[Review] The Long Reach - Nintendo Switch

The Long Reach for Nintendo Switch is a 2D, point and click adventure horror game with loads of atmosphere, but some frustrating quirks.

We are introduced into a world where a research project has gone horribly awry, and awaken as an amnesiac guinea pig that quickly discovers the horrors that have commenced while unconscious. This sentence could have been written to introduce a great many number of horror games, but outside of this very familiar premise, The Long Reach strays more towards building an atmosphere of unease and sanity-doubting occurrences than relying on cheap jump scares. There is still blood, bodies, and a homicidal maniac on the run, but The Long Reach leans much more heavily on finding items that you will need to solve the game's puzzles.
To avoid spoilers, I'll only be talking about one of the first pseudo-puzzles that you'll run across, and how the game's quirks play into that.
In your first encounter with the psycopathic maniac, you will need to run and hide from him in just the right combination of door entries and waiting so that he walks past you and you can then back track to recover an access card from a corpse to progress through the game. Each time the killer chases you, it seems to take a varying length of time before you are safe to enter or exit a door into a room before you are able to get around him, and you will succeed or fail based on what seems like a random amount of trial and error. This is frustrating, especially when you sometimes seem to lose control of your character to a glitch that forces a restart at your last auto save point. Thankfully, this point is exactly where you leave off at when he catches and kills you, but it's still bothersome to have to quit out of the game and start again when the first bit of it appears to be running smoothly.

Anyways, odd glitches aside, the game is full of charm due to the sarcastic humor present across the dialogue undertaken by the people you run across. You ate often presented with some dialog tree options that don't seem to affect the outcome very much, but it's a nice addition to give yourself a little bit of personality. There are some weird translation errors, but they're pretty easy to overlook. The Long Reach does do an excellent job at creating a tense atmosphere that generates a nice amount of mental unease, and the story, while cliche, isn't too predictable. The puzzles work well later on in the game, especially when you're hitting all of the clues as you go, but if you miss one hint along the way, you will find yourself running through accessinle areas trying to find the one thing that you missed the first time through that is, of course, the one item that you need to move along.

The Long Reach is a serviceable horror point and click adventure with humor reminiscent of old SCUMM engine games of yesteryear, but it doesn't do anything as well as Thimbleweed Park, but it is definitely creepier.



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