The Long Reach is a fantastically disturbing journey. This is one indie I highly recommend you check out if you like a thought-provoking story and a gritty dark look at what science is capable of.
The Long Reach is the kind of game that will leave you scratching your head because it doesn’t hold your hand and there’s little to no tutorial. In most cases that’s a recipe for disaster. However, The Long Reach does a fan-fucking-tastic job of making you feel really fucking dumb until you finally figure out how to accomplish the task at hand. You’ll have more, “I’m fucking stupid. Why didn’t I think of that sooner!” moments than most games and in my opinion, a game is better when it tests your intelligence and ingenuity rather than hold your hand and guide you like a child.
Real World Science Taken Too Far
I feel it’s important to mention that this game is somewhat based on actual science. When I met with the developers at PAX Prime 2017 they explained to me that the basis of the “experiment” in this game is rooted in reality. It’s obviously been exaggerated and taken to a serious extreme, but keep that thought in mind while you read this. The possibilities of science aren’t as limited as one might think.
You play as Stewart in The Long Reach. A scientist at an underground facility somewhere in the eastern US. As these things normally go, something went terribly wrong during an experiment that was supposed to share everyone’s skills through a human connected sort of wifi and everyone in the facility has gone mad, except you, and (maybe) Shelly. Some of your co-workers began killing each other, and some went flat out nuts. All you care about is getting the fuck out of dodge before you get hacked to bits. To do this you’ll have to put your real-world brain to work and figure out how to use in-game items to help you achieve that goal. It’s a refreshing puzzle game that doesn’t make things obvious and makes the player thinking things out. But once you do figure them out you’ll inevitably feel both excited and mad at yourself because it took you so long to figure out in the first place.
Sound Effect Madness, Point and Click Fun, and some Sexy Pixel Art
Though the game isn’t exactly a “Point and Click” adventure game it harkens back to the days of Sam & Max or Day of the Tentacle, or even further still, Treasure Island. It blends the modern WASD with the fun of actually thinking through your problems. Top it off with an insanely awesome sound design and you’re in for a fun ride. Seriously, play this game with headphones for the full effect of the audio, it’s really something. Wrap all of that sweet formula in a classic 2D pixel art sidescroller and you’ve got a winner, folks! However, The Long Reach is not a perfect game by any means, but then again, most indie games aren’t. It’s an enjoyable experience that every puzzle game fan should take a look at.
The Not So Long Reach
I think my biggest issue with The Long Reach was its length. The first playthrough it’ll take you a few hours to figure everything out. But any following playthroughs will take you 2 hours at the most. It really is a shame that there isn’t more replay value to the game because it truly is a fantastic experience. There are different dialog options throughout the game but ultimately the conversations all lead to the same end. Ultimately, there are 2 separate endings but you can simply load back up right before the end and go with the ending you didn’t choose. The Long Reach is an enjoyable experience and if you enjoy unique indie games or classic thought-provoking adventure games be sure to give The Long Reach a go. Thanks for reading our review Coin Droppers. We’ll see you on the next page. You can pick up the Long Reach on the PlayStation Store, and Steam for $15 USD
Review Code provided by the publisher.