Review – The Long Reach

Welcome to yet another episode of “Leo plays a subpar horror game on the Switch.” This time, we’re playing The Long Reach, an indie point and click adventure with retro-styled 16-bit graphics that also tries to pass by as a horror game, but fails miserably at that. Hope you enjoy the review more than I did the game.

long3We have a genius in the house

The Long Reach starts off pretty slowly, as you take control of a very grumpy and unlikable slacker who’s just trying to buy some groceries at a local store. Every single dialogue option your character has just makes me want to turn the game off. He’s just a complete imbecile. After a small intro featuring buying sweets and seeing another random person going berserk, you take control of another character for the remainder of the game. Another severely unlikable idiot who oozes unnecessary sarcasm, just like the rest of the characters in the game.

One thing every single good horror game has is a likable protagonist. If the objective of a survival horror is to, well, make your character survive, the least you should do is give us someone we don’t hate, someone we don’t want to see dying. Silent Hill 2 had James Sunderland, Resident Evil 4 had Leon, even Detention had an alright protagonist. The Long Reach features an assortment of characters so arrogant and juvenile I really don’t see why I’d want them to survive. Sadly, that’s not the only problem the game has.

long1Calvin, you’re an idiot

Another massive issue in The Long Reach is its loading times. Dear goodness, they are long. I don’t think even trying to load Subnautica‘s ginormous open world took as long as trying to load this game’s 16-bit corridors. The loading times are so long you’ll constantly wonder if the game is still loading or if it just crashed without warning you.

Finally, the main problem in this game: the visuals. No, the game isn’t ugly per se, as it features somewhat decent 16-bit graphics. The problem here lies in the game’s lighting. Simply put, this game is dark to the point where you can barely see what’s onscreen, even when you increase the gamma and brightness settings. Playing on docked mode is hard, playing on portable mode is downright impossible unless you’re locked into an even darker room while playing it. The visuals are so problematic that they negatively influence the overall gameplay, as all items that can be interacted with are shown onscreen with a slight yellow glow . . . when in a lit environment. Given the fact the game is blindness-inducing dark, you can barely see what you’re supposed to interact with, and it makes the poorly-paced and sometimes nonsensical puzzles even more annoying to deal with.

long4You don’t say

There’s an idea for a good game hidden somewhere within The Long Reach, but the final product ended up being a boring blend of a point and click adventure with annoying puzzles and a horror game with little horror. Add in the abysmally dark environments and hateful characters that only spit out juvenile dialogue and you get an endurance test of a game as a result. A true testament to wasted potential. Welcome to the new edition in the constantly increasing world of subpar Switch horror games, The Long Reach.

Graphics: 4.0

The 16-bit visuals aren’t bad but the game is so dark that it becomes near impossible to play at times.

Gameplay: 6.0

The game’s simplistic point and click gameplay is hindered by pacing issues, nonsensical puzzles, and the aforementioned pitch black visuals.

Sound: 5.0

The game’s soundtrack and sound effects are just passable. You won’t remember much of them after you turn the game off.

Fun Factor: 4.5

The Long Reach wastes a pontentially good premise with awful lighting, horrendous loading times, and a plethora of severely unlikable characters.

Final Verdict: 5.0

Reviewed on Switch.
Also available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC
A copy of The Long Reach was provided by the publisher.