Friday, September 11, 2020

The Longing– A perfect game for Extended Lockdown

The Longing – promo image

With Victoria’s Covid 19 stage 4 restrictions extending for the foreseeable future, it struck me as appropriate to start playing the recently released computer game The Longing.

Classified as slow gaming, it takes 400 days to finish. In fact once you start the game you are not obliged to play, but can wait for the 400 real time days to pass to see the ending.

The time ticks down as you play the lonely Shade, servant to a sleeping king, who must wait out the 400 days so he can wake his master at the preordained time.

Passing time as the The Shade, you can explore the extensive cave structure and keep busy in one way or another by creating a cosy abode in which to pass the time. There are (real)  books to read, music to make and art to create.

I’ve only played briefly over two days so far and have yet to explore the caves in depth. It’s no use being impatient as it’s a slow process and The Shade moves at snail’s pace. In some cases he must wait for a door to open or a stalactite to grow before proceeding further.

It’s an intriguing and very original concept of gaming which I shall enjoy dipping into every so often. I sincerely hope that Covid 19 will be a distant memory by  the time The Longing comes to an end next year.

On the subject of computer games, I’ve played a few engaging escape the room type games recently.

The latest was Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise, where you play the eponymous hero tracking down the wicked Ruby La Rouge, evil agent of MIA’s arch enemy HAVOK.  This clever game was created in Australia by Yak & Co.

Agent A – promo image

There are five chapters in the game, so it’s gratifyingly  long  with a plethora of intriguing puzzles to solve.

Another, very beautiful, escape the room game is the exquisite Luna: The Shadow Dust. 

LUNA V1 Main
Luna – promo image

In this game a boy falls from the sky in a bubble of light. It is your task to guide him up a tall tower to solve the mystery of his fall and recover his lost memories, solving puzzles as you move higher, often with the assistance of the  pet.

It’s a charming, albeit short game, and the puzzles are unusual, beautiful and a pleasure to solve.

On the reading front, after finishing David Mitchell’s new novel Utopia Avenue which I loved to bits, I’ve been reading my way through the Dublin Trilogy, a series of four detective novels by Caimh McDonnell featuring the extraordinary Bunny McGarry . They are page turners,  very funny, but also quite violent.  They were an eBook  gift for my birthday from a friend. At first I was in two minds as to whether I was going to like the books, but I have become quite addicted as I progress through the trilogy. You can get a free eBook of short stories  if you sign up for Caimh McDonnell’s monthly email list.

At this time of the year I would normally be heading off to the racetrack for the Spring Racing Carnival, but alas it doesn’t appear as if the public will be admitted at all this season.

This weekend at Flemington features the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes. I wish I could be there to watch it live, as I would have liked to get a look at the highly regarded Russian Camelot who won the South Australian Derby in spectacular fashion and is an early favourite for the Melbourne Cup. But then again, with heavy rain forecast for tomorrow, I won’t regret not being there so much and will be content to watch the action on my computer.

And with such things, like the Shade in The Longing, I pass the time during lockdown.