The Long Reach is a point-and-click horror-thriller game, filled with mystery, puzzles. You’ll be playing as Calvin and Stewart throughout the game. Discover what happens behind the scene and the experiment's purpose in General Education research facility, could you escape from this "tragedy"?
At its heart, The Long Reach is an adventure game. Closer inspection also reveals it’s a thrilling horror story, flavoured with sci-fi ideology, psychological context and a sceptical view on the human psyche. - Game description on Steam
Any spoilers will seriously affect the game experience so coming up I will not describe much about the details related to the game plot.
At first, you are playing as Calvin, heading to Simon's corner (grocery store), he has to buy the groceries himself after having a quarrel with his girlfriend named Shelly. Everything is normal as usual but something has gone wrong right after Calvin gets the Jelly. The scene continues with two scientists (Stan and Shelly), followed by Stewart (the main protagonists in The Long Reach) walking in. It seems that three of them are carrying some sort of experiment before Christmas. There is a sudden blackout in the midst of the experiment. After coming back to his senses, Steward is found himself locked in a testing room. Now, the story is about to begin...
The Long Reach is very close to the traditional point-and-click adventure game, by interacting with NPCs or viewing textual information in the scene to get missions and related clues, collecting objects by exploring the environment and applying them to the appropriate items to solve the puzzle. Whether this kind of gameplay is fun or not depends entirely on the puzzle design since you need to make logical reasoning based on his acquisition information to determine the purpose of the collected item.
The gameplay could get a little repetitive as you have to run back and forth from one place to another such as rooms to collect the items you need for crafting purpose, mainly for solving the puzzles and progressing the story. I did experience missing a few items and important emails in the first run. My advice here is, interact with every single item you saw along the corridor, rooms etc. this may help you to unlock achievements too.
Moving to the next point, one of the best things in The Long Reach is the creation of an eerie atmosphere. It turns out that even a pixel-like picture, with excellent light, shadow effects and background music, can also present a very good thrilling atmosphere throughout the game. Next, choosing different lines won't result in different outcomes except for the last part, I doubt it.
Pixel art is used to portray the whole story along with the haunting soundtracks. It’s hard to be visually terrifying with a pixel art style comparing to 3D horror games. Thus, sound design plays a prominent role in the game (Yeah, the music literally thrills me out). Besides that, there is one graphic design which I find interesting is that when a character enters the elevator, the picture is temporarily cut into 3D from a horizontal 2D view.
+ Good story-telling
+ Nice pixel art
+ Great atmosphere and soundtracks
+ Diverse dialogue options
- A tedious way of solving puzzles
In an era of technological supremacy, it is always necessary to be alert to the potential threat of artificial intelligence to humans.
In conclusion, I like the suspense and the pixel art in the story. It’s a great game with an amazing narrative, sound design and pixel style graphics, I finished my first walkthrough in 4.8 hours, missing 2 achievements on the way.
Steam store: https://store.steampowered.com/app/584990/The_Long_Reach/