The Longing is deliberately slow and tedious, but I can’t stop playing

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Jul 2, 2018
Author: Andrew Webster

The Longing feels like a troll. It’s a game that takes 400 real-world days to finish, and it moves at a pace that could only generously be described as glacial. The first word that ever appears on screen is “Wait!” Simple tasks, like walking up some stairs or opening a door, drag on forever. And yet, here I am, a month after I first started, and I can’t seem to stop playing.

The game puts you in the role of a “shade,” a small creature who lives in service to an ancient king. At the outset of The Longing, the king tells you he must go into a kind of hibernation and leaves you to, well, wait. The towering king sits in a giant throne, occasionally snoring, and you’re left alone in a dark, twisting, subterranean world. You have 400 days...

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