The 2D sidescrolling genre isn't often home to horror titles, but The Long Reach changes that. Featuring a bleak art style, excellent tension building, and frightening moments, the game would be perfect if it weren't for confusing elements.

See on Microsoft

Get ready to trip out

In The Long Reach, you play as a man named Stuart who is participating in a scientific experiment. However, the experiment goes awry, and suddenly you find yourself in the middle of what seems like an LSD episode. However, the hallucinations you see appear to be real, and they will kill you if you don't find a way to get away.

This is The Long Reach's core gameplay; progress through a hell that makes you question Stuart's sanity, while finding ways to avoid the clutches of the various monsters and maniacs that populate it. The mechanics involved in doing this are simple, as your only options are moving left and right, sprinting, and interacting with certain objects. Things become challenging when you have to use these mechanics in order to discover and access a route to escape.

This is good fun at some points, especially when you're down to the wire and the threat is closing in on you. However, a lot of the time it's frustrating because the solutions to many of the puzzles are confusing and hidden extremely well. This wouldn't be a problem if your attackers were slow, but they aren't. Often times, they can catch and kill you in seconds.

The story is also told rather poorly. It's clear that it's supposed to be hard to understand, but there's never the "aha!" moment these types of narratives need. In other words, the puzzle pieces never get put together, and you're left not really knowing what you just experienced when the credits roll.

Intensity to the max

While the gameplay and storytelling of The Long Reach suffer from issues, the presentation is on point. The pixel graphics work surprisingly well with the game's dark aesthetic, and the use of muted shades of color accents this perfectly. Music and sound are also used masterfully; audio is often absent from the title's more calm moments, making the moments where it blares sharply in tandem with a scary event even more impactful.

The Long Reach also runs flawlessly. There were no performance issues during my playthrough, and this smooth experience ensured that the game's superb atmosphere was the center of attention, not bugs or glitches.

Should you buy The Long Reach?

While the gameplay and story of The Long Reach are lacking in a lot of ways, its look, sounds, and feel encapsulate the best of the horror genre. Therefore, I think it's a good game you shouldn't miss, despite the problems it has.

Pros:

  • Excellent atmosphere.
  • Easy to learn mechanics.
  • Creative take on horror.

Cons:

  • Confusing gameplay.
  • An even more confusing story.

3.5 out of 5

So should you buy it? Yes, assuming everything described here sounds attractive to you. The Long Reach is available now on Xbox One for $14.99.

See on Microsoft

Latest And Best Prime Day Deals

The Ring Alarm security system is reaching new low prices for Prime Day
Ring Alarm home security systems

Various configurations of the Ring Alarm are discounted to their best prices yet exclusively for Prime members at Amazon through Tuesday night to help keep your home secure.

The Sonos Beam Prime Day deal includes a $40 discount and 2 $50 Amazon gift cards
Sonos Beam Smart TV sound bar with 2 $50 Amazon gift cards
$359.00 $499.00 Save $140

That's just so much savings in one deal. You'll have to wait for the physical gift cards, but that's basically $100 to spend however you want.

Prime Day dropped this PlayStation 4 console bundle to just $250
PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB console with Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn
$249.99 $359.98 Save $110

This deal on the PlayStation 4 Slim console saves you $50 off its regular price while also including Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition for free. You'll just need an Amazon Prime membership to snag it.

The newest device in the Echo family, the Show 5, is now down to just $50
Echo Show 5
$49.99 $89.99 Save $40

It's only been on the market since May, but it hasn't escaped the Prime Day price cuts.

Amp up your home security with these huge Prime Day discount on nearly all Ring products
Save on Ring products today only

Whether you need a video doorbell, whole home alarm system, or some lights to brighten a dark area, Amazon has it all marked down today!

These huge price drops on the entire Galaxy S10 lineup might be one of the best Prime Day phone deals we'll see
Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB unlocked Prism Black Android smartphone
$599.99 $900.00 Save $300

We love the Galaxy S10, and we love deals. This combines two of our true loves in one!

Scour Amazon Warehouse's deals to save an extra 20% on tech and more through Prime Day
Extra 20% off Amazon Warehouse

Amazon Warehouse sells a myriad of items in varying conditions, from refurbished to open-box, used, warehouse-damaged, and more. It's a great place to snag a deal, and now Prime members can save an extra 20% off select items at checkout.

There's never been a better deal on the Ring Video Doorbell 2 than this pre-Prime Day offer
Ring Video Doorbell 2 (Certified Refurbished)
$89.99 $169.99 Save $80

Amazon is taking $80 off the certified refurbished Ring Video Doorbell 2, which lets you see and speak with visitors at your front door no matter where you are in the world.

More Prime Day Deals