Genre:   Adventure  

Developer & Publisher:    One Bit Studio            

Released:   January 2017             

Requirements (minimum):

  • OS: Windows 98/XP/Vista/7/8/10
  • Processor: Intel Pentium III 800 Mhz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 1024x768 or better video resolution in High Color mode
  • Storage: 320 MB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectSound-compatible sound card



By flotsam


A Long Road Home

One Bit Studio

As described on its website, A Long Road Home is an indie point and click adventure game, created in a top down, 2D perspective. The gameplay harkens back to the adventure games of old, with lots of text descriptions, puzzle solving and item usage.

Usually when you see a game like this, it screams RPG, especially when you descend into tunnels and catacombs under a comparatively tranquil village. You expect to be vanquishing foes with swords and/or magic, and to be dying fairly regularly.

Except in A Long Road Home, you don't.

Everything is point and click adventury, finding and using items, reviewing notes and books, solving codes and deciphering recipes to create bombs. There are beasts to be vanquished, but they require a puzzle solve, not an actiony twitch. Everything is done with the mouse, except for entering information to solve certain puzzles (e.g. “who sent you”) which is done with the keyboard. If you have paid attention to what you find, or have indeed been sent by someone and aren’t trying to gain entry by trickery, type the answer and move on.

The game casts you in the role of a character named by you, at least for Chapters 1 and 3. Said character (let’s call him flotsam) has been wounded and separated from his family. Now recovered, flotsam must set forth and find his mother and sister, although getting out of the village isn’t as easy as simply leaving. Needless to say, it gets a lot more complicated, and involves soul stealing, world conquering, dimensional travelling and a being called Amuna.

Chapter 2 casts you as the sister. She has a pivotal part to play, far more intricate than simply being found. I will say no more.

There is no spoken word in A Long Road Home, all conversations being read. A ribbon at the bottom of the screen types the dialogue (accompanied by an old fashioned typewriter clickety-clack) two lines at a time, and waits for you to click when you want the next two. It is a complicated and detailed plot, and there are lots of people to speak with and errands to run. Throw in the books and letters and other things, and there is a lot to read. What you read is very occasionally “gritty”, sometimes funny, and never becomes a chore. There is musical accompaniment, which helps set the mood at the various scenes, as well as limited sound effects. When overlaid on the game world, it all amounts to a rather engaging whole.

There is a rudimentary look about things, but I did find it appealing. This was helped by the almost anime look of the characters, and the excitable little hop they sometimes engaged in. Some screens scroll left and right, and even up and down, but others are single screens; exits on all of them lead to a load and a new location.

Puzzling is a mix of inventory based and puzzle solves, challenging at times but not hard. You can combine items in your inventory, an essential part of a few puzzle solves, and you can also examine some items further. It is also where you read the books and diaries you collect.

I generally knew what my objective was, but there was a bit of aimless wandering, particularly in Chapter 3, and some back and forth in that same Chapter which borders on becoming tedious. As well, while you can pick up all manner of items simply because they are there, for one item at least, not only can’t you pick it up before the appropriate trigger, you won’t even know you can enter the location where you will find it until then. Everything up until then cried “nothing to do/see here”, and nothing about the trigger suggested that was where you needed to go back to. It felt like unfair and unnecessary filler.

I also hit some cantankerous hotspots that wouldn’t respond as they were supposed to (a walkthrough made it clear what should have happened), but discovered that leaving and coming back, and even exiting the game, sometimes helped. I can’t offer any further explanation.

You can save at will, and the game also autosaves now and then. Make sure you toggle the screen size at the initial window to play full screen. There is a choice to make at the end.

A Long Road Home took me about eight hours, and notwithstanding the irritants I confess to enjoying it quite a lot.

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz


Video card: AMD Radeon RX 470 8192MB


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February 2017

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