Left alone in the dark to fend for yourself, "The Longing" eschews hand-holding or even gentel guidance in favor of obtuse obfuscation. To progress, you will need to tinker, try, fail, fail again and hope for the best.
With shades of "Limbo" and "Inside" as artistic inspiration the puzzler from developer Application Systems Heidelberg challenges you to think for yourself. Expect to spend plenty of time going nowhere, puttering about, considering the meaning of it all.
In this day and age, games that leave you stranded on your own are a welcome shakeup. The respect and challenge, however, come at a hefty price.
There is plenty of trial and error at play -- often to a frustrating degree, amounting to a brick wall of progress. The bottlenecking, combined with limited save capabilities, can make "The Longing" try your patience.
As you crawl your way through the plot -- which gives you a 400-day countdown to finish -- you are left to your own devices to tinker and tailor your ventures toward the ultimate goal.
If that sort of thing makes you smile rather than wince, this is probably the time of game for which you'll find yourself longing.
Publisher provided review code.