep layers of mystery as you progress.
Spending several hours playing this game I can safely say it was a wonderful experience, but there is one problem I had during my time, pixel art fatigue, given the fact that this is an indie game the developers used pixel based sprites and backgrounds for this title. The use of pixel art isn’t a bad thing but with the majority of independent titles being released consisting of this art style it kind of loses its magic. Even though I wasn’t impressed visually by this game I was impressed by the gameplay and narrative that was presented before me.
The introduction to the game starts with a simple set up luring you into a false sense of security, showing you the basics of what you need to do, from interacting with the environment and its inhabitants to solving puzzles by combining items you find along the way. After the initial set up we meet the key players in this thrilling story, who each has a little bit of personality to them and with that the true nature of the game becomes apparent.
You are thrust into a new world of horrors that you must travel through and find a way to survive what is happening while finding clues to the truth of what caused this tragedy, there is no way to defend yourself from the horrors that you encounter, all you can do is run, hide and try to outsmart the terror you find yourself surrounded by. There are some humorous references hidden throughout the game that I did discover during dialog and the notes I found, references to Dungeons & Dragons and also Doom, these little easter eggs so to speak added a little bit of comedic respite from the confusion and brain teasing puzzles I was working to solve.
The overall gameplay is well polished but there is a lot of back tracking that I had experienced during my time playing, collecting one item to access an earlier level, this can start to become tedious if you are not into that kind of game play style but if you are into the point and click adventure style of game or early horror like the first Resident Evil then this is for you. I did dislike the trial and error that did occur during the death trap sequences and the lack of clues or guidance that happened, this means that you must make notes of what you are doing while you play or you may become totally lost as there doesn’t appear to be any recapping of the events during play.
Overall I did enjoy this title given its simplicity and the way that the story drew me in but I did lack some enjoyment when it came to finding where I needed to go, the tedium that occurred turned to frustration and sadly that is quite the downside for me.
But all in all this is a well crafted and enjoyable title and I can recommend this to those who like horror or story based adventure games.