If you had basically one purpose in life, but could not fulfill that purpose for 400 days, how would you spend all that time waiting? That’s one of the questions The Longing, from Studio Seufz and Application Systems Heidelberg, is trying to answer. You play as a tiny gollum who is tasked with waking his massive stone King from slumber in precisely 400 days. The King gives you your orders, goes nighty night, and it’s then up to you to decide how you’re going to spend the next 400 long days. Thankfully you live in an enormous underground cavern with tons of interesting places to explore and things to find and do. Once your game starts a real-time 400 day countdown begins, and ticks away whether you’re actively playing the game or not. There are many things you can find during your game that can speed up the countdown in various ways, so that right there is quite an incentive to explore and discover as much as you can. There are 4 different endings to the game, which I guess means you could spend more than 4 years getting them all. Wowza. Here is a trailer for the mobile version of The Longing.
Originally The Longing launched on PC in March of 2020, just about the time the global Covid-19 pandemic was kicking into full gear and shelter at home orders were being put in place. Kind of ironic that a game about being stuck at home trying to kill time would launch right as we were all being stuck at home trying to kill time. I’m not sure if it’s that correlation, the very unique premise, or a combination of both that made The Longing a big fan favorite when it launched a few years ago, but I know for sure that this feels like an experience that will be especially at home on a mobile device. Idle games where you periodically pop in to check on things are popular on mobile, and I myself have been playing (or “playing” as it were) Godville for 13 years and 4 months based on the in-game timer. I don’t check in every day, and sometimes not for months at a time, but the game is always ready for me whenever I do check in and in that way it’s become sort of a faithful companion for more than a decade now. Based on what I’ve seen of The Longing I can see getting a lot of the same sort of long-term satisfaction out of it when the mobile version arrives next week on December 18th. Ahead of that launch you can pre-order the game on the iOS App Store right now for $4.99.