After my little rant last week I thought it was time for something nice again. I know, I’m a little late. Migraine had me in it’s claws again and I’m glad for autocorrect and spell check, because I make really weird mistakes today. Ugh.
What if there’s another world next to ours? A twin world, were not science but magic rules. Would you like to live in this other world? Reminder: no internet and electronic stuff there. Just saying.
Let’s get back in time a bit. When I got up on May, the 25th, 2017 I wasn’t prepared for what was waiting for me when I powered up my computer and checked my emails. One of my birdies gave me two games from my Steam wish list as a birthday present and I will forever be grateful, because it introduced me to one of the best games series I’ve ever played: The Longest Journey saga. In fact, I’d go even so far – and I know that I’m committing heresy here – to put it above Mass Effect and Dragon Age. If you’re following me on Twitter, you know how much I treasure these games, which should give you an idea about the TLJ saga.
I was thinking about doing all three games in one post, but I decided to give every game the space it deserves.
The Longest Journey is a classic point & click adventure from 1999 by the Norwegian developer Funcom. The age of the game has – of course – an impact on the graphics, so please consider my rating in the right perspective. The background artworks and the world design are simply wonderful. A bit pixelated on the modern screens, but wonderful nontheless.
The first game of the saga introduces us to Stark and Arcadia, the twin worlds. Once one they were one world, but when mankind was close to screw it up (of course we would), they became separated. Since then, a Guardian watches over them and the Balance, the force that enables both worlds to exist autonomously. We meet the female protagonist April Ryan, sweet 18 years old, with a troubled past. She moved recently to Newport to study art. When strange things happen around her and in her dreams, she (more or less involuntarily at first) teams up with the strange Cortez, who seems to know a lot about Stark and Arcadia. He’s guiding her, because she’s the only one who can save the twin worlds from destruction.
Once in Arcadia, you don’t want to get back home. A wonderful world filled with the most fascinating creatures, both friendly and hostile. In solving puzzles (the old fashion way, prepare for a lot of try and error and some frustration) you’ll find out more about the Balance, help the people of Arcadia and maybe, in the end, you will be able to save both worlds. You will fall in love with the protagonists, the world design and the soundtrack. Plus great voice acting, especially Sarah Hamilton as April and Roger Raines as Crow. Speaking of… Crow is probably the best sidekick a hero can wish for.
“Oh, I was having this weird dream about a big ass turkey wearing a pair of red shoes… and you were there, and he was there, and… and… maybe it wasn’t a dream after all?” – Crow
The Longest Journey might be one of the best point & click adventures ever made. It’s wonderful story and design make a good starting point for a saga that will fill your heart with joy (and sorrow). With about 20h it’s perfect for a rainy bank holiday. Beware though. You may want to jump right into the next game, because leaving Arcadia and it’s people can result in some heartache.
You can get all three games for something between € 40 and € 50 on Steam, Humble Bundle and GOG. All together that means spending about 70h in one of the best game sagas. Have I mentioned that it is probably one of the best… never mind. 😉 Bargain hunters should wait for the next sales that are around the corner. Especially the first two games, The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, are often on sale.
Next week I’m going to write about the second instalment of the series, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, which will probably contain more superlatives.
Since I didn’t do screenshots during the game (shocking, I know) I got some shots from the official The Longest Journey website.